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Microsoft has made an undisclosed financial investment in Builder.ai, a startup that assists companies in creating applications without requiring coding expertise. This move reinforces Microsoft’s commitment to artificial intelligence (AI) advancements. Builder.ai, established in 2017 and based in London, belongs to the category of startups that offer “no-code” and “low-code” platforms. Their software empowers individuals ranging from non-tech-savvy artists seeking to sell their work online to design professionals with limited programming knowledge to develop and manage applications.
In a strategic partnership, Microsoft intends to integrate Builder.ai’s AI assistant, Natasha, into its Teams video and chat software. This integration will enable customers to build business applications directly within the Teams platform. Additionally, Builder.ai plans to enhance Natasha’s capabilities by leveraging Microsoft’s AI algorithms to make her communication more human-like.
By collaborating with Microsoft, Builder.ai and its clients will gain access to Microsoft’s suite of cloud tools known as Azure, which includes a range of AI services offered through a partnership with U.S. startup OpenAI. Furthermore, developers using the Microsoft Azure platform will have the opportunity to leverage Builder.ai’s network of experts.
“We’re all convinced that the future of software is going to be where the customer doesn’t need to be technical,” Duggal told CNBC in an interview. “What we’re really doing is bringing together a world where customers are able to build software, run software, host software.”
“For Microsoft, it opens up not only a brand new customer that’s become digital native, but somebody that’s coming on to the Azure Cloud, where that building of the software is leveraging core parts of the Microsoft stack, as well as the Builder stack. So I think from that perspective, it’s really quite holistic. And the mission really is to empower the next 100 million software applications.”
Jon Tinter, corporate vice president of business development at Microsoft, said the deal marked “an extension of our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
“We see Builder.ai creating an entirely new category that empowers everyone to be a developer and our new, deeper collaboration fueled by Azure AI will bring the combined power of both companies to businesses around the world,” Tinter said in a statement.
Microsoft has significantly increased its investments in artificial intelligence (AI) by investing a reported $13 billion in OpenAI, the company responsible for the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT. As part of this investment, Microsoft has integrated OpenAI’s AI language processing software into its Bing search engine and Office productivity applications.
This move highlights Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to expand its presence in the field of AI, which has become a crucial focus for the company. Microsoft aims to establish itself as a leader in AI technology and strengthen its competition with Google, another major technology giant, particularly in the search domain.
Google, which is owned by Alphabet, has also made substantial investments in AI. It has developed its own language processing model called LaMDA, aiming to make digital entities more conversational and human-like. Google has also introduced a competitor to ChatGPT called Bard.
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Microsoft already offers its own set of tools for developing applications without coding (no-code). By partnering with Builder.ai, Microsoft aims to further enhance its capabilities in this area.
For Builder.ai, a crucial aspect of the deal is the endorsement from Microsoft, the world’s second-most valuable technology company, as stated by Duggal.