Microsoft buys out Semantic to augment its conversational AI business

Software giant Microsoft Corporation has reportedly announced its takeover of Semantic Machines Inc., a pioneer in AI technology development. It has been speculated that the tech firm is likely to set up a conversational AI center of excellence in Berkeley post the acquisition. Reportedly, Microsoft’s strategic decision had been based on its business objective of creating machines that can interact with human beings in the most natural way possible.

David Ku, the Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft AI & Research, has been quoted to state that Semantic’s acquisition will reinforce Microsoft’s AI technology portfolio while assisting the firm to develop an innovative AI platform for machine language interface through which it can effectively manage natural language conversations. He further added that the blend of Semantics’ AI tool & Microsoft’s AI technology will facilitate the delivery of a powerful, productive, and natural user experience. Experts seem to be echoing the viewpoint, claiming that the merger will take conversational computing to a new level altogether.

According to authentic sources, the acquisition of Semantic was aimed at not only improving Cortana’s functionalities & operational efficiency, but also supporting the operations of social chatbots such as Xiaolce. The chatbot seemingly has over thirty billion conversations, spanning nearly 30 mins each, with two hundred million end users across countries such as the U.S., China, Japan, Indonesia, and India.

For the uninitiated, Semantics is headed by Larry Gillick, a former scientist who helped Apple develop the core technology for Siri, along with AI scientists as well as professors from Stanford & the University of California.

A key official of Microsoft has stated that there are over 1 million developers using the firm’s cognitive solutions and over three lakh developers using its Azure Bot Service. It is anticipated that these solutions will conjointly contribute toward Microsoft’s goal of making computing more conversational.