Microsoft is testing an AI chatbot to handle Xbox customer support: Here's how it works

The next time you contact Xbox customer support, you might talk to a chatbot. But will it issue refunds?
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer

The next time you go to Xbox customer support for help, you might be getting some assistance from an AI chatbot. 

As first reported by The Verge, Microsoft has developed and is now testing an AI chatbot --complete with an animated "embodied AI character" -- that handles support requests.

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The virtual support representative can handle either text or voice requests, the company said.

Speaking to The Verge, Haiyan Zhang, general manager of gaming AI at Xbox, said this new feature would make it "easier and quicker for players to get help with support topics using natural language." 

The bot will take information directly from existing Xbox Support pages and will be able to answer questions and handle tasks such as game refunds, issues with subscriptions, or broken consoles. Although the AI chatbot isn't necessarily providing any new information to customers, it will make that information easier to access.

While the bot is currently in internal testing for support queries involving Minecraft Realms, Microsoft told The Verge the testing pool has been expanded in recent days, hinting at a wider rollout soon.

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This move is part of the company's broader plan to inject AI into its gaming products and push for more AI integration overall. Microsoft is also working on bringing AI to its game creation platform, including AI game testing, AI NPCs, and safety and moderation tasks handled by AI. There's no indication that Microsoft has pursued AI-generated graphics or voice assets for its games -- yet at least.

While customer support chatbots are nothing new, they haven't come without trouble -- like the time someone tried to trick an AI chatbot into selling them a car for $1. It's not clear yet how much authority this chatbot will have compared to a human when it comes to things like refunds, or if it will have access to any information outside official support forms. 

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