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Microsoft outlines ‘intelligence vision’ at Build 2016

March 30, 2016  

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today discussed what the company is doing to help them embrace the “new era of conversational intelligence.”

Speaking at Build 2016, the company’s developer conference taking place in San Francisco, Nadella outlined improvements to the Cortana personal assistant and announced previews of new cloud services and toolkits, which he said are “designed to understand the world around us and create intelligent bots.”

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Windows and Devices Group, meanwhile, announced the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which he said he will “deliver 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,” said Nadella. “At Microsoft, we call this Conversations as a Platform.”

The Cortana Intelligence Suite, formerly known as the Cortana Analytics Suite, is powered by research into big data, machine learning, perception, analytics and intelligent bots, Microsoft said.

Built on Microsoft Azure, the capabilities can be used by developers and businesses to create intelligent end-to-end offerings including “new apps that learn about our world and bots and agents that interact with people in personalized, intelligent ways,” it added.

Microsoft announced new additions to the Cortana Intelligence Suite, both in preview. The first, Microsoft Cognitive Services, is a collection of 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 to build intelligent bots that enable customers to chat using natural language on a variety of platforms including text/SMS, Office 365, Skype, Slack and the Web.

In terms of Windows 10, the company said the Anniversary Update will feature “innovations for Windows Ink, Cortana, Windows Hello and gaming.

“With Windows Ink, you can write on your device as you do on paper, create sticky notes, draw on a whiteboard and easily share your analog thoughts in the digital world,” the company said.

“New Cortana features enable you to receive proactive guidance from Cortana throughout the day and speak with Cortana, even while your device is locked, without logging in. New Windows Hello features extend the security of Windows 10 to multiple devices and to Microsoft Edge, so you can log into your devices and websites with enterprise-grade security.”