Microsoft has released its newest artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, Zo, in Kik messenger.
The AI chatbot is the successor of the company’s bot, Tay, which was forced to shut down recently due to racist and sexist comments.
Zo is built on the same technology that powers Microsoft’s other chatbots in China and Japan, Xiaoice and Rinna.
The chatbot learns from human interactions to respond emotionally and intelligently, offering a viewpoint, in addition to manners and emotional expressions.
The tech giant notes that Zo has guards in place to prevent exploitation. The chatbot has already held conversations with more than 100,000 people in the US.
More than 5,000 users have so far had over an hour-long conversation with Zo, which holds Microsoft’s longest continual chatbot conversation.
Microsoft plans to bring Zo to other social and conversational channels like Skype and
Facebook Messenger in the future.
Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Research group executive vice president Harry Shum said: “It’s a very personal experience.
“We’re really moving from a world where we have to understand computers to a world where they will understand us and our intent, from machine-centric to human-centric, from perceptive to cognitive and from rational to emotional.”
Microsoft has been accelerating its work on several AI-related fronts including digital assistants, conversational computing/bots, cognitive services and expansion of intelligence tools.
The company is offering the Bot Framework and all of its tools, cloud services and data, allowing developers and customers to build and experiment together with Microsoft technology.
More than 145 million people across 13 countries are using Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant Cortana, which works across mobile platforms, and in email via the new Calendar.help service.
The company is working with partners across a range of device categories to integrate Cortana into their connected devices.