Microsoft acquires Semantic Machines to create realistic sounding botsBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 21 May 2018 | Categories: news
Microsoft has added a new company to its fold, having announced the acquisition of Semantic Machines. The company specialises in AI software that helps bots to learn, and in particular to assist them in sounding less like a robot and more human.
In the post confirming the announcement, Microsoft's AI & Research chief technology officer David Ku noted that, "with the acquisition of Semantic Machines, we will establish a conversational AI centre of excellence in Berkeley to push forward the boundaries of what is possible in language interfaces."
This likely means that the Semantic Machines team will be put to use on Microsoft's current AI offering Cortana, with the system currently forming a part of the Windows platform. It could also open up the room for Cortana to perform in a similar way to Google's recently debuted Duplex system, which has proved divisive for just how human-like it sounds.
As such, if Microsoft develops something similar, the next debate around AI could be ensuring that all platforms disclose that they are in fact bots when interacting with humans.
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