Is artificial intelligence and conversational computing the next great frontier in IT? Microsoft believes so; the company is bullish on AI and is doubling down on opportunities it sees for the technology.

At an event in San Francisco, Microsoft paraded a multitude of technologies focusing on bots, the Cortana personal digital assistant, and application development in these realms. “Our goal here is democratizing AI so that we make AI available for everyone,” including developers, consumers, and businesses, said Harry Shum, executive vice president in Microsoft’s AI and Research Group.

The company officially introduced its Zo chatbot, an AI-driven, English-speaking conversation partner that is a follow-up to Tay, which had been contorted into misuse and abuse. More than 115,000 people have already been using Zo, according to Microsoft.

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