Microsoft and AI: Introducing social chatbot Zo, Cortana takes on new roles and more


On Tuesday, Microsoft introduced Zo, the next evolution in chatbots; shared how Cortana, in partnership with Harman Kardon, will be present in a new way in your home; and announced that more than 67,000 developers are now using Microsoft’s Bot Framework and Cognitive Services.

“We’re really moving from a world where we have to understand computers to a world where they will understand us and our intent, from machine-centric to human-centric, from perceptive to cognitive and from rational to emotional,” Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research group, said at a small gathering on AI in San Francisco.

Zo is a social chatbot, built upon the technology stack that powers Xiaoice and Rinna — successful Microsoft AI chatbots in China and Japan. You can engage with Zo on Kik now in the same way you would interact with a friend. In the future, Microsoft plans to bring her to other social and conversational channels such as Skype and Facebook Messenger.

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