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September 23, 2021

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AI major Xiaoice to offer raft of new deals

Chinese artificial intelligence firm Xiaoice yesterday announced a raft of new features, such as natural language processing and smart recommendations in Windows 11 and Microsoft search services.

It also launched new cooperation deals and AI systems for art creation, smart cabins in cars and the Internet of Things and a new social app — Xiaoice Island — with immersive experiences and interaction with virtual characters.

Xiaoice services have been used in Microsoft’s Bing search services and it will be integrated with Windows 11 and Microsoft mobile services soon, the company said on Wednesday.

“It represents Chinese innovation and AI integration everywhere,” said Harry Shum, chairman of Xiaoice and a former leader of the Microsoft research team in Asia and China.

In July of 2020, Microsoft spun off the Xiaoice business into a separate company headquartered in Beijing, aiming at enabling the Xiaoice product line to accelerate the pace of local innovation and commercialization.

With 160 million monthly active users, the avatar-like AI system Xiaoice can sing songs and produce MTVs, create Chinese-style paintings and comfort lonely people as virtual girlfriends and boyfriends.

Xiaoice’s other cooperation deal announced on Wednesday in Beijing includes AI calculation capacity cooperation with Nvidia, smart device services with firms such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and TMall and autonomous driving cooperation with firms like NIO, SAIC and Nissan.

More than 1 billion devices now use Xiaoice services.


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