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 ")

Computers Understand Humans By Watching And Modeling Them
Soon, your computer will be watching you... and judging you.

Pickup Lines From Artificial Intelligences
'They hate us, you know... The humans. They'll stop at nothing.' - Steven Spielberg, 2001.

Artificially Intelligent Poster - Advert That Writes Itself
Oh great, AI now takes over the ad biz.

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1968.

 

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

Bat Bot Robotic Flapping-Wing Drone
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread...'

NASA's Astronaut Rescue Ball
'Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward..'

ARM Wants To Build Brain Chips
'Slivers of microsoft, angular fragments of colored silicon...'

Sky Fence - A Drone-Proof Shield Created Over Prison
'There’s still a protective field over the whole thing. It volatilizes anything that tries to get through.'

Geoengineering The Atmosphere For Climate Change
'...a uniform temperature for each degree of latitude the year round.'

Archinaut Orbiting Robotic Factory
'mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Cryonic Preservation - The Last Perk You'll Ever Need
'Is there not also a law providing for voluntary suspension of animation?'

Computers Understand Humans By Watching And Modeling Them
Soon, your computer will be watching you... and judging you.

NASA Asks For Moon To Earth Delivery Ideas
'Authority's 3-g catapult was almost one hundred kilometers long...'

Musk Tunnels Wisely Restrict Drivers
Too many robots.

Robot Swarms Controlled With Augmented Reality
'You're not thinking in enough dimensions...'

MIT's C-LEARN Helps Robots Transfer Learning To Other Robots
'Talk Between Robots radio...'

Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

Rapid Automated Search For Habitable Planets Needed
'I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.'

WatchSense Perfect For Fat-Fingered Smartwatch Owners
'Now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components...'

Digital Construction Platform Robot 3D Prints A Building
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

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.