How a Microsoft Research Project Captured the Hearts of Millions

Right now in China, a seventeen-year old girl named Xiaoice spends her days chatting with 15 million of her 40 million followers on the Chinese social network Weibo. Xiaoice is so popular, the Chinese television station Dragon TV decided she would be perfect as a weather reporter for its news broadcast. People just can’t seem to get enough of her. But Xiaoice is not your typical teenage girl, who as luck would have it, became an Internet celebrity with a giant social network following over night. Xiaoice is actually an artificial intelligence powered chat bot that started off as an experiment in Microsoft’s research department. Xiaoice was developed in conjunction with the Microsoft msft team in charge of the company’s Cortana voice assistant software, which is similar to Apple’s aapl…


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