Build 2016: Why Microsoft predicts a world of talking bots

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Right after its millennial Tay bot turned genocidal might not seem like the best time for Microsoft to pin its future on bots, conversations and artificial intelligence, but that's exactly what Satya Nadella announced at Build 2016 last night. The Redmond CEO claimed that "we are on the cusp of a new frontier that pairs the power of natural human language with advanced machine intelligence". Microsoft wants to bring conversation into so many places that it becomes the next stage of the GUI; "we want to take the power of human language and apply it more pervasively to all computing interfaces," Nadella said. Conversations as a Platform, as Microsoft calls it, envisions a world where you ask Cortana to block out the week you'll be at a conference in your calendar and she tags in the bot from your favourite hotel to book a room for the right dates. This bot, by the way, already knows what kind of room you prefer, and suggests a message to send to a friend who lives nearby letting them know when you'll be in town.