Microsoft continues its AI offensive by acquiring XOXCO
In the long run, conversational AI will probably leave a lot of humans without a job. For now, this field is still expanding. According to Gartner, "conversational artificial intelligence will be a supported user experience for more than 50 percent of large, consumer-centric enterprises" by 2020. Microsoft continues its expansion in the AI field with the recent agreement to acquire XOXCO.
XOXCO is a software studio known for its conversational AI and bot projects. This company was involved in the creation of Howdy — the first commercially available bot for Slack, as well as Botkit. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft and XOXCO have been working together on various projects for a few years already.
The goal of this acquisition is — according to Microsoft — to help the current effort on "democratizing AI development, conversation and dialog, and integrating conversational experiences where people communicate."
This year has been very busy for Microsoft, since the Redmond-based giant acquired Semantic Machines in May, Bonsai in July, and Lobe in September. All these companies were involved in various AI projects before joining Microsoft. As usual, the financial terms of this new deal have not been disclosed.