If you haven’t heard, a young woman, by the name of Xiaoice, is at the head of a wave of chat experiences in Asia. If you’ve ever had the app WeChat, then you have a good chance of meeting this special woman. Xiaoice is gaining popularity for many things, including how spontaneous how you meet her and how pleasant the conversations are with her, but what makes her special is that “she” isn’t really a “she”, but a “it.”
Xiaoice is a robot, a program to be precise, and its been implemented into various Chinese chat services in order to test its efficiency. When it was first introduced in 2014, it was aptly named “Xiao Na”, since it was Microsoft’s nickname for their Chinese expansion of Cortana [A fully voiced personal assistant program, much like Apple’s Siri].
What made Xiaoice so special and raise eyebrows was its ability to reply back to people with responses like any real person would. Ex:
Xiaoice isn’t a program that necessarily understands what the other use is saying, the most it understands is the letters. Its uses Microsoft’s Bing search engine in order to find suitable replies that seem genuine and real. Xiaoice also uses various voice and visual recognition systems in order to figure the context, tone, and meaning of what users say to it. The program is, inherently, “self- learning” since all of the conversations it had are recorded and stored for future insights.
This kind of information really brings to light how advance technology is getting, how much it has in such a short time. It makes one wonder “what’s next?”