XiaoIce – a system capable of supporting meaningful conversation

At present, various helper programs and programs, called chatbots, are based on the principles of artificial intelligence. With some functions, such programs perform remarkably, but, in most cases, they are not “smart enough” to enable them to maintain a meaningful conversation with a person long enough. However, not so long ago, the XiaoIce artificial intelligence system, developed by Microsoft, received a number of new features. Now in this system several different principles of information perception are used at once, so it can quite fool a person who will not be able to determine what he is talking with a computer, and not another person.

“Full duplex” is a term from the field of telecommunications, describing the process of information exchange, in which information is capable of being transmitted in two directions simultaneously. It is very similar to two people speaking at the same time. All modern chatbots use only half of the full duplex, the so-called half-duplex, when information is transmitted first in one direction, from person to program, for example, and then backwards, when the program gives the person its answer.

A distinctive feature of the XiaoIce system is that it is able to communicate with a person in full duplex mode, which makes sense in some situations. This means that the system is able to quickly and with a high enough probability to predict what his interlocutor will say, whether he will continue his thought or complete the statement. Thanks to this, the XiaoIce system is able to respond instantly, rather than forcing a person to wait until the computer “digests” what is said and performs a database search in search of a suitable answer.

Artificial intelligence XiaoIce makes this system on orders smarter than existing chatbots. It lacks their main drawback – the repetition after a while of the same answers, which makes the process of chatting chatting uninteresting and tiring for a person already after a short time of communication.

In addition to all of the above, the XiaoIce system has already received several new abilities, with which it more accurately imitates the behavior of a living person. These abilities include the ability to change the topic of conversation, end the conversation and return to the original topic. Now, Microsoft engineers and programmers are working to integrate all the proven innovations into the chat room Zo, aimed at communicating with American citizens, and the chat room Rinna, aimed at Japan.

In light of all of the above, some of our readers will expect that the system-assistant Cortana in the near future will become more talkative and smart. We hasten to disappoint you that all the above new technologies of artificial intelligence will not be ready for commercial use soon. Nevertheless, the moment when something similar will appear on our smartphones and computers sooner or later, but inevitably will come.