Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Genee, an artificial-intelligence-powered scheduling service. 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.

Genee uses natural language processing and optimized decision-making algorithms so that interacting with a virtual assistant is just like interacting with a human one. For an example of how Genee works, let’s take a look at a common scheduling problem. 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. 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. A coffee meeting scheduled in a snap!

"I’m excited to welcome the Genee team to Microsoft. 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," said Rajesh Jha, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, Outlook and Office 365.

The Genee service will shut down on September 1, 2016. While Genee will no longer send you useful reminders and agendas from your calendar, all existing calendar entries created by Genee will remain. "We thank all of you who participated in Genee's private and public betas. The Genee team will take the valuable experiences and lessons that you taught us to Microsoft, where we’ll continue to build amazing next generation intelligent experiences.


We consider Microsoft to be the leader in personal and enterprise productivity, AI, and virtual assistant technologies, so we look forward to bringing our passion and expertise to a team that is committed to delivering cutting-edge language and intelligence services," said Genee's Co-founders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee.

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