Tech giant Microsoft has acquired artificial intelligence (AI)-based scheduling service Genee that simplifies the scheduling and rescheduling of large group meetings for companies.
Microsoft will integrate the AI technology into Office 365 before shutting down Genee.
"Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Genee, an artificial-intelligence-powered scheduling service," said Rajesh Jha, Corporate Vice President, Outlook and Office 365, in a Facebook post.
Co-founders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee, who plan to join Microsoft, started Genee in 2014 to simplify the time-consuming task of scheduling (and rescheduling) meetings.
"It's especially useful for large groups and for when you don't have access to someone's calendar," Jha added.
Genee uses natural language processing and optimised decision-making algorithms so that interacting with a virtual assistant is just like interacting with a human one.
Let us see how Genee works, he said.
"Say you want to meet a potential customer, Diana, for coffee. Simply send an email to Diana and copy Genee, like you would a personal assistant," Jha noted.
Genee understands that you want to "find a time to meet with Diana for coffee next week" and will streamline the process by emailing her directly with appropriate options that work with your calendar and preferences.
Genee will even send out the meeting invite on your behalf -- freeing up your time.
"As we continue to build new Office 365 productivity capabilities and services our customers value, I'm confident the Genee team will help us further our ambition to bring intelligence into every digital experience," Jha added.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.