Microsoft makes Azure Bot Service generally available for developers

By | December 14th, 2017
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Today, the company made generally available the Microsoft Azure Bot

Service and Microsoft Cognitive Language Understanding service (known as



Conversational AI allows humans to have a conversation with a bot, such as an online chat or in a chat tool like Facebook Messenger or Kik. The customer asks a question, and if it’s routine, the bot can answer it in a natural conversational manner that feels like you’re talking to a human — at least that’s the theory.

Microsoft has created a whole set of tools for developers to create their bots, including the Bot Framework and Cognitive Services. Cheng says Microsoft has designed the bot framework to be as flexible as possible.

When you combine the bot building tools with the LUIS language understanding tool, you get what should be a powerful combination. The latter helps the bot understand and parse the query to deliver the correct answer (and understand related queries).

Cheng said more than 200,000 developers have signed up for the Bot service, and they currently have 33,000 active bots in areas like retail, healthcare, financial services and insurance. Companies building bots with the Microsoft tools include Molson Coors, UPS and Sabre.


Nisheeth Bhakuni