Microsoft Acquires AI Startup

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) recently stated that it has agreed to purchase artificial intelligence app Genee, which is an application that serves as a digital personal assistant that can schedule meetings.

Genee will terminate its service on the 1st of September. However, the financial conditions of the acquisition deal were not revealed by the founders of the startup Ben Cheung and Charles Lee. The Genee founders will join the multinational tech giant.

It is not yet confirmed whether the Genee app will be incorporated with the existing software by Microsoft. However, statements from the company imply that the expertise of the startup could be utilized across the Office 365 products of Microsoft.

The Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Outlook and Office 365 Rajesh Jha stated in a blog post, “As we continue to build new Office 365 productivity capabilities and services our customers value, I’m confident the Genee team will help us further our ambition to bring intelligence into every digital experience.”

The scheduling of meetings typically involves going over previous emails and the Genee app can help with this process.

The application works this way: a user sends an email to another individual that they intend to have a meeting with and copy it in the app, much like a digital personal assistant. Genee will then be able to understand the important details of the meeting, such as the location and date. After that, the application will directly send an email to the recipient with options that go well with the preferences and calendar of the user.

According to the startup, the app has the capability to perform this task because it utilizes natural language processing.

Traditional computers found it challenging to understand normal language, yet improvements in the artificial intelligence segment have now made it possible.

Huge technology corporations are turning their focus on improving their digital personal assistants’ capabilities. The expertise of the startup could be beneficial for bolstering Microsoft Cortana’s capabilities as it goes against Apple’s Siri and Google Now.

Genee is the most recent acquisition by Microsoft, especially in the artificial intelligence and productivity areas, which are a major focus for several tech titans.

During the previous year, the technology corporation acquired Sunrise, a calendar application, before closing it down the next year. In addition, during the month of February this year, Microsoft purchased AI keyboard application SwiftKey.

The competitors of Microsoft are also making efforts to improve their AI capabilities. Earlier in 2016, Apple acquired Emotient, which is a firm that utilizes artificial intelligence for the analysis of facial expressions. Just this month, the iPhone maker also bought Turi, a machine learning firm.

As of the time of writing, the MSFT stock is changing hands at $57.67, up by 0.09 percent or 0.05 points.

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