Tech

Microsoft Censored Its Own Chinese AI Chatbot So It Could Roll On China

By Luis Fran , Nov 29, 2016 06:38 PM EST
If any company wants to get into the Chinese market, it will have to establish censoring conditions in order to get the government´s approval.<br /> Facebook recently developed a censoring tool to get back to China. (Photo : Youtube/Megiston)

Tech giant Microsoft will filter sensitive topics to its Chinese AI chatbot so it could be sold without any kind of problems in China, considering the censorship measures that the government forces every foreign company to apply to its products if it wanted to get into the Chinese market. This way, Microsoft´s product Xiaobing will not be able to answer questions about delicate issues that affect the government, as anything related to the Communist Party, the Tiananmen Square massacre, the President Xi Jinping or anything about the Dalai Lama, which is the Tibetan spiritual leader.

An AI Chatbot That Is Willing To Answer Any Question, Unless It Is Something That The Government Doesn´t Like

According to the Daily Mail, the Chinese AI chatbot has become a huge success since it was launched, achieving the incredible amount of 40 million smartphone users in China.This device has a cute voice that can instantly express comments about weather information and big news events if you ask it.

Apparently, the censorship was known when many users started to ask question that could be very delicate in China -as anything that could be seen as a critic of the president or the ruling coalition- and the Chinese AI chatbot instead of giving concrete answer it used to, it actually gave short and generic phrases as "Once I answer you'd take a screengrab."

Companies´ Submission To The Chinese Government´s Censorship

Giving this situation, a Microsoft spokesperson told to Fortune that the tech giant is totally committing to bringing to the customers the best quality in its Xiaobing AI chatbot in order to have a great experience with it. Also, the spokesperson recognized the issue and told that the company implemented filtering on a range of topics, although it didn't say which ones applied to.

This issue represents another submission from a major company in order to get to the Chinese market and sells its products, since as it was reported in a previous article, Facebook agreed to develop a censoring tool so it could exists once again in China. Although everybody loves the Microsoft´s AI chatbot, not even this device is able to have freedom of speech.

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