Microsoft recently introduced a new kit of artificial intelligence (ai) systems for consumers, companies and developers. This involves their assistant Cortana, a chatbot and a simultaneous translator.
For its electronic assistant Cortana Microsoft announced a developer interface. With this so called “Cortana skills kit” developers are capable of expanding the existing skills of Cortana. Also source code from amazons assistant Alexa shall be reusable. Next to this Microsoft introduced the Cortana Devices SDK. With this SDK companies may integrate the assistant in own products. The first company which used the new kit is Hartman / Kardon which integrated Cortana in their network speakers. Microsoft is with Cortana the third biggest platform on the market. Also Google announced last week to open their assistant for 3rd parties.
Microsoft also introduced a new ai chat bot called Zo. With messenger kik someone can already chat with Zo, on other platforms you need an invitation. With the previous chatbot – Tay – Microsoft made bad experiences since the chatbot converted into an “antisemitic monster”. The new chatbot should do it better, at least when asked on political topics you get only indirect answers. Additionally Microsoft’s user manual states: “Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or appropriateness of Zo’s statements”. In connection with Skype also a new interface Calling API is available which allows to receive and answer Skype calls.
Last but not least Microsoft Translator was introduced, a product which is already well known by Skype users which translates spoken text simultaneously into digital text. This application is now as own product available, also for Android and iOs als app.