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Microsoft is testing an Xbox AI chatbot that actually sounds useful

Published Apr 2nd, 2024 1:00PM EDT
Image: Microsoft

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Microsoft’s heavy investment in artificial intelligence continues with the arrival of an AI-powered chatbot for Xbox. Unlike ChatGPT or Gemini, the Xbox chatbot won’t tell you about the world or write code for you. Instead, it will be a tool to automate support tasks.

The Verge reports that the chatbot is part of a larger effort to inject more AI into Xbox platforms and services. The report also claims that the Xbox chatbot will take the form of an “embodied AI character” that animates as it responds to a user’s inquiry.

Microsoft promptly confirmed the site’s scoop. Haiyan Zhang, the General Manager of Gaming AI at Microsoft Gaming, released this statement: “We are testing an Xbox Support Virtual Agent, an internal prototype of an animated character that can query Xbox Support topics with voice or text. The prototype makes it easier and quicker for players to get help with support topics using natural language, taking information from existing Xbox Support pages.”

In recent days, Microsoft has given more users access to the Xbox Support Virtual Agent, but it’s still not clear if or when it will roll out to the public.

The Verge also explained how the chatbot works. First, it asks you a question: “How can I help you today?” The user can then ask the chatbot a wide variety of support questions, from how to fix a broken Xbox to helping process a refund for a game.

This isn’t nearly as exciting as a conversational chatbot, but at least it serves a purpose. When I have an issue that requires a support agent, I skip through the automated prompts as quickly as possible to reach a real human because I’ll never get an answer to my question otherwise. If an AI chatbot is able to contextually answer my question rather than simply spitting out text from a support document, it could save me valuable time.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.