Artificial Intelligence

Major Updates Coming To Microsoft's Chatbot Tools

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has revealed that a major update is coming to the company’s conversational AI tools.

The update will allow users to more easily create, test and improve bots that run on Azure or their own servers and multiple platforms.

“At this conference, we’re launching a hundred plus features for the bot framework so that you can continue to build these conversational interfaces and give them more customizations,” Nadella said, according to TechCrunch.

The company’s AI tools are now used by 30,000 active bots per month, handling 30 million messages per day for 1,000 companies, including Macy’s, Asiana Airlines, Stack Overflow, KPMG, Telefonica, HP and UPS.

Bots can also be deployed on a website, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Kik, SMS using Twilio, Telegram, Cortana, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, GroupMe and email.

It doesn’t work, however, with anything from Amazon, Google or Apple.

Microsoft’s Bot Builder SDK has also been updated, allowing people to pick a bot design so they can create their own. And QnAMaker, which lets users turn a FAQ into a set of questions and answers for a bot, is now available as a final release.

And that seems to be just the beginning. The bot emulator has been updated to make it easier to debug bots, and a new component called Dispatch will let users dispatch queries to the right model or knowledge base. There is also the ability to manage authentication with third-party apps to interact with other apps.

In addition, Microsoft’s language understanding module — called LUIS — enables the conversion of speech into intents, easily integrating addresses, people and organizations in the module.

There are also two new projects in the works: Project Conversation Learner can feed conversations into the platform so that machine learning can learn new dialogue sequences and Project Personality Chat allows the creation of some small talk interactions so people feel like they're speaking with a real person.

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