Microsoft Announces Progress Made in Artificial Intelligence

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Microsoft has been investing in the promise of artificial intelligence for more than 25 years — and this vision is coming to life with new chatbot Zo, Cortana Devices SDK and Skills Kit, and expansion of intelligence tools.

“Across several industry benchmarks, our computer vision algorithms have surpassed others in the industry — even humans,” said Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Research group, at a small gathering on AI in San Francisco on Dec. 13. “But what’s more exciting to me is that our vision progress is showing up in our products like HoloLens and with customers like Uber building apps to use these capabilities.”

Following progress made by Microsoft about AI was announced :

· Official introduction of the newest chatbot Zo, which was quietly launched in the U.S. on Kik in October and already has more than 115,000 users.

· Cortana Devices SDK, making Cortana available to OEMs and ODMs to build smarter and more useful devices; the Cortana Skills Kit; and a partnership with Harman Kardon, who will be bringing a premium home speaker with Cortana to market in February 2017. The company also announced Calendar.help, a service that blends AI and human-in-the-loop that takes over the burden of scheduling meetings.

· 67,000 developers are using Microsoft Bot Framework, and have added new tools to make it easier to create bots including the new Microsoft Cognitive Service, QnA Maker including the updates to Language Understanding Intelligence Service.

· A new feature, Microsoft Translator live, currently in preview, which allows users to carry out real-time, multi-lingual conversations with the Microsoft Translator apps and end-user website.

· New calling capabilities for Skype bots. Skype can now deliver talking bots with the general availability of the Skype calling API.

· Mcrosoft is providing tools for partners to build rich media cards. So now in Skype bots, users can add video, animated Gifs and audio clips to bot cards, all within the Microsoft Bot Framework.

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