Microsoft employees built the bot in a philanthropic initiative called Project Intercept, in collaboration with nonprofits that hope it can reduce demand for sex workers, and the incentives for criminals to coerce people into the sex trade.The technology is not a product of Microsoft itself.

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The National Human Trafficking Hotline received more than 5,000 reports of sex trafficking in 2016, but most cases are believed to go unreported.

Project Intercept’s lead partner, Seattle Against Slavery, is working with counterparts in 21 other U. cities, including Boston and Houston, to deploy the bot more widely.

This bot can bring up your latest bank balance or tell you how much you're paying in fees or instantly wire money across the 'net.

"We're doing things you can't do as quickly in other ways," says Dror Oren, Kasisto's vice president of product. All of which makes it a great way of deconstructing the tech world's ever growing obsession with "chatbots."In recent months, some of the Internet biggest names have put their weight behind this big idea, including Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

In China, so many people use We Chat, a popular messaging app, to interact with other online services.

This is how they hail a car or make a plane reservation.That's not the best way to tackle a more comprehensive style of natural language understanding designed to handle any conversation—the style Facebook and Google are reaching for—but it can work quite well for a banking bot.That said, natural language understanding is only part of what's needed to make My Kai work.It doesn't realize that some of that 9.83 went to fruit and pastries because it's just looking for the word coffee in each payment record.The bigger picture is beyond the bot because it's beyond my bank data.This bot is called My Kai, and it's the brainchild of Kasisto, a startup that spun out of the Silicon Valley research lab that helped create Siri, the talking digital assistant that comes with the Apple i Phone.