An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is testing a new mobile messaging service. They say one of the defining new features of the service is the inclusion of AI-driven chatbots, which can answer questions asked of them in a conversational manner. Google veteran Nick Fox is reportedly running the team building the messaging service. It's not clear what will become of Messenger or Hangouts, or when the product will launch. "Google would steer users to specific chatbots, much as its search engine directs users to relevant websites. The move is strategic, because messaging apps and chatbots threaten Google's role as the Internet's premier discovery engine."