Google I/O, the company's major developer conference, is kicking off in a few hours, and already it looks like one of the main events will follow in Microsoft's footsteps: According to The Information, Google will be announcing a chatbot platform of its own.
The platform will reportedly be similar to the ones launched by Facebook and Microsoft, and make it easier for businesses to build customized, AI chatbots that can help customers order products, get support, and get questions answered.
Microsoft's early forays into chat technology have hit some road bumps: A public labs demo, Tay.AI, went off the rail as users trained it to hurl racist invectives and death threats in response to user interaction.
But Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, has insisted that the company will push through that challenge and others that arise. He sees chatbots and digital assistants as a way of leapfrogging the App Stores and mobile platforms of Google and Apple, particularly as he pushes Microsoft from relying on its massive Windows business to be cloud first, mobile first.