• Recently, the US software behemoth said, “Microsoft is shedding its empathetic chatbot Xiaoice into an independent entity.”
  • Microsoft to invest in the development of intelligent chatbot – Xiaoice.

Microsoft is one of the leading tech giants across the globe. Also, a major company in innovative software and technology enhancement that promotes productivity in the modern age. Recently, Microsoft decided to separate its Xiaoice chatbot platform into an independent business. The company announced information on the Chinese website Chuhaipost in June 2020.

The declaration was received several months after Microsoft confirmed it might shut down its voice assistant Cortana in China amongst other nations.

Over the years, Xiaoice is known to possess one of the best intellects in artificial intelligence (AI) and ventured outside China into nations like Indonesia and Japan. Xiaoice is known as the “Little Bing” in Chinese. As per Microsoft, it is used by approximately 660 million people around the world and is connected to about 450 million devices. This six-year-old AI was designed to understand sentiments and emotions. This AI was exclusively used by consumers as well as industries, including real estate and finance. Organizations use Xiaoice to communicate with consumers and keep them engaged on the website. Individuals often chat with Xiaoice for fun.

This AI-based chatbot uses a duplex conversational system to understand the queries of individuals. The chatbot came just a few weeks after Microsoft rolled out Cortana in the country. It is modeled after a teenage girl’s personality that can paint as well as compose poems and songs. Xiaoice performed a song at the recent World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) held in Shanghai. The chatbot now operates in Japan, China, and Indonesia.

Although chatbot Xiaoice will continue to develop its AI under the same name, Microsoft will retain its shares in the new company as it continues to license its technology to a separate firm.

The project has engaged some of the best renowned scientists in the AI sector. Former Microsoft AI Executive Harry Shum will serve as Chairman of Xiaoice; General Manager Li Di will serve as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO); and Chen Zhan, a developer of Japanese chatbot called Rinna, is appointed as the General Manager and will run the Japanese headquarters.

Xiaoice aims to add more social and human elements to chatbots, i.e., in Microsoft words, “she wants to be a user’s friend.”

Like all other leading companies, Microsoft has to deal with China’s censorship. As per the Chinese report, Xiaoice was rejected by Tencent’s instant messenger QQ for giving a politically sensitive speech.

The newfangled firm will hold the right to use the “Rinna” and “Xiaoice” brands, with a goal to further build up its client base across the Greater China region, Indonesia, and Japan. The chatbot has found applications across several areas such as fashion, finance, real estate, and retail, in which it claimed it could “mine context, tonality, and emotions from text to create unique patterns within seconds.”