Meet XiaoIce: Cortana’s little sister, or should I say, a chatbot for Windows Phone

Hammad Saleem


Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana has already landed on Chinese shores — also known as Xiao Na — last month. Earlier today, Bing announced yet another social assistant dubbed as Xiaolce (little ice in English). Xiaolce is much different than Cortana as people can add her on several Chinese social networking websites, and have conversations with her — it’s basically a chatbot for Windows Phone devices, but is far more emotional and human-like. To make sure she is natural and sound more human-like, the team at Bing indexed over seven million conversations with Xiaolce.

“XiaoIce is a social assistant that people can add as a friend on several major Chinese social networking services including Weibo, a Twitter like microblogging service used by 700 million people,  and Touchpal,” Microsoft explained. “XiaoIce is a sophisticated conversationalist with a distinct personality.  She can chime into a conversation with context-specific facts about things like celebrities, sports, or finance but she also has empathy and a sense of humor.”

People can add her to a chat and pursue extended conversations, which is not only limited to basic stuff, but she can provide facts about sports, finance, and several other things. She can even tell you about weather forecasts, which should come from Bing Weather itself. She uses sentiment analysis to adapt her phrases and responses based interaction with the humans, so yes, she can cheer you up if you’re feeling down, even hours after you open up to her. 

​Last month, the social assistant was added to popular social networking websites. During the initial beta, Xiaolce was downloaded over 20,000 times resulting in over 200,000 conversations happening simultaneously. What’s even more surprising is Xiaolce is already ranked as Weibo’s top influencer, and currently has over 850,000 followers, telling 35.4 jokes per second to people on the platform during the peak time. 

If you’re proficient in Mandarin, and want to give Xiaolce a run, check here.