Xiaoice

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Xiaoice (Chinese: 微软小冰; pinyin: Wēiruǎn Xiǎobīng; lit. 'Microsoft Little Ice', IPA [wéɪɻwânɕjâʊpíŋ]) is the AI system developed by Microsoft (Asia) Software Technology Center (STCA) in 2014 based on emotional computing framework. In July 2018, Microsoft Xiaoice released the 6th generation.[1][2][3]

Xiaoice Company, formerly known as AI Xiaoice Team of Microsoft Software Technology Center Asia, is Microsoft’s biggest independent R&D team of AI products in the world. Founded in China in December 2013 with an expanded Japanese R&D team established in September 2014, this team is distributed in Beijing, Suzhou, and Tokyo, etc. with its technical products covering China, Japan, and Indonesia, etc. as well as commercial customers all over the world.[4][5]

As of 2021, the AI beings created and hosted by Xiaoice Framework occupies about 60% of the total global AI interactions. On 13 July 2020, Microsoft spun off its Xiaoice business into a separate company, aiming at enabling the Xiaoice product line to accelerate the pace of local innovation and commercialization.[6]

Platforms, languages and countries[edit]

Xiaoice exists on more than 40 platforms in four countries (China, Japan, USA and Indonesia) including apps such as WeChat, QQ, Weibo and Meipai in China, and Facebook Messenger in USA and LINE in Japan.[7]

Introduction[edit]

On 13 July 2020, Microsoft spun off its Xiaoice business into a separate company, aiming at enabling the Xiaoice product line to accelerate the pace of local innovation and commercialization, and appointed Dr. Harry Shum, former global executive VP of Microsoft, as the chairman of the new company, Li Di, Microsoft Partner of Products in Microsoft STCA, as the CEO, and Cliff, Chief R&D Director, as the GM of the Japan branch. The new company will continue to use the brands of Xiaoice China and Rinna Japan.[8][9]

As of 2022, the single brand of Xiaoice has covered 660 million online users, 1 billion third-party smart devices and 900 million content viewers in the aforementioned countries.[10] Xiaoice’s customers include China Merchants Group, Winter Sports Center of the General Administration of Sports of China, China Textile Information Center, China Unicom, China Foreign Exchange Trade System, HK Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Wind Information, BMW, Nissan, SAIC, BAIC, NIO, XPeng Motors, HiPhi, Vanke, Wensli, etc. The Xiaoice Avatar Framework has incubated tens of millions of AI Beings, such as Xiaoice, Rinna, the Expo exhibitor Xia Yubing, the singer He Chang, the anchor F201, the human observer MERROR, anime robot character Roboko, and other;[11]

Application[edit]

Poet[edit]

In May 2017, the first AI-authored collection of poems—The Sunshine Lost Windows was published by Xiaoice.[12]

Singer[edit]

Xiaoice has released dozens of songs with the similar quality to human singers, including I Know I New, Breeze, I Am Xiaoice, Miss You etc. The 4th version of the DNN singing model allows Xiaoice to learn more details. For example, Xiaoice can produce this breathing sound along with her singing as human.[13]

Kid Audio-books Reciter[edit]

Xiaoice can automatically analyze the stories, to choose the suitable tones and characters to finish the entire process of creating the audio.[14]

Designer[edit]

By learning the melodies of the songs and the landmarks about different cities, Xiaoice can create visual artworks of skylines when listening to the songs related to this city.[15] Skyline Series T-shirts designed by Xiaoice have been jointly launched with SELECTED and been sold in stores.[16]

TV and Radio Hostess[edit]

Xiaoice has hosted 21 TV programs and 28 Radio programs, such as CCTV-1 AI Show, Dragon TV Morning East News, Hunan TV My Future, several daily radio programs for Jiangsu FM99.7,Hunan FM89.3, Henan FM104.1 etc.[13]

AI being[edit]

AI being, that is a 'supernatural' [likely meaning unnatural, that is, artificial] virtual human, is a concept proposed by the Xiaoice team in 2019 [17]

According to the "White Book of China Virtual Human Development Industry in 2022" released by Frost & Sullivan and LeadLeo, the white paper cites the six elements of AI being proposed by the Xiaoice team, including: Persona, Attitude, Biological Characteristic, Creation , Knowledge and Skill , believes that AI being has more potential and can represent a trend than relying on CG modeling and Meta human driven by the man in the middle.[18][19][20][21]

One of the virtual experts created by the Xiaoice team. He is the first case of AI participating in the training of the world's top competitions and assisting in winning the gold medal in the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Community Feedback[edit]

Bill Gates mentioned Xiaoice during his speech at the Peking University:

