Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire XOXCO, a software developer focusing on conversational AI and bot development.
The company has been paving the way in conversational AI since 2013 and was responsible for the creation of Howdy, the first commercially available bot for Slack that helps schedule meetings, and Botkit, which provides the development tools used by hundreds of thousands of developers on GitHub.
Over the years, Microsoft have partnered with XOXCO and have been “inspired by this work”.
We have shared goals to foster a community of startups and innovators, share best practices and continue to amplify our focus on conversational AI, as well as to develop tools for empowering people to create experiences that do more with speech and language.
The Microsoft Bot Framework, available as a service in Azure and on GitHub, supports over 360,000 developers today. With this acquisition, Microsoft are continuing to realize their approach of democratising AI development, conversation and dialog, and integrating conversational experiences where people communicate.
Over the last six months, Microsoft has made several strategic acquisitions to accelerate the pace of AI development. The acquisition of Semantic Machines in May brought a revolutionary new approach to conversational AI. In July, the company acquired Bonsai to help reduce the barriers to AI development by combining machine teaching, reinforcement learning and simulation.
In September, the company acquired Lobe, a company that has created a simple visual interface empowering anyone to develop and apply deep learning and AI models quickly, without writing code, and of course, the acquisition of GitHub in October.
Microsoft say their goal is to make AI accessible to everyone,
Our goal is to make AI accessible and valuable to every individual and organisation, amplifying human ingenuity with intelligent technology. To do this, Microsoft is infusing intelligence across all its products and services to extend individuals’ and organisations’ capabilities and make them more productive, providing a powerful platform of AI services and tools that makes innovation by developers and partners faster and more accessible, and helping transform business by enabling breakthroughs to current approaches and entirely new scenarios that leverage the power of intelligent technology.
We’re excited to welcome the XOXCO team and look forward to working with the community to accelerate innovation and help customers capitalize on the many benefits AI can offer.