Microsoft's recent track record when it comes to artificial intelligence hasn't been a smooth one, to say the least. This isn't going to hold back the company, which is reportedly set to unveil a number of prototype robots during Build. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Microsoft's bots will serve different functions. Some will be built into company services and platforms while others will aid the visually-impaired.
"Bots aren't just a novelty; unlike Tay, some of them do things. They'll act as your interface with computers and smartphones, helping you book a trip or send a message to a colleague, and do that through a conversation instead of a mouse click or finger tap. Microsoft believes the world will soon move away from apps—where Apple and Google rule—into a phase dominated by chats with bots. [...] Microsoft will show off several different bots and programs that manage tasks via discussion. Some you'll be able to text with, like Tay; others are just concepts cooked up for the show to spark developers' imaginations"
The company will also release templates and a set of tools so developers will be able to create their own. It's billed as a serious shift for Microsoft as a company, betting big on the future of AI. The demos will reportedly include a Domino's delivery bot.
"In early March, Nadella is in a locked, basement room on the Redmond campus known among his inner circle as the Batcave. Most employees don't know about it; only six have access. The Batcave is where the product demonstrations for conferences are worked out. Sitting among piles of cables, devices, and dongles, Nadella reviews the "conversation as a platform" presentation for the Build conference. In the audience at the event, which sold out in one minute, will be 5,000 software developers waiting to hear what Microsoft thinks they should make next."
It's going to be a tough sell for Microsoft, depending on how Build progresses, but we're excited to see just what the teams will be working on. We'll also be at Build today to bring you the latest from Microsoft's event. Be sure to remain tuned to our feeds and sit through the live blog. How do you view our future with AI? Sound off in the comments!