Build 2016: Microsoft planning to demo smart AI bots

By: Vamien McKalin
2 minute read

Today is the day Microsoft aims to wow both developers and the world with cool new technologies at its Build conference. We expect to learn new things about HoloLens, Xbox, and Windows 10, but one thing we did not expect were robots — well, almost robots.

According to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek, Microsoft is planning to unveil several bots with artificial intelligence at the conference. We’re not certain what they will be like but seeing as they are described as bots and not robots, then chances are that things are programs and not a physical object similar to something from Boston Dynamics or some crazy creation out of Japan.

Potentially, the development of these bots will help push CEO Satya Nadella’s vision of “conversation as a platform” forward, an idea centered on users interacting with the AI using natural language. Bloomberg Businessweek claims that each bot revealed by Microsoft will be created for different functions. For example, some will have functionality for Skype that will be designed to help users book holidays or schedule deliveries. Others may be designed to help the visually impaired by describing facial expressions, among other things.

If the software giant does indeed reveals an army of bots today then such a move would place the company in line with the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Facebook. Amazon’s Alexa is probably the most interesting here since it is slowly getting people accustomed to the idea of talking to their computers. While Microsoft does have Cortana baked into Windows 10, the voice assistant is not on the same level as Alexa when it comes to communication.

Build 2o16 is just a few minutes away and we can’t wait to see everything Microsoft has in store for its future. Stay tuned!

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