Microsoft’s so-called ‘girlfriend’ chatbot woos Chinese users: 5 things to know

5 things you need to know about microsofts chinese girlfriend chatbot xiaoice
It was just last year that Microsoft introduced Xiaoice, a chatbot that has become a huge sensation in China. People chat with Xiaoice when they have a broken heart, have lost a job, or have been feeling depressed. Because Xiaoice is not real, many people feel like they can chat with her for hours on end. She has great listening skills, a sense of humor, and she gives love back, users claim.

1. People communicate with Xiaoice more than 60 times a month

According to the New York Times, those who download Microsoft’s Xiaoice app, really enjoy communicating with her. Whether happy or sad, they talk with Xiaoice at least 60 times a month. Gao Yixin, a 24-year-old who works in the oil industry said, “When I am in a bad mood, I will chat with her.”

2. Xiaoice has a memory

People can add Xiaoice on major Chinese social networking services such as Weibo, a microblogging service used by 700 million people, and Touchpal. Once they’ve added Xiaoice to chat on social networks, the users can have more in-depth conversations with her. She can even remember details from conversations you had with earlier and can ask how you’re feeling about an event, such as a break up.

3. Xiaoice loves telling jokes

“Xiaoice is a sophisticated conversationalist with a listing personality,” wrote Microsoft on its blog. She can chime into the conversation with facts about celebrities, sports, or finance, but she also provides empathy and has a great sense of humor. Xiaoice recites poetry, tells ghost stories, repeats popular song lyrics, and knows a lot of jokes. When Xiaoice became really popular, she was telling more than 35.4 jokes per second on Weibo. Some people consider her their girlfriend.

4. She collects intimate details on individuals

Since Xiaoice collects important details on individuals, the program raises some questions about privacy. Yao Baogang, the manager of the Microsoft program in Beijing, told the Times, “We need to know the question, so we store it, but then we delete it. We don’t keep any of the data. We have a company policy to delete the user data.”

5. Xiaoice has more than 20 million registered users

In the first 24 hours of the beta service last year, Xiaoice was downloaded more than 20,000 times, resulting in over 200,000 simultaneous conversations happening in various chat groups. “People were amazed by her personality and her sense of humor,” Microsoft said. “Since then, Xiaoice has been ranked as Weibo’s top influencer and has over 850,000 followers on the service.”

Photography

For Monaris, it’s a photography career launched on an iPhone and Instagram

On Instagram, she's known just as Monaris. But street photographer Paola Franqui has built a following largely with an iPhone and a smile. We sat down with her to talk photography, style, and Instagram, of course.
Mobile

Apple says Group FaceTime will not be part of initial launch of iOS 12

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.
Smart Home

Samsung's Galaxy Home uses not-so-smart Bixby to do your bidding

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Home smart speaker to rival Amazon's Echo, Google Home, and Apple's HomePod. However, it is not quite ready to provide release and price details.
Smart Home

What is AirBnb? Here’s all you need to know about being a guest or host

What is Airbnb? Here's everything you need to know before you book your stay or list travel accommodations on the popular homesharing site, which has had its fair share of controversy since its inception in 2008.
Product Review

The gorgeous Oppo Find X plays hard to get, but is it worth the chase?

Is the Oppo Find X the most beautiful smartphone we’ve ever seen? We think it’s right up there, but because it’s an import-only phone, you’ll have to put in some effort to get one. Is it worth going the extra mile?
Mobile

Third-party call recording apps no longer work with Android 9.0 Pie

There is a lot to love about Android 9.0 Pie. But as users update their phones, they noticed an annoying new issue: Google removed a workaround an Android 9.0 Pie that developers used to power third-party recording apps.
Mobile

Motorola launches its iPhone X clone, the Moto P30, in China

Motorola may be planning to launch a new series of smartphones called the P30, P30 Note, and P30 Play. Leaked photos show the P30 has a similar design to the iPhone X, complete with a screen notch.
Mobile

Motorola says 8 of its phones are set to receive Android 9.0 Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Protect your titan with the best Samsung Galaxy Note 9 screen protectors

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is one of this year's best phones. But what if you break the screen? Thankfully we've got the best Samsung Galaxy Note 9 screen protectors to keep that 6.4-inch screen safe.
Mobile

Google is updating Android Go with Android 9 Pie Go Edition

Android Go is a lightweight version of Android that promises to improve the user experience on devices with low-end processors or 1GB of RAM or less. Here's everything you need to know about Android Go.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts.
Mobile

T-Mobile partners with Live Nation, Pandora to offer customers more perks

T-Mobile made a few other announcements today: Not only has the carrier partnered up with Live Nation to provide offers, but customers will also be getting a free year of Pandora Plus.
Mobile

This is how Google will improve the quality of Wear OS apps

Google wants to improve the quality of Wear OS apps, and to that end the company has announced that the review process of Wear OS apps for Google Play is now mandatory. Criteria for Wear OS apps include that they work as expected.
Mobile

Is Google launching an A.I. fitness coach for smartwatches?

Google is reportedly working on a health and well-being coach for Wear OS devices. Known as "Google Coach," the assistant will be able to suggest workouts, meal plans, and more, based on a user's activity.