Microsoft is working to help developers to embrace the new era of conversational intelligence and create more personal computing for every customer, industry and business.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella showcased improvements to Cortana and announced previews of new cloud services and toolkits designed to understand the world around us and create intelligent bots.
Meanwhile, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Windows and Devices Group, announced the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which will deliver significant new innovations for consumers and developers for the Universal Windows Platform.
“As an industry, we are on the cusp of a new frontier that pairs the power of natural human language with advanced machine intelligence,” says Nadella. “At Microsoft, we call this Conversations as a Platform, and it builds on and extends the power of the Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Windows platforms to empower developers everywhere.”
“With Windows 10 now running on over 270 million active devices, we’re celebrating with our fans by delivering the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. This significant update will help you interact with your Windows 10 devices as naturally as you interact with the world around you — using your pen, presence and voice,” Myerson says. “We are dedicated to making Windows the most productive development environment for all developers, with all-new capabilities for the Universal Windows Platform and all-new tools for bringing apps to Windows 10 from any platform.”
The Cortana Intelligence Suite, formerly known as the Cortana Analytics Suite, is powered by cutting-edge research into big data, machine learning, perception, analytics and intelligent bots. Built on Microsoft Azure, these capabilities can be used by developers and businesses to create intelligent end-to-end solutions, including new apps that learn about our world and bots and agents that interact with people in personalised, intelligent ways.
Wednesday, Microsoft announced new additions to the Cortana Intelligence Suite, both in preview. The first, Microsoft Cognitive Services, is a collection of intelligence APIs that allows systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret our needs using natural methods of communication. The second, the Microsoft Bot Framework, can be used by developers — programming in any language — to build intelligent bots that enable customers to chat using natural language on a wide variety of platforms including text/SMS, Office 365, Skype, Slack, the Web and more.
Microsoft demonstrated how developers can use services, like those found in the Cortana Intelligence Suite, to transform not only businesses but people’s lives. Seeing AI, a research project under development, shows how these new capabilities can help people who are visually impaired or blind better understand who and what is around them.
Microsoft also released the Skype Bot Platform, which includes the SDK, API and Workflows all in the new Skype Bot Portal. With this platform, developers can build bots that leverage Skype’s multiple forms of communication, including text, voice, video and 3-D interactive characters. Customers can get started with Skype Bots by downloading the latest Skype apps for Windows, Android and iOS. Developers can start building Skype Bots today using the Skype Bot Platform and reach hundreds of millions of Skype users.