'The bots are coming' - Microsoft

BBC News

Microsoft has unveiled a new system of bots that can represent businesses and interact with users via Skype. Social bots are automated programs that can chat to users in a humanlike way. As part of the Build developer conference, Microsoft also revealed updates to digital assistant Cortana, which can interact with bots on the user's behalf. Cortana will now function across various devices and operating systems, like Android and iOS. The tech giant also announced a Skype app for its HoloLens headset.


Microsoft pitches smart chats with computers (Update)

#artificialintelligence

Microsoft wants you to talk more with your computer--and have more useful conversations. The giant software company is promoting new uses for Cortana--its voice-activated answer to Apple's Siri digital assistant--including the ability to interact with software "bots" that can have limited conversations with users and help with tasks like booking a hotel room, ordering a meal or arranging a delivery. Voice-activated services like Siri, "OK Google," or Amazon's Alexa can already perform tasks for users like playing a song at a request or answering a question. Bots are smarter than traditional software apps, though, using artificial intelligence to respond to a wider range of commands and in a convenient, conversational way. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, at the opening Wednesday of the company's annual conference for software developers, touted the power of "conversational intelligence" as he outlined a long-term vision in which Cortana, a central feature of Windows 10, becomes a digital concierge for other online interactions.


Microsoft opens up HoloLens platform to rivals, developers

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

USA TODAY's Marco Della Cava demonstrates how Microsoft's augmented reality headset shows how one day we may only interact with digital content in holographic form. Microsoft executives gathered to show off the company's HoloLens, a venture into augmented reality goggles that is expected to be one of the VR/AR stars of 2016. SAN FRANCISCO -- Augmented reality technology took one step closer to the mainstream Wednesday when Microsoft said it would open its Windows-based holographic platform to developers and rival device manufacturers. "We built our HoloLens (headset) to push the limits of mixed reality," Terry Myerson, who runs Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, told USA TODAY in an interview a few hours before unveiling the news at the Computex technology trade show in Taipei. "Now we're looking to unlock opportunities for the ecosystem."


Microsoft opens up Windows holographic platform to developers, rivals

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Microsoft executives gathered to show off the company's HoloLens, a venture into augmented reality goggles that is expected to be one of the VR/AR stars of 2016. USA TODAY's Marco Della Cava demonstrates how Microsoft's augmented reality headset shows how one day we may only interact with digital content in holographic form. SAN FRANCISCO - Mixed-reality technology took one step closer to the mainstream Wednesday with word that Microsoft's Windows-based holographic platform will open up to developers as well as rival device manufacturers. "We built our HoloLens (headset) to push the limits of mixed reality," Terry Myerson, who runs Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, told USA TODAY in an interview a few hours before unveiling the news at the Computex technology trade show in Taipei. "Now we're looking to unlock opportunities for the ecosystem."


Star Wars-style moving holograms are here: Microsoft shows how HoloLens can bring distant family members into your home

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Microsoft's HoloLens is bringing Star Wars style holographic communication a step closer to reality. A recent Microsoft Research video shows how the 3000 augmented reality system can be used to transmit 3D models of people anywhere in the world for face-to-face communication. These 3D holograms are interactive and operate in real time, allowing users to feel as though they're in the same room, even if they're thousands of miles apart. Microsoft's HoloLens is taking huge steps in bringing teleportation closer to reality. In the video, Partner Research Manager Shahram Izadi demonstrates how this technology works.