Microsoft pitches ‘intelligent’ conversations with computers


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Microsoft wants people to have more intelligent conversations with their computers.

The giant software company is promoting new tools for software developers to build intelligent “bots” or commercial programs that will work with Cortana, its voice-activated digital assistant, to perform tasks like booking a hotel room, ordering a meal or arranging a delivery.

Microsoft recently shut down an experimental messaging bot after some Twitter users taught it to make offensive statements. CEO Satya Nadella said the episode showed the importance of designing technology to be “inclusive and respectful.”

Nadella touted the power of “conversational” computing at the company’s annual Build conference for software developers in San Francisco, where Microsoft also announced some updates to its flagship Windows 10 software.