Microsoft Buys AI Startup Semantic Machines

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) on Monday announced that it had acquired an artificial intelligence start-up Semantic Machines Inc., a move to develop conversational AI.

The Berkeley, California-based company has developed a revolutionary new approach to building conversational AI, which enable intelligent assistants to understand meanings or carry on conversations instead of just responding to commands.

Microsoft didn’t disclose how much it paid for the acquisition.

Microsoft said the acquisition will help them further developing conversational AI with its digital assistant Cortana, as well as with social chatbots like Xiaolce.

“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. Combining Semantic Machines’ technology with Microsoft’s own AI advances, we aim to deliver powerful, natural and more productive user experiences that will take conversational computing to a new level.” David Ku, CVP and chief technology officer of Microsoft AI & Research, said in a blog post.

Other players in this field include Apple’s personal assistant Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google. Recently, Google has showed a new feature for google assistant that allows you to tell your assistant to make a reservation call for you. The assistant talks like human in the conversations.

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