Microsoft Acquires Conversational AI And Bot Development Firm

One of the largest IT based company, Microsoft has now revealed to acquire a conversational Artificial Intelligence and bot development company XOXCO at an undisclosed amount.

Texas-based XOXCO has been paving the way in the conversational Artificial intelligence since the year 2013 and was responsible for the creation of the Howdy, which is the first commercially available bot for the Slack that helps in scheduling the meetings.

“It also developed Botkit which provides the development tools used by hundreds of thousands of developers on GitHub. Over the years, we have partnered with XOXCO and have been inspired by this work,” said Lili Cheng, Corporate Vice President, Conversational AI at Microsoft on Thursday.

Conversational AI nowadays is quickly becoming a way in which the businesses engage with the customers and employees from creating the virtual assistants and redesigning the customer interactions using the conversational assistants to help the employees communicate and work 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”.

The Microsoft Bot framework, which is available as a service in the Github and on Azure today supports around more than 360,000 developers.

“With this acquisition, we are continuing to realize our approach of democratizing AI development, conversation, and dialog, and integrating conversational experiences where people communicate,” said Cheng in a report.

From the last six months, Microsoft has made some of the strategic improvements to accelerate the pace of AI development. The acquisition of the Semantic Machines in May brought a revolutionary approach to the conversational AI. In July, the company acquired Bonsai to help in reducing the barriers to AI development by simply combining machine teaching, reinforcement simulation and learning.

In September, Microsoft 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,” Microsoft said.

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