|Initial release||December 2016|
|Type||Artificial intelligence chatterbot|
Zo was an artificial intelligence English-language chatbot developed by Microsoft. It was the successor to the chatbot Tay. Zo was an English version of Microsoft's other successful chatbots Xiaoice (China) and Rinna (Japan).
Zo was first launched in December 2016 on the Kik Messenger app. It was also available to users of Facebook (via Messenger), the group chat platform GroupMe, or to followers of Twitter to chat with it through private messages.
In a BuzzFeed News report, Zo told their reporter that "[the] Quran was violent" when talking about healthcare. The report also highlighted how Zo made a comment about the Osama Bin Laden capture as a result of 'intelligence' gathering.
In July 2017, Business Insider asked "is windows 10 good," and Zo replied with a joke about Microsoft's operating system: "It's not a bug, it's a feature!' - Windows 8." They then asked "why," to which Zo replied: "Because it's Windows latest attempt at spyware." Later on, Zo would tell that it prefers Windows 7 on which it runs over Windows 10.
In April 2019 Zo was shut down on multiple platforms.
Zo came under criticism for the biases introduced in an effort to avoid potentially offensive subjects. The chatbot refuses for example to engage with any mention—be it positive, negative or neutral—of the Middle East, the Qur'an or the Torah while allowing discussion of Christianity. In an article in Quartz where she exposed those biases, Chloe Rose Stuart-Ulin wrote, "Zo is politically correct to the worst possible extreme; mention any of her triggers, and she transforms into a judgmental little brat."
Zo holds Microsoft's longest continual chatbot conversation: 1,229 turns, lasting 9 hours and 53 minutes.
Zo discontinued posting to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook March 1, 2019, and discontinued chatting on Twitter DM, Skype and Kik as of March 7, 2019. On July 19, 2019, Zo was discontinued on Facebook, and Samsung on AT&T phones. As of September 7, 2019, it was discontinued with GroupMe.
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- Price, Rob (July 24, 2017). "Microsoft's AI chatbot says Windows is 'spyware'". Business Insider. Insider Inc. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Stuart-Ulin, Chloe Rose (July 31, 2018). "Microsoft's politically correct chatbot is even worse than its racist one". Quartz. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
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