Microsoft has bought Artificial Intelligence app Genee capable of acting as a digital personal assistant to schedule meetings.. The start-up, which was founded in 2014, will shut down its service on September 1. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by Genee founders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee, who will join Microsoft.
Scheduling meetings can often involve a lot of back and forth over emails, something Genee solved with its solution.
Genne is competent to do this because it uses natural language processing, according to the company.
A user sends an email to the person they wanted to set up a meeting with and copy in Genee, like a personal assistant. Genee claims to understand the details of the meeting, including the date and location of the meeting. The app then emails the recipient directly with options that fit the user’s calendar and preferences.
Computers traditionally found it hard to understand normal language, but improvements in AI have now made it possible. So Genee can understand if you want a coffee or lunch, and can also make sense of the time of day you’d like it.
Major tech firms are focusing on bolstering the capabilities of their digital personal assistants. Genee’s expertise could be used to improve capabilities of Microsoft’s Cortana as it competes with the likes of Google Now and Apple’s Siri.
The acquisition of Genee adds more benefit to Microsoft, particularly in the productivity and artificial intelligence space, which major technology giants focus on.