What Microsoft’s New Chatbot, Zo, Means for Your Business



What the New Microsoft Chatbot, Zo, Means for Your Small Business

There’s a new chatbot in town.

Zo is the latest in Microsoft’s efforts to evolve AI. The company wants to create conversational AI that not only takes the informational side into account, but also the emotional side. In other words, it wants to create an experience that mimics that of talking to an actual person.



Introducing the Latest Microsoft Chatbot, Zo

That’s where Zo comes in. The new chatbot is currently chatting with users on Kik. And you can also request an invite to be one of the first to chat with Zo on other platforms like Skype and Facebook Messenger.

Zo is a social chatbot. So she combs through the social content of the internet and learns from human interactions. That means that when you ask a question or make a statement, she can respond in a way that actually takes emotions and other nuances into account, rather than just giving you a stiff answer of only facts.

For businesses, this technology could have some interesting applications. In fact, the company is providing the Bot Framework and all of its tools, cloud services and data to developers and customers. So you can experiment with the technology and potentially even build a framework of your own to support various business related functions.

For example, the bank of Kochi in Japan is currently developing a receptionist bot to handle certain communications and customer inquiries. And Australia’s Department of Human Services is creating a system to help its employees respond faster and more efficiently to customer inquiries.



Since bots can quickly process and deliver information, it’s a concept that certainly could help businesses get more efficient in a number of different areas. You could potentially use the technology to respond to brief customer information requests, monitor production within your organization or even improve internal communications.

Currently, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) says that more than 67,000 developers are using its Bot Framework. So it’s only a matter of time before we see even more innovative uses and ideas for this type of technology.

Image: Microsoft Comment ▼



Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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