Microsoft acquires AI development company

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Microsoft has announced the acquisition of XOXCO, a software company building conversational AI. 

The plans for the acquisition were announced yesterday, and the sum was not disclosed, marking another piece in a relatively long string of AI acquisitions Microsoft has made in the past couple of years. 

“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,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post announcing the news.

“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 modelling experiences based on the way people think and remember.”

Last May, Microsoft bought Semantic Machines, also a company working on conversational AI. And in July, Bonsai was brought under Microsoft's umbrella, a company working on a combination of machine teaching, reinforcement learning and simulation. Two months later, Microsoft buys Lobe, a company building easy solutions for AI and deep learning development.

And finally, this October, it wrapped it all up with the acquisition of GitHub, which “demonstrates our belief in the power of communities to help fuel the next wave of bot development.”

Microsoft is a strong believer in conversational AI and sees natural language as becoming the next user interface, probably sooner than we’d expect.

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