Microsoft buys AI startup to make Cortana sound less like a robot

Microsoft has acquired AI startup Semantic Machines in a move that could eventually bring more human-sounding responses to its digital assistant, Cortana, and chatbots.

The Berkeley-based startup boasts a number of AI luminaries, including Apple’s former chief speech scientist Larry Gillick, and attracted the attention of Microsoft thanks to its developments in machine learning that allow AI bots to understand and engage in natural conversation.

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