After taking its Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana to China last month, Bing announced today the launch of XiaoIce (“little ice”), a Chinese-speaking social assistant chatbot for Windows Phone users.
According to the announcement on Bing’s search blog, XiaoIce’s technology is far beyond a normal chatbot.
XiaoIce is a sophisticated conversationalist with a distinct personality. She can chime into a conversation with context-specific facts about things like celebrities, sports, or finance, but she also has empathy and a sense of humor…Like a friend, she can carry on extended conversations that can reach hundreds of exchanges in length.
The announcement goes on to say that XiaoIce is designed to use sentiment analysis, allowing it to adapt phrasing and responses based on human interactions. Bing said the team that developed XiaoIce indexed over seven-million Chinese conversations online to ensure it sounded natural, idiomatic and human.
According to Bing, XiaoIce can be added as a friend on several of China’s major social platforms, including Weibo and Touchpal.
After releasing a beta of XiaoIce last month, Bing claimed it was downloaded more than 20,000 times and is already ranked as Weibo’s top influencer with more than 850,000 followers on the popular Chinese social network.
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