Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire the Austin, Texas-based software development studio XOXCO, which is known for its conversational AI and bot development expertise.
In a blog post on the Microsoft website, Lili Cheng, corporate vice president for Conversational AI at Microsoft, said that XOXCO “has been paving the way in conversational AI since 2013 and was responsible for the creation of Howdy, the first commercially available bot for Slack that helps schedule meetings, and Botkit, which provides the development tools used by hundreds of thousands of developers on GitHub. Over the years, we have partnered with XOXCO and have been inspired by this work.”
Cheng added: “The Microsoft Bot Framework, available as a service in Azure and on GitHub, supports over 360,000 developers today. With this acquisition, we are continuing to realise our approach of democratising AI development, conversation and dialog, and integrating conversational experiences where people communicate.”
The acquisition of XOXCO is the latest in a series of moves by Microsoft to accelerate its pace of AI development, including the acquisitions of Semantic Machines, Bonsai and GitHub.
“Our goal is to make AI accessible and valuable to every individual and organisation, amplifying human ingenuity with intelligent technology,” said Cheng. “To do this, Microsoft is infusing intelligence across all its products and services to extend individuals’ and organisations’ capabilities and make them more productive, providing a powerful platform of AI services and tools that makes innovation by developers and partners faster and more accessible, and helping transform business by enabling breakthroughs to current approaches and entirely new scenarios that leverage the power of intelligent technology.”
To read the full blog post, click here
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