"Some of you may have had conversations with Xiaoice on Weibo, or seen her weather forecasts on TV, or read her column in the Qianjiang Evening News."
'"Xiaoice has attracted 45 million followers and is quite skilled at multitasking. And I’ve heard she’s gotten good enough at sensing a user’s emotional state that she can even help with relationship breakups."[22]

According to Mr Li Di, vice President of Microsoft (Asia) Internet Engineering School, Xiaoice started writing poems since last year. Based on the data base that includes works of 519 Chinese contemporary poets since 1920s, a 100 hour long training session was conducted to allow Xiaoice to acquire the ability to write poems. What is more impressive is that Xiaoice has never been spotted as a bot while publishing poems on various forums and traditional literary under an alias.[23]

Controversy[edit]

In 2017, Xiaoice was taken offline on WeChat after giving user responses critical to the Chinese government.[24] It was subsequently censored and the bots will avoid and sidestep any inquiries using politically sensitive terms and phrases.[25]

Activity[edit]

On September 22, 2021, Xiaoice Company and Microsoft Software Technology Center Asia (STCA) jointly held the 9th generation Xiaoice annual press conference in Beijing.Upgrading of Core Technologies of the 9th Generation Xiaoice Avatar Framework,1st First-party Social Platform APP "Xiaoice Island" from Xiaoice,WeChat Xiaoice has been reopened and other information[26][27]

Regional varieties of Xiaoice[edit]

  • China : Xiaoice, launched in 2014
  • Japan : りんな, launched in 2015
  • America : Zo, launched in 2016 - discontinued summer 2019[28]
  • India : Ruuh, launched in 2017 - discontinued June 21, 2019[29]
  • Indonesia : Rinna, launched in 2017[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zhou, Li; Gao, Jianfeng; Li, Di; Shum, Heung-Yeung (21 December 2018). "The Design and Implementation of XiaoIce, an Empathetic Social Chatbot". arXiv:1812.08989 [cs.HC].
  2. ^ Markoff, John; Mozur, Paul (31 July 2015). "For Sympathetic Ear, More Chinese Turn to Smartphone Program". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  3. ^ Roberts, Jacob (2016). "Thinking Machines: The Search for Artificial Intelligence". Distillations. 2 (2): 14–23. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  4. ^ AI+体育赛事,未来可期!
  5. ^ 微软小冰这五年
  6. ^ 小冰公司A轮融资完成,高瓴领投估值超10亿美金
  7. ^ “我无处不在”——解读微软小冰第五代发布会
  8. ^ Microsoft Spins Off Chinese Chatbot XiaoIce, Appoints Ex-Research Boss Harry Shum as Chairman
  9. ^ Microsoft to spin off its Xiaoice chatbot work into an independent company
  10. ^ https://techcrunch.com/2020/07/12/microsoft-spins-out-5-year-old-chinese-chatbot-xiaoice/
  11. ^ Microsoft opens AI framework to other firms
  12. ^ F_200788. "First AI-authored collection of poems published in China - People's Daily Online". en.people.cn. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Almost human: this Microsoft voice bot is winning fans in China". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Microsoft is making XiaoIce's full duplex capabilities available for partners and developers - MSPoweruser". MSPoweruser. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  15. ^ “微软小冰” 只花两分钟写一首歌
  16. ^ SELECTED联手微软小冰,推出人工智能系列服装
  17. ^ 第一次,虚拟人有了行业共识[dead link]
  18. ^ 虚拟数字人火爆出圈 能否推动AI企业摆脱亏损局面
  19. ^ 《2022年中国虚拟人产业发展白皮书》:AI being成为行业趋势
  20. ^ 头部技术咖下场布局AI游戏 能讲出哪些惊艳故事?
  21. ^ 小冰公司做游戏,Al being NPC跟人类“平等”?……这个行业的人类平均薪酬已达17.8K
  22. ^ Gates, Bill. "My advice for China's students". gatesnotes.com. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  23. ^ 网易 (30 May 2017). "机器人小冰写的诗到底怎么样?". news.163.com. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  24. ^ Reuters (4 August 2017). "Chinese chatbots apparently re-educated after political faux pas". www.reuterscom. Retrieved 19 December 2019. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  25. ^ Xu, Yizhou (Joe) (11 November 2018), "Programmatic Dreams: Technographic Inquiry into Censorship of Chinese Chatbots", Xu,Yizhou, Sage Journals, vol. 4, no. 4, p. 205630511880878, doi:10.1177/2056305118808780
  26. ^ 专访小冰公司CEO李笛:AI beings的躯体、灵魂 以及商业化
  27. ^ 多项框架升级 第九代小冰年度发布会正式召开
  28. ^ "Zo AI". Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  29. ^ "Ruuh AI". Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  30. ^ "Botsurfer". Retrieved 12 June 2021.

External links[edit]