Microsoft is spinning off the popular chatbot Xiaoice into an independent company (via TechCruch. While Xiaoice will be an independent entity, Microsoft will retain an investment interest after Xiaoice is completely spun off. Xiaoice is a chatbot that provides conversational interaction.
Xiaoice has more than 230 skills and in 2018, Microsoft shared that the bot has more than 500 million users. Xiaoice translates to “Little Bing” and became popular as people interacted with it as a “virtual girlfriend.” The bot aims to be social and human-like.
Microsoft explains in a post from 2018 that it wants people to view Xiaoice as a friend.
According to Microsoft, Xiaoice is being spun off with an aim to “accelerate the pace of local innovation in Xiaoice product lines and to improve the Xiaoice business environment” (translated by Microsoft Translator).
Following the spin-off, Xiaoice will license technologies from Microsoft for future research and development.
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