Tuesday 17 January 2017

Microsoft launches Twitter bot you can chat with

Mark O'Beirne

Published 24/03/2016 | 07:00

Microsoft
Microsoft

Microsoft has launched a Twitter bot, TayTweets, that is capable of responding to and making conversation with users.

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If you've been giving the Twitter-verse gold and getting nothing in response, or perhaps you don't have enough followers to get dialogue going, now you can converse with Microsoft's Twitter bot.

The robot, Tay (@TayandYou), automatically responds to tweets sent its way. Responses are instantaneous, though not always related to what it was asked or sent.

It seems to be based on Microsoft’s machine learning work and it should get better as it is used more. It's unclear why Microsoft created the account, which has been verified by Twitter. But it will be interesting to see what it has in store.

It's believed that Tay is linked to a chatbot called Xiaoice, which is being used in China. This bot is used by thousands of people and has even appeared on the news. When it presented a weather report, creator Yongdong Wang said that it was “gradually penetrating into human life, engaging herself in more jobs and playing more social roles” and that “Microsoft expects her to bring more bliss to human beings.”

As for Tay, it's able to respond to a handful of specific requests, including telling jokes and stories, making memes from photos, and telling you your horoscope. You can test it out by simply tweeting @TayandYou.

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