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Zo is a social chatbot built with the same technology as Japanese “Rin” and “Xiaolce” in China. It has already “talked” with over 100,000 people in the United States. The length of the conversation which is reported to be recorded the longest is 1229 interactions of 9 hours 53 minutes, with the company’s chatbot so far. It will appear in Skype and Facebook Messenger in future.

Image Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has officially announced the latest chatbot “Zo.ai”. In addition, they have released a new AI website that contains information on various AI-related projects.

Reports suggest that Microsoft provided “Kik” users prior access to Zo. Zo is a replacement for Microsoft’s “Tay.ai” that ended in failure. In 2016, immediately after Tay’s publication, the company stopped Tay in response to the user inducing racial discrimination and hate remarks on the same chatbot. Users noticed last week that Zo is much more restrictive than Tay, but it is not surprising given that Tay went so soon after publication.

Microsoft officials said that, in the United States Zo.ai has already reached 115,000 users in just one week after unofficial private release. The name “Tay” does not appear in the company’s announcement but seems to be a secure bot, based on the failure.

Also on the same day, Microsoft unveiled a news site for AI. It is intended to consolidate the latest links, resources, and updates on the company’s various AI related products and services in one place.

Chatbot

“Chatbot” is a phrase in which “Chat” and “Bot” are words (“chatbot” or “chatterbot”). A bot is an abbreviation for “robot”, a program that automatically executes work. A chatbot is a program that automatically talks through text and voice. Also known as “artificial nonencephalon” or “artificial insensitivity”.

Chat:

Microsoft Zo

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Hangout:

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Play:

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Calender.help

Microsoft also released a preview of the new “Calendar.help”. Calendar.help is a function that enhances the convenience of Personal Digital Assistant “Cortana” with respect to the scheduling of meetings. This new feature incorporates initiatives such as AI scheduling start-up company Genee, which Microsoft acquired in August.

In an AI-related event held in San Francisco, Microsoft unveiled demonstration of a bot that can cooperate with “Microsoft Teams” developed against Slack. The bot, known as “WhoBot”, is designed so that the user can identify someone based on the user’s written document or the content of the conversation. According to Microsoft officials, Skype can now offer chatbots through the public release of the “Skype Calling API “.

Microsoft also announced new Cortana Skills Kit and Cortana Devices software development kit (SDK). It provides advance access to the latest artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot “Zo.ai” for users of the message application “Kik”.

Microsoft Zo

Zo is the successor to “Tay.ai” chatbot, which Microsoft stopped publishing in a short time in March. Tay was induced to speak racially and hatefully by the user and was forced to stop. About this time Zo, MSPowerUser.com reported that the preview is published in the blog post on December 4th, 2017.

The Kik users who tried the preview version of Zo noticed that at this time, Microsoft has severely restricted its latest chatbot. Perhaps to prevent the rampage like the previous Tay. One topic Zo does not want to talk about is “politics”.

Microsoft has no plan to offer Zo on “Skype” and other networks.

Tay developed by Microsoft’s technology and research team and “Bing” team, targetting users aged 18-24. The Bing team has developed a conversation bot “Xiaoice” for China before, and the company called it “a sister of Cortana”. Twitter, Snapchat, Kik and GroupMe used to offer Tay before Microsoft terminated it.

Image Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft announced the social chatbot “Zo” on December 13, 2017.  Anyone can use Zo with Kik’s chat application “Kik”.

The relationship** between chatbot and artificial intelligence**

Since 2011, companies have begun commercial use of artificial intelligence (AI) related technology.

  • IBM Watson (2011)
  • Siri (2011)
  • Google Now (2012)
  • Microsoft Cortana (2014)

With these commercialized artificial intelligence services, it is possible to recognize text, voice, and patterns through the cloud using huge amounts of data. As a result, the users realize the function “artificial intelligence”. Under current artificial intelligence, it is difficult to understand “meaning of the language” and “understanding and reading context”.

Artificial intelligence and learning

As an approach of artificial intelligence, “machine learning” including “deep learning” are the current prevailing techniques. Both of them need “learning data” and “teacher data” which are the basis of output. The algorithm generates the data itself or by capturing artificially created data. However, there are restrictions for the current artificial intelligence to learn and be smart by itself.

For more news related to Microsoft’s efforts in the field of artificial intelligence, keep following Xormeta!

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