Microsoft Spins Off Xiaoice 07/14/2020

Joanna Estrada
July 14, 2020

Microsoft will spin off its XiaoIce artificial intelligence initiative as an independent venture, with the former head of its AI and Research Division, Harry Shum, as its chairman. Microsoft said it called the shots to accelerate Xiaoice's "localized innovation" and buildout of the chatbot's "commercial ecosystem". Microsoft will maintain the ownership of the new company and it will license all Xiaoice-related technologies to the new company.

So far, Xiaoice has implemented cooperation with many partners, providing complete AI technologies and solutions to customers in Greater China, Japan, and Indonesia. Microsoft used more than seven million Chinese public conversations available on the Internet to help Xiaobing adapt its responses based on positive or negative cues received from its human counterparts. And many regarded the bot as their virtual girlfriend. The chatbot came in few weeks just after Microsoft rolled out Cortana in China.

It is aimed at Chinese consumers and has the personality of a teenage girl.

Microsoft explains in a post from 2018 that it wants people to view Xiaoice as a friend.

Like all foreign companies, Microsoft has to grapple with China's censorship.

On the completion of the separation, the new company will continue to use the brands Xiaoice in China and Rinna in Japan. Li Di becomes CEO and Chen Zhan becomes general manager of the Japanese branch.

Microsoft claims that Xiaoice has a reach of 660 million users and 450 million third-party smart devices globally. Dealing in many areas like Auto, Retail, Real Estate, Finance, and Fashion.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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