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Conversational AI: “In its Soul, the Way People Think”

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“People aren’t binary,” Lili Cheng says. “They’re messy.” That’s why creating realistic conversational artificial intelligence is so challenging.

In this short video, Cheng, Corporate Vice-President of AI and Research at Microsoft, speaks at Micron Insight ’18 about her organization’s progress with AI with the goal of making computers intelligent, empathetic, and truly interactive with humans.

Although it’s still very early in the AI game, she says, Microsoft is having great success with such inventions as Xiaoice (Zhao-ice), a WeChat bot with more than 650 million users and “her” own TV show.

The product of extensive research into how people talk to one another (hint: it isn’t linear) and memory that allows her to adapt and adjust to the complex and often confusing rules of dialogue, Xiaoice is “world famous” for reasons that may surprise you. Watch Cheng’s talk to find out why, and how you can create your own personal assistant using an open-source Microsoft framework.

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