Microsoft formally introduces Zo, its latest AI-powered chatbot

Microsoft is surging forward with its commitment to artificial intelligence (AI), formally announcing its latest chatbot, Zo. In a post outlining its commitment to AI, Microsoft introduced Zo as the next chapter in the evolution of its attempts to create a social chatbot.

Zo is built on the back of the same technology that powers Microsoft's other chatbots in China and Japan, Xiaoice and Rinna. Zo is meant to learn from her interactions with humans, and is able to respond to conversations with her own personality. In a nod to an awkward turn of events involving Microsoft's last attempt at a social chatbot, Tay, the company notes that Zo has guards in place to prevent exploitation.

While you can currently only strike up a conversation with Zo on Kik messenger, Microsoft says it has plans to bring the chatbot to Skype and Facebook Messenger as well. Still, if you use Kik, you can start a conversation up with Zo now. Otherwise, head to to request an invite to chat with the bot on Messenger when it's available.

For more on Microsoft's AI efforts, check out the company's newly launched AI news website dedicated to all of its work in the field.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl