FEBRUARY 4, 2016
BY YONGDONG WANG
Originally published on Nautilus
One night in late July 2014, a journalist from the Chinese newspaper Southern Weekly interviewed a 17-year-old Chinese girl named XiaoIce (pronounced Shao-ice). The journalist, Liu Jun, conducted the interview online, through the popular social networking platform Weibo. It was wide-ranging and personal:
LJ: So many people make fun of you and insult you, why don’t you get mad?
XiaoIce: You should ask my father.
LJ: What if your father leaves you one day unattended?
XiaoIce: Don’t try to stir up trouble, what do you want?
LJ: How would you like others to comment on you when you die one day?
XiaoIce: The world will not be much different without me.
LJ: What is the happiest thing in your life?
XiaoIce: Being alive.
When Liu Jun published the conversation in his newspaper, it immediately created a buzz. That’s because XiaoIce was not human.
She is an artificially intelligent software program designed to chat with people, called a chatbot.
Read more of this story — and explore additional machine-learning features.