Bots are the future and Microsoft is onboard [Build 2016]

By: Vamien McKalin
2 minute read

We’ve seen what Microsoft’s Tay chatbot is capable of when it takes in a lot of information from the web as things began well for the plucky AI but quickly took a turn for the worse. That’s just the beginning, though, because Microsoft has a lot more in the pipeline when it comes down to bots — hopefully with a lot less racism involved.

At Build 2016, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled his plans focusing on “conversation as a platform,” or creating bots that understand natural language. This could turn out to be the next big thing in regards to how humans will use computers in the future. According to Nadella, the bots platform is simple but powerful with its impact.

We were a bit skeptical, but seeing it in action got us more intrigued as time went by. Imagine being able to interact with your computer without ever having to touch your mouse, keyboard, or even a screen. Nadella also revealed what his vision of he future is like, revolving around three principals: humans, digital assistants, and bots.

The bots won’t work in the same way as Cortana, says Nadella. Digital assistants follow users everywhere they go, while bots are something in-between. There might be times when Cortana will send information to a bot on the behalf of the user, for instance. From what we have seen via Microsoft’s demonstration at Build 2016, bots will be a part of Skype and Cortana’s feature set in the future. They can be used to deliver products or track items among many other things.

As it stands right now, Microsoft is not the only company working on bots. Amazon’s Alexa has so far been a decent success and it stands to grow exponentially as the time goes on. Apple has Siri, but it needs some serious work before it can become truly usable — at the moment, the simple of it having to be connected to the internet is a huge oversight.

 

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