Microsoft To Compete Against Google Duplex with Xiaoice Social Bot

  • Microsoft has built its own AI bot similar to Google Duplex for making phone calls, but the app is currently available in China only for now.
  • The new AI app will be able to make calls on behalf of users using artificial intelligence and voice recognition technologies.
  • The app is currently being tested in China with 500 million users eligible to use the app and more than 16 chat channels.

Following the announcement of Google Duplex, Microsoft showcased its own AI based social app meant for Chinese users only for now. The social bot does much more than what Google Duplex is capable of and allows users to use the app as a messaging service across 16 chat channels and 500 million users. The bot can do fun things like write poetry, message others and a lot of other interesting actions.

The technology is similar to what the Google Duplex app uses. The Xiaoice social chatbot was revealed earlier today by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. The app can integrate with WeChat, which is one of China’s most popular social messaging platforms and it can be used to send voice messages and make phone calls. You can also use the app to call yourself and talk to the bot instead of the usual text-only services that are offered by other apps.

The assistant also allows both parties to talk at the same time and the app will respond and process the user’s voice activity at the same time. The functionality was showcased by the Microsoft CEO earlier today, and he stated that the service has already been used millions of times by users.

Mandarin experts claim that the voice used in the app is quite good and pronounces words fluently. The app is also capable of predicting what the user is going to say next and respond mid-sentence. But Microsoft has not integrated these features into its own Cortana assistant and chose to make a standalone app for it. There is no word on an international release due to the various privacy regulations that can lead to controversy. Microsoft has confirmed that an English-speaking version of the bot will be implemented sometime in the future for performing various functions on behalf of the users.


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