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As it aims to grow higher in the field of artificial intelligence, Microsoft has announced its acquisition of Semantics Machines. The team at the Californian AI specialists previously worked on the development of the software that powers digital assistant Siri (Apple) and Google Now ( Google Assistant’s predecessor).

Microsoft plans to leverage Semantics Machines’ expertise in speech recognition, language processing and understanding, and voice control in its new conversational AI center of excellence in Berkeley in particular to push forward the language boundaries of its digital assistant Cortana and social chatbots such as Xiaoice. Its explicit aim is to develop human-machine interaction closer to natural dialog – until users of Cortana, Xiaoice , and co. simply no longer realize they’re speaking to a machine.