In addition to Microsoft Word Online, the company’s virtual assistant will also receive numerous new AI functions according to an announcement at BUILD 2019. The Redmond-based company aims to catch up with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple‘s Siri, which currently dominate the virtual assistant market.
The new Conversational AI should be able to understand complex conversations much better than current virtual assistants, in order to recognize causalities and receive command chains. According to Microsoft, this should be a first step towards a real AI, which can adapt its behavior to the respective users and learn accordingly on the basis of machine learning.
Google, Amazon and Apple are also currently trying to implement this technology in their assistance systems. Should Microsoft be the first company to develop a market-ready Conversational AI, this could significantly reduce the lead of the established competition and Microsoft’s market share.
As soon as the technology is released, external developers should also be able to use it for their own applications. Cortana is therefore primarily used for presentation and should not become the main purpose.
Last year, Microsoft acquired Semantic Machines, a company specializing in natural language workmanship that employs leading AI researchers. In addition to Cortana, this knowledge is mainly used for the further development of the Azure cloud. When exactly the Conversational AI will be available Microsoft has not mentioned yet.