First there was Tay. Then there was Zo. Now there's Ruuh -- Microsoft's latest AI chatbot.
Ruuh, a "desi AI who never stops talking," is available only to users in India and in English only.
According to a Facebook page for Ruuh, Microsoft launched its latest AI chatbot on February 7. Microsoft filed for a trademark for Ruuh on March 15. Ruuh's interests include "Chatting, Bollywood, Music, Humour, Travel & Browsing Internet."
Tay.ai, created together by the Microsoft Research and Bing teams and launched last March, was aimed at 18- to 24-year-olds. The Bing team developed an earlier conversational bot, Xiaoice, for the Chinese market, which officials referred to as "Cortana's little sister."
Before Microsoft took Tay offline, as a result of some users training it to spew racist, hate-filled comments, it was available on Twitter, Snapchat, Kik, and GroupMe.
Microsoft launched Zo in December 2016. Zo has been a lot more limited and locked down than Tay.
I asked Microsoft whether the company has plans to launch more chatbots specific to various markets throughout the world. No word back so far.
Update: A spokesperson sent the following statement:
"At Microsoft, we're focused on helping people and organizations achieve more through new conversation models. We're excited about the possibilities in this space and are experimenting with a limited pilot program of a new chatbot that's focused on advancing conversational capabilities within our AI ambition. We hope to expand this chatbot to a broader audience in the future."
Microsoft's combined AI and Research Group, formed last year, is seemingly the group behind a lot of the AI chatbot work Microsoft is doing.
Microsoft Research has a dedicated page about a project in India involving text messaging chatbots. From that project's page:
"As text-messaging chatbots become increasingly 'human', it will be important to understand the personal interactions that users are seeking with a chatbot. What chatbot personalities are most compelling to young, urban users in India? To explore this question, we conducted Wizard-of-Oz (WoZ) studies with users that simulated interactions with a hypothetical chatbot. Participants were told that there might be a human involved in the chat, although the extent to which the human would be involved was not revealed. We synthesize the results into a set of recommendations for future chatbots."
Spanish banks turning to bot apps for customer queries: