Microsoft focuses on Chatbots

BLOOMBERG: Microsoft has its sights on the artificial intelligence industry. Its latest creation is the chatbot software, Tay.

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Tay was released on March 23, as a kind of virtual friend on messaging apps Kik, GroupMe, and Twitter. You open the app, search for the name Tay—an acronym for “thinking about you”—tap on the contact and start chatting or tweeting. Its personality is supposed to be modeled on a teenager.

…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. “When you start early, there’s a risk you get it wrong,” Cheng said in March, in the lunch area of her lab building on Microsoft’s campus. “I know we will get it wrong. Tay is going to offend somebody.”

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