Azure Bot Service has new features for developers making conversational AI experiences in the cloud. In all, near 100 new features are being released in areas of language understanding, bots, speech, and translation, said Microsoft AI and Research VP Lili Cheng, who runs divisions responsible for Microsoft Cognitive Services and the bot framework.

Azure Bot Service gives developers tools to build, test, and deploy bots made for Facebook Messenger, Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other chat apps. The Azure Bot Service relies on BotBuilder SDKs and the Microsoft Bot Framework.

Updates made today mean developers can now make bots with Azure Bot Service using Python as well as Java, JavaScript, and C#.

Other updates today:

  • QnAMaker, a service to make bots use more conversational language, is now in general availability.
  • Project Conversation Learner provides a way to teach a bot how to respond based on past interactions or examples.
  • Project Personality Chat, which imbues bots with small talk capabilities, is also available today.

The Azure Bot Service launched in November 2016 and was made available out of beta alongside Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) in December 2017.

 Bots made with the Azure Bot Service are automatically added to the Microsoft Bot Directory.

The news was announced at the Microsoft developer conference Build being held May 7-9 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.

A Speech Devices SDK, a $25 million fund to use AI to improve the lives of people with disabilities, the release of Project Brainwave on Azure for extremely fast AI, and partnerships with Qualcomm and drone maker DJI were also announced today.

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