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Microsoft acquires conversational AI startup

May. 22, 2018 – 

Microsoft (Redmond, WA) has announced that it has acquired startup Semantic Machines (Newton, MA and Berkeley, CA), a provider of conversational artificial intelligence (AI) technology aimed at revolutionizing customer service and home automation.

"Conversational AI" offers the possibility of intelligent digital assistants that can communicate with people using natural dialogue instead of just being able to respond to commands. Semantic Machines' approach to building conversational AI, says Microsoft, uses machine learning to enable users to discover, access, and interact with information and services in a much more natural way, and with significantly less effort.

The company's team includes pioneers in conversational AI such as technology entrepreneur Dan Roth and natural language AI researchers UC Berkeley professor Dan Klein and Stanford University professor Percy Liang, as well as former Apple chief speech scientist Larry Gillick. Its Conversational AI technology, says the company, "represents a powerful new paradigm, enabling computers to communicate, collaborate, understand our goals, and accomplish tasks."

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