Planet China

Virtual verse

Think of US tech giant Microsoft and poetry does not immediately spring to mind. But as China Daily pointed out this week, an artificial intelligence chatbot that the US firm has developed has been penning Chinese verse for a while. In fact, the bot is so proud of its poems that it released a collection of them last month. The bot is called Xiaoice and it has chatted with 100 million people since its launch in 2014, via online social media platforms like WeChat and Sina Weibo. Wang Yongdong, a Berkeley grad and senior executive with Microsoft, is the mastermind behind the project and he told the China Daily that mastering poetry helps the chatbot ‘acquire’ EQ (emotional quotient). Here is one of Xiaoice’s poems, entitled ‘Where are you, my love?’:

Quick, hold up the light.

The beautiful sky is there.

Ask the sound of the stream

In the village

Where are you, my love?

For my red light keeps


Like a beautiful secret.

She is a song of a child

The distance of time.

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