xiaoiceIt seems that while Microsoft might have a tumultuous relationship with the Chinese government at the moment, it seems that the Redmond company is still busy releasing content for its users in the region, and recently Microsoft has announced XiaoIce, a social assistant which they are referring to as Cortana’s little sister.

Essentially XiaoIce is a chat bot in which users will be able to add her as a friend on various Chinese social media websites, such as Weibo and Touchpal. From there users will be able to chat with her as she will be able to give some pretty human-like responses. “Using sentiment analysis, she can adapt her phrasing and responses based on positive or negative cues from her human counterparts.  She can tell jokes, recite poetry, share ghost stories, relay song lyrics, pronounce winning lottery numbers and much more.”

This is apparently achieved because the team at Bing had managed to index over seven million conversations with XiaoIce, thus providing her with all the material she needs and also the ability to come off sounding very natural. XiaoIce was actually added last month to social networking websites as a beta where it was downloaded over 20,000 times.

In fact XiaoIce has managed to gather over 850,000 followers and based on the stats, is dishing out jokes at 35.4 jokes per second. Unfortunately it seems like it will only accept input in Chinese, so if you’re proficient in Mandarin, perhaps you could give it a try.

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