Conversational AI is rapidly becoming a popular way in which companies engage with their clients and employees: from redesigning client interactions and creating virtual assistants to utilizing conversational assistants in assisting employees to work and communicate better together.
Gartner reported: “By 2020, conversational artificial intelligence will be a supported user experience for more than 50 percent of large, consumer-centric enterprises.”
Microsoft foresees a world whereby natural language will become the next user interface, allowing individuals to accomplish more with what they speak, type and input, comprehending tasks and preferences and creating experiences from the way people remember things and think.
Recently, Microsoft announced the signing of an agreement to purchase XOXCO, a studio for software product designing and development that is well-known for its bot development and conversational AI capabilities.
Since 2013, the AI development company has been a pioneer in conversational AI and is known for creating Howdy, the first ever commercially available bot for Slack that aids in scheduling meetings.
XOXCO was also behind the creation of BotKit, which avails the development tools utilized by a large number of GitHub developers.
Microsoft has not only collaborated with this company but also derived a lot of its inspiration from it over the years.
Both XOXCO and Microsoft have shared objectives to nurture a community of innovators and startups and proceed with amplifying Microsoft’s commitment to conversational AI.
The collaboration has also led to the creation of tools for empowering individuals to develop experiences that can achieve more with both language and speech.
The Microsoft Bot Framework, which exists as a service on Github and in Azure, currently supports more than 360,000 developers.
Thanks to the acquisition of XOXCO, Microsoft is realizing its approach of democratizing dialog and conversation, AI development, as well as incorporating conversational experiences where individuals communicate.
Over the past six months, Microsoft has initiated a couple of strategic acquisitions, all aimed at expediting its AI development pace.
Back in May, the acquisition of Semantic Machines led to a new groundbreaking approach to conversational AI.
In July, Microsoft acquired Bonsai to assist in minimizing the challenges affecting AI development by integrating machine teaching, simulation, and reinforcement learning.
In September, the global software maker purchased Lobe, a company known for creating an easy-to-use visual interface that empowers anybody to develop and use AI and deep learning models quickly, without having to code.
Later in October, Microsoft acquired GitHub, a move that showcases the company’s belief in the ability of communities to assist in fueling the oncoming bot development wave.
Microsoft aims to make AI valuable and accessible to all organizations and individuals, strengthening human ingenuity through intelligent technology.
To accomplish this mission, the company is currently infusing intelligence across its vast array of services and products in an effort of extending the capabilities of organizations and individuals as well as making them more productive.
Microsoft expressed its excitement when welcoming the XOXCO team to the company.
The company added that it is eager to work with the community in accelerating innovation and assisting customers to take advantage of the numerous benefits of AI.