Microsoft has released an AI toolkit that allows enterprises to create their very own virtual assistants. Companies can use the Azure Bot Service to design customized conversational assistants that match their brands.
The company has been making heavy investments in this highly dynamic space.
And the results are showing.
The new Bot Framework is part of the Azure Bot Service, and is billed as a solution accelerator for digital assistants. It is an open source technology that provides a set of common foundations when developing digital assistant, and can be integrated with any device ecosystem.
In other words, the bots are both cloud and hardware agnostic, which can only be a good thing.
Redmond says that this toolkit is intended to help democratize artificial intelligence, and has found that enterprises are keen to introduce their own branded bot services. But they often lack the technical expertise to do so.
These prebuilt components reduce the learning curve, and allows organizations to easily deploy their own conversational interfaces.
Lili Cheng, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Artificial Intelligence and Research Group:
“We believe all organizations should have the ability to build branded virtual assistants. We have taken best practices developed while working with partners to develop their own assistants and, in continuing with Microsoft’s open source approach for bot development, have made this solution accelerator for virtual assistants available on GitHub, allowing for full control over the end user experience built on a set of foundational capabilities.”
The toolkit is comprised of an array of components that are available for common assistance services like onboarding, emailing and device control. Specialized features like automatic deployment of Azure resources and the ability to create third-party skills that can be plugged into assistants are also in.
Impressively, Microsoft has said that over 360,000 have already registered to use its Azure Bot Service, and many are creating specialized enterprise-grade bots.
The company offers developers access to the Virtual Assistant Toolkit here.