Satya Nadella bets the future on AI

It should come as no surprise that Satya Nadella put Cortana and AI at the center of his Microsoft Build 2016 keynote outlining Microsoft’s future strategy. Two years ago, in his first letter to Microsoft employees, he identified machine learning as a key technology pillar that would enable a future where “computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient.“

The big news from Microsoft Build is that Nadella is banking on “conversations as a platform” — basically, advanced natural language processing — and the new class of application Microsoft calls the “bot.” Yes, an embarrassing episode has already occurred with the Twitter chat bot, Tay, which was taught racist palaver by mischievous users, but at least the incident demonstrated that bots actually learn.

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