Microsoft wants to make scheduling meetings - everyone's favourite office pastime - easier and has acquired the AI-powered scheduling company Genee to help make that happen.
The deal was announced yesterday in a blog post by Rajesh Jha, Corporate Vice President of Outlook and Office 365, although the financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
Jha writes that the service is "especially useful for large groups and for when you don’t have access to someone’s calendar" and explained that the service uses "natural language processing and optimised decision-making algorithms so that interacting with a virtual assistant is just like interacting with a human one."
"Say you want to meet a potential customer, Diana, for coffee. Simply send an email to Diana and copy Genee, like you would a personal assistant. Genee understands that you want to “Find a time to meet with Diana for coffee next week” and will streamline the process by emailing her directly with appropriate options that work with your calendar and preferences."
The current Genee service will shut down on 1 September, so will stop sending users reminders and agendas, although calendar entries created before this date will not be affected.
Co-founders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee said: "The Genee team will take the valuable experiences and lessons that you taught us to Microsoft, where we'll continue to build amazing next generation intelligent experiences."
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