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Microsoft Leads AI Emergence: Company Unveils Massive AI Projects

Dec 16, 2016 11:40 AM EST

Microsoft appears to be quite determined to lead the arrival of AI to our everyday lives. It has just unveiled massive AI projects ranging on a variety of services, courtesy of CEO Satya Nadella in a meeting with developers early this year.

AI has been the company's "touchstone" technology since Cortana. It's the unique virtual personal assistant Microsoft added to Windows more than a year ago. Now, Microsoft wants to release a deluge of AI-bolstered features on its OS and standalone software.

According to Quartz, Skype is now augmented with rela-time translation. Users can now talk to bots built on Microsoft software on nearly any messaging platform, and tools of developers mean the apps can be configured to call a Microsoft server to identify faces or images, and even run face recognition.

If it's a success with AI, Microsoft wants to be at the forefront. According to Quartz, now the company plans a myriad of projects. Included among these is a Cortana-powered smart speaker to rival Amazon's Echo and Google Home.

According to Engadget, the company also wants a virtual assistant that "lives" in e-mail to help schedule meetings like x.ai. There's also a new chatbot called Zo that will replace Tay, and a new tool for "real-time conversation translation." There's even a software developer kit for Cortana for anyone who wants to make it into a smart speaker or project.

This is considering that these announcements were not even made during a large project reveal. For Microsoft consumers, this can change what the Windows can do on a fundamental level. This means bots will be available for chat almost everyday, and Cortana can turn on anything for you.

Instead of navigating densely-packed menus, questions can simply be asked and the computer will do it for you. Microsoft calls this "conversational computing," and it appears to have a potential as a huge breakthrough in the field of AI. 

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