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Question answering

Distill information into conversational, easy-to-navigate answers.

Quickly create a conversational layer over your data

Create a conversational question-and-answer layer over your existing data with question answering, an Azure Cognitive Service for Language feature. Build a knowledge base by adding unstructured documents or extracting questions and answers from your semi-structured content, including FAQ, manuals, and documents. Get the best answers from the questions and answers in your knowledge base—automatically. Your knowledge base gets smarter, too, as it continually learns from user behavior.

Automatic question-answer extraction from semi-structured content, including FAQ, product manuals, guidelines, support documents, and policies

Knowledge base with suggestions for alternative questions. Add or reject them based on their relevance

Complex multiturn conversations can be easily created, edited, and trained in the new language studio or REST APIs

Bots can be created and published without code experience. Simply upload a semi-structured document or URL

Add personality to your bot using chit-chat

Make your bot more conversational by adding a pre-populated chit-chat dataset. Choose a persona that’s professional, witty, friendly, caring, or enthusiastic.

A user selecting a professional chit-chat personality

Support rich data and dynamically manage content

Add rich content to your knowledge base with built-in rich text editor. Use Markdown’s full capability to author answers directly or upload a knowledge base that includes rich content.

Scale to meet your business and compliance needs

Question answering is a hosted model. Choose product tiers according to your size and throughput needs, and feel confident knowing all components are within your Azure compliance boundary.

Leverage both custom and prebuilt capabilities

Use custom question answering to edit information extracted from the source content, define synonyms and metadata, accept question suggestions, and more. Use prebuilt question answering to extract relevant answers from a given passage of text without having the need to create knowledge bases nor manage additional storage.

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Comprehensive security and compliance, built in

  • Microsoft invests more than $1 billion annually on cybersecurity research and development.

  • We employ more than 3,500 security experts who are dedicated to data security and privacy.

  • Azure has more certifications than any other cloud provider. View the comprehensive list.

Create a knowledge base

Easily add your existing data sources when creating a knowledge base from FAQ pages, product manuals, and other semi-structured or unstructured documents.

Basic information such as name, description and source language being captured for a new project using Question answering

Test and deploy a knowledge base

Test your knowledge base through an enhanced chat interface, and then iterate to improve the accuracy of your responses. After thorough testing, deploy your knowledge base to make it available as a question-answering endpoint to a client application.
A chat bot being tested based on its response to the prompt “I am exhausted

Create a bot

After publishing the knowledge base, create a conversational bot and get started.

A conversational bot being deployed

Create a feedback loop

Use active learning to improve the quality of your knowledge base. Generate alternative questions based on user submissions. Review those suggestions and add or reject them based on their relevance.

Suggestions for a bot being reviewed and added
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Get started with an Azure free account


Start free. Get $200 credit to use within 30 days. While you have your credit, get free amounts of many of our most popular services, plus free amounts of 55+ other services that are always free.


After your credit, move to pay as you go to keep building with the same free services. Pay only if you use more than your free monthly amounts.


After 12 months, you'll keep getting 55+ always-free services—and still pay only for what you use beyond your free monthly amounts.

See how trusted companies are using question answering, a feature of Language service

Spanish telco builds digital assistant

"Using Bot Service and Cognitive Services, such as Language Understanding and the Azure QnA Maker API, made it easy for our developers to put an advanced, conversational experience in the hands of our customers very fast."

Antonio Guzman Head of Innovation, Aura, Telefonica


Insurance shoppers engage with AI chatbot

"By using Azure Bot Service and Cognitive Services, such as Language Understanding and QnA Maker, we've been able to continue our own Progressive journey of digital innovation, and do it in an agile, fast, and cost-effective way."

Matt White Marketing Manager, Personal Lines Acquisition Experience, Progressive Insurance

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Documentation and resources

Explore code samples

Customization resources

Frequently asked questions about question answering

  • Question answering introduces several new features including enhanced relevance using a deep learning ranker, support for unstructured documents as a data source, ability to generate precise answers, and end-to-end region support.

  • All delete operations within question answering are permanent, including question-and-answer pairs, files, URLs, knowledge bases, and Azure resources. Be certain to export your knowledge base before deleting any part of it.

  • Follow the instructions in the documentation to create a bot with question answering.

  • Question answering supports multiple languages. Create a knowledge base in multiple languages in a single language resource.

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