Ever since its beta launch two years ago, x.ai's "Amy Ingram" virtual assistant has been scheduling meetings through Google Calendar. Now, the bot -- along with her gender opposite, Andrew Ingram -- can work with Office 365 and Outlook.com, bringing the promise of automated scheduling to a vastly broader audience.
“We knew from the start that enabling Amy and Andrew to work across the Outlook.com and Office 365 calendars would be one of the first things we did once we had trained the machine to schedule meetings nearly autonomously,” said Dennis Mortensen, x.ai's founder and CEO.
The wider reach means x.ai can now target its beta service at a potential 90 million U.S. knowledge workers, the company reckons, who schedule roughly 10 billion meetings a year. The technology is due out of beta this fall.
X.ai says early customers have included small business owners, product managers, salespeople, marketers, designers, and teachers.
To put the technology to work, users type an email and cc email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, and the bot takes over the job of scheduling a meeting. Behind the scenes are machine learning, neural networks and other artificial-intelligence techniques.
Earlier this year, x.ai took in a fresh $23 million in funding, bringing its total to almost $35 million.
Also on Wednesday, Outlook users gained an add-in from Starbucks, making it possible to send a gift card via email from within the Microsoft software.