Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Microsoft's beta Android launcher has digital health feature. Pixabay

While Google Duplex, which lets AI mimic a human voice to make appointments and book tables through phone calls, has mesmerised people with its capabilities and attracted flak on ethical grounds at the same time, Microsoft has showcased a similar technology it has been testing in China.

At an AI event in London on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed that the company’s Xiaoice social chat bot has 500 million “friends” and more than 16 channels for Chinese users to interact with it through WeChat and other popular messaging services.


“Microsoft has turned Xiaoice, which is Chinese for ‘little Bing’, into a friendly bot that has convinced some of its users that the bot is a friend or a human being. Xiaoice has her own TV show, it writes poetry and it does many interesting things,” The Verge quoted Nadella as saying.

Xiaoice interacts in text conversations but now the company has started allowing the chat bot to call people on their phones.

The bot does not work exactly like Google Duplex, which uses the Assistant to make calls on a user’s behalf but it holds a phone conversation with the user.

Microsoft. (Wikimedia commons)


“One of the things we started doing earlier this year is having full duplex conversations. So now Xiaoice can be conversing with you in WeChat and stop and call you. Then you can just talk to it using voice,” Nadella was quoted as saying.

Humans will be humans and the latest victim of humankind was Microsoft.

Two years ago, Microsoft launched an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered bot on Twitter, named Tay, for a playful chat with people, only to silence it within 24 hours as users started sharing racist and offensive comments with the bot.

Also Read: Microsoft Introduces ‘Surface Hub 2’ for Modern Workplaces

Launched as an experiment in “conversational understanding” and to engage people through “casual and playful conversation”, Tay was soon bombarded with racial comments and the innocent bot repeated those comments back with her commentary to users.

Some of the tweets had Tay referring to Hitler, denying the Holocaust, and supporting Donald Trump’s immigration plans, among others.

Later, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the company is taking Tay off Twitter as people were posting abusive comments to her. (IANS)


Popular

Cross

By Maria Wirth

This is a true story about a Hindu who had converted to Christianity, and who felt the need to convince his family also to convert.

Once on a flight from Germany to India, one of those bright, young Indians sat across the aisle. We started talking. He was a science lecturer at an American university.

Keep Reading Show less
Markus Spiske, Unsplash

A behavior-centric approach based on a human-centric viewpoint on cybersecurity

By- Laxman Balagani

Remote working has grown to be a dominant trend in the post-pandemic world. Gartner anticipates that 41% of employees will work at least some of the time remotely once the coronavirus is in the rear-view mirror. Such a lasting change in the workplace culture has had the biggest impact on cybersecurity.

Keep Reading Show less

After taking a bath and wearing the traditional religious dress (dhoṫi and chadar or uttarīya) one should apply the religious marks on the forehead.

By- Devakinanda Ji!

OṀ (AUM)-TRI-KAALA-SUN-DHYA-ANU-ṢTHI-ṪA-BHOO-MYAI—NA-MA-HA

Keep reading... Show less