Microsoft Corporation has announced that it has acquired Berkeley based AI Startup Semantic Machines to solve one of the biggest challenges in using conversational chatbots- the ability to sound more like humans and less like computer machines(bots).
David Ku, the Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft AI & Research confirmed this news through an official blog post but did not reveal the financial details related to the deal.
As per the info available from Crunchbase, Semantic Machines was founded in 2014 and has so far succeeded in raising about $20.9 million in funding from investors, including Bain Capital Ventures and General Catalyst.
Microsoft’s plan is to integrate Semantic Machines conversational AI-based products into its Cognitive Services, and Azure Bot Service used by over 300,000 developers and its virtual assistants Cortana and Xiaolin.
The Redmond Giant’s idea is to put a check on Google Duplex, a new tool which uses AI to accomplish real-world tasks over the phone. Most importantly, Google Duplex sounds more like a human and so Microsoft wants to follow the same in this genre.
From the past two days, the website of the acquired company has displayed a notice that it has been acquired by Microsoft. The website is redirecting its traffic to Microsoft blog to confirm the details on this note.
AI-based technologies are a lot in demand these days. And so companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are showing a lot of interest in investing in startups, either to integrate the available technologies into their products or encourage the companies in R&D.