if there’s success to be had with any kind of AI, Microsoft wants to be there.
And then yesterday, at an intimate press gathering in San Francisco, Microsoft’s AI parade continued! The company announced:
- an Cortana-powered smart speaker to rival the Amazon Echo and Google Home, made by Harman Kardon
- a virtual assistant that lives in your email to help schedule meetings (like x.ai)
- a new English-speaking chatbot to replace Tay, called Zo
- a new tool for real-time conversation translation
- a software developer kit for Cortana for anybody who wants to configure it for a smart speaker or gadget
You can look forward to living a life in constant conversation with your gadgets.
You’ll be able to chat with bots throughout the day via Kik, Skype or Facebook Messenger for customer service, ask your Cortana-enabled speaker to turn on your lights, and then to tell you if it scheduled plans for you tonight. Rather than navigating densely-packed menus dripping with options for customization, you can ask questions and trust the virtual assistant to lead you to whatever task you want to accomplish.
Microsoft has coined their own term for this: conversational computing. The company sees this shift to be as large as personal or mobile computing