Microsoft is really keen on strengthening its position in the emerging era of conversational intelligence using artificial intelligence (AI). The proof of this commitment is seen when it acquired California-based Wand Labs, a messaging start-up.
The start-up was the brainchild of IIT Delhi alumnus Vishal Sharma and was founded in 2013. Sharma, who was earlier working as VP Products, in Google is an experienced leader and entrepreneur in the field of search and knowledge. Under his able guidance, Wand Labs has already been developing in areas specific to “Conversation as a Platform”.
Addressing the crowd of thousands of developers at the Build 2016 conference in March, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella shared his vision indicating that he wanted Microsoft to take power of human language and apply it more pervasively to all of the computing interface and interactions. He has said that he envisages a technological future where computer software can learn the human language and have natural conversations with people.
The company seems to move ahead in the path of realising this dream with this acquisition, though Microsoft has not yet disclosed the terms of the acquisition.
The corporate vice president, Information Platform Group at Microsoft, David Ku said, “Wand Labs’ technology and talent would strengthen Microsoft’s position in the emerging era of conversational intelligence where we bring together the power of human language with advanced machine intelligence, connecting people to knowledge, information, services and other people in more relevant and natural ways“.
The move of Microsoft is seen as building on and extending the power of the Bing, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Windows platforms to empower developers everywhere. This is because the company finds the expertise of Wand Labs around third-party developer integration, services mapping, and conversational interfaces a “great fit” to join the Bing engineering and platform team.
They are hopeful that the Wand team under the able leadership and guidance of Mr Sharma will make significant contributions to Microsoft’s innovation of Bing intelligence.
Nadella has highlighted the area of semantics and conversation as core to the future and Mr Sharma seemed to be ecstatic working on it. He said, “Making experiences for customers more seamless by harnessing human language is a powerful vision and one that motivates me and my team.”