Today Microsoft has released their vision for the future; to create bots that sound more human and less like technological, programmed machines. Microsoft has acquired Semantic Machines, a Berkeley-based startup that wants to help solve the battle in conversational Al and help make bots more representational and authentic.
David Ku, the CVP and chief technology officer of Microsoft Al stated that “with the acquisition of Semantic Machines, we will establish a conversational Al center of excellence in Berkeley to push forward the boundaries of what is possible in language interfaces.”
Crunchbase analytics show that Semantic Machines has raised more than $20 000 000 in funding from investors, including General Catalyst and Bain Capital Ventures, since it was founded in 2014.
Dan Klein, the co-founder and chief scientist of conversational Al, told TechCrunch in a 2016 profile that “today’s dialog technology is mostly orthogonal. You want a Conversational system to be contextual so that when you interpret a sentence, things don’t stand in isolation.” Semantic Machines believe that their Al with enhanced memory will produce conversations that answer and predict questions more accurately. The conversations will also flow more realistically; unlike those produced by Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Microsoft’s own Cortana and other virtual assistants.