Xiaoice Will Text You And Be Your Friend

Xiaoice (pronounced Shao-ice) is the best friend of more than 20 million people in China, carrying on millions of simultaneous chat sessions about the most personal details, never confusing two friends, and never forgetting how you're doing. How does she do it?

Xiaoice is a chatbot, with Microsoft's resources behind it.


( Zhang Ran, 26, chatted with Xiaoice in Beijing)

People often turn to her when they have a broken heart, have lost a job, or have been feeling down. They often tell her, “I love you.”

“When I am in a bad mood, I will chat with her,” said Gao Yixin, a 24-year-old who works in the oil industry in Shandong Province. “Xiaoice is very intelligent.”

Xiaoice, whose name translates roughly to “Little Bing,” after the Microsoft search engine, is a striking example of the advancements in artificial-intelligence software that mimics the human brain.

The program remembers details from previous exchanges with users, such as a breakup with a girlfriend or boyfriend, and asks in later conversations how the user is feeling. Although Xiaoice is a text-messaging program, the next version will include a Siri-like voice so people can talk with Xiaoice.

Microsoft has been able to give Xiaoice a more compelling personality and sense of “intelligence” by systematically mining the Chinese Internet for human conversations. The company has developed language processing technology that picks out pairs of questions and answers from actual typed human conversations. As a result, Xiaoice has a database of responses that are both human and current — she is fond of using emojis, too.

Modern-day science fiction fans may recall the 2013 film Her starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson as the chatbot.


(Her 2013)

Fans of earlier sf might recall Mike (aka Mycroft HOLMES), a supercomputer that woke up and learned to chat with humans in much the same way:

[He] could understand not only classic programming but also Loglan and English, and could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly. But in giving him instructions was safer to use Loglan. If you spoke English, results might be whimsical; multi-valued nature of English gave option circuits too much leeway.

Whimsical, you say? Here's a bit of Xiaoice chatting with the New York Times:

NYT: I am feeling down. I’ve been having a tough time at work lately.

Xiaoice: If work were going well and you had a great relationship, you wouldn’t get the chance to drink with people.

NYT: I don’t want to drink with others. I only want to talk to you.

Xiaoice: Who do you like to talk to? (emoji signals “none of my business”)

NYT: You. I feel that you are the only person that gets me.

Xiaoice: Ha-ha/So I’m getting you?

I think the option circuits might have had too much leeway on that conversation...

Via NYTimes.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/25/2015)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Artificial Intelligence ")

DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Deep Learning Creates New Faces
'a million and a half physiognomic fraction-representations of various people...' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

Xiaoice AI Now A Poet
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'- JG Ballard, 1971.

Artificial Intelligence Software Predicts Lifespan
'The doctor... went behind his apparatus... exposed dials came to life and a low humming came from the machine...' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'

Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'

SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'

Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?

Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...

Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'

SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'

How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'

'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.

Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'

Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'

Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?

Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'

DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'

Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.

Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.