News : Microsoft to Acquire XOXCO
Redmond, WA, USA, Nov, 2018 -- Conversational AI is quickly becoming a way in which businesses engage with employees and customers: from creating virtual assistants and redesigning customer interactions to using conversational assistants to help employees communicate and work better together. According to Gartner, "By 2020, conversational artificial intelligence will be a supported user experience for more than 50 percent of large, consumer-centric enterprises."* At Microsoft, we envision a world where natural language becomes the new user interface, enabling people to do more with what they say, type and input, understanding preferences and tasks and modeling experiences based on the way people think and remember.
Today, we are announcing we have signed an agreement to acquire XOXCO, a software product design and development studio known for its conversational AI and bot development capabilities. Over the years, we have partnered with XOXCO and have been inspired by this work.
We have shared goals to foster a community of startups and innovators, share best practices and continue to amplify our focus on conversational AI, as well as to develop tools for empowering people to create experiences that do more with speech and language.
Over the last six months, Microsoft has made several strategic acquisitions to accelerate the pace of AI development. The acquisition of Semantic Machines in May brought a new approach to conversational AI. In July, we acquired Bonsai to help reduce the barriers to AI development by combining machine teaching, reinforcement learning and simulation. In September, we acquired Lobe, a company that has created a simple visual interface empowering anyone to develop and apply deep learning and AI models quickly, without writing code. The acquisition of GitHub in October demonstrates our belief in the power of communities to help fuel the next wave of bot development.
We’re excited to welcome the XOXCO team and look forward to working with the community to accelerate innovation and help customers capitalize on the many benefits AI can offer.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2018