According to the reports reaching us from our sources, Microsoft is making a move to acquire AI startup Semantic Machines that people can have actual dialogues with in a bid to make bots as well as assistant such as Cortana to sound more human. Semantic Machines was founded in the year 2014. It makes use of machine learning to make bots reply in ways that are humanly regular. Semantic Machines is led by two prominent individuals who are also regarded as pioneers in conversational AI, UC Berkeley professor Dan Klein and former Apple chief speech scientist Larry Gillick.
This acquisition will not only boost the digital assistant of the company known as Cortana but it will also increase the Azure Bot Service which is used by up to 300,000 developers. The company has already made use of a human voice for its Cortana assistant. The company put its resources together to work with Halodeveloper 343 Industries on eyelike visual elements and used voice actress Jen Taylor to voice Cortana back in 2014. Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft AI and Research, David Ku elucidated that “With the acquisition of Semantic Machines, we will establish a conversational AI center of excellence in Berkeley to push forward the boundaries of what is possible in language interfaces.”
Google also happens to be working on developing its AI to sound as human. Earlier this month, Google showed off its Google Duplex which provides a feature that permits Google Assistant to call businesses and book hair appointments or restaurants on behalf of Google users. The demonstration that Google did brought about uneasiness over regular human conversation as well as worry over ethics. Microsoft on the other hand has once had an issue that created controversy because of its racist Tay Twitter bot. it is only safe to assume that the company seeks to work better and produce something that the general public will accept since it has assumed ownership of Semantic Machines.