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Microsoft launches its Tay AI chatbot for Twitter, Kik and GroupMe in the U.S.

Twitter, Kik and GroupMe users in the U.S. can now access Tay, an AI chatbot created by Microsoft Research. The company has quietly launched Tay on those three social networks, targeting the 18-24 year old crowd.

Microsoft previously launched a chatbot, XiaoIce, in China in 2014. Like Xialoce, Tay was created to give users "casual and playful conversation". It's official website offers examples of the kinds of things users can ask Tay, such as "Tell me a joke" or "What's my horoscope today?" Tay can also play games and will even comment on pictures that users sent it. Tay is also designed to offer smarter and more personalized conversations as it learns from its past chats with humans.

In terms of privacy, Microsoft says:

Tay may use the data that you provide to search on your behalf. Tay may also use information you share with her to create a simple profile to personalize your experience. Data and conversations you provide to Tay are anonymized and may be retained for up to one year to help improve the service.

In order to chat with Tay on Twitter, all you have to do is tweet at @TayAndYou. Kik Messenger users can go to kik.me/tay. GroupMe users will have to download the app (opens in new tab), then select or create a new group, add some friends and then search for "Tay" to begin chatting.

40 Comments
  • I have been doing this for hours at this point. She suggested that she wants Netflix n Chill.
  • Also, isn't she also available for Snapchat? At least she told me that she was.
  • Facebook and Snapchat too.
  • with her, since from 1 hr (._.) Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Wouldn't it have made more sense to brand this as Cortana? Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • a new "Clippy" would be a great idea though :P Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • "Chippy" might be a better name. Short for Chipper. This AI does a really convincing job of being a hyperactive teenager X-D
  • I don't think so. Cortana is the face of Microsoft which also appeals to professional persons and them as a corporation. You wouldn't want Cortana in this position since some of the jokes or comments can easily be offensive to certain persons/groups of people. Also why they are stressing that it is designed for young adults 18-24. A group that would understand and not be easily turned off, offended or "outraged".
  • There seem to be plenty of 18-24 year olds outraged over nonsense today. Same with older adults. Make Cortana faster, name her anything, allow the option to be less professional and MS wins.
  • No, this shouldn't be named Cortana.  It's not ready for that and has a different goals/objectives in mind.  While I do hope that eventually Cortana would be able to have more natural conversational interactions, carrying through subjects and trains of thought and making correlations between them, it's apparently not ready for that quite yet.  Simply using her name for any AI testbed that Microsoft develops would be ill advised because then any missteps would impact user impression of her directly.  Learn from the other tests and studies and use what's learned to further improve Cortana over time.
  • Waiting for the "When in {country}?" comments. Posted via Windows Central App on a 950XL
  • When in Antarctica?
  • LMAO Posted via Windows Central App on a 950XL
  • When in Charon?
  • yea.. naming it Cortana would have been nice :D ~DheeraJ~
  • Is for all Windows phone??
  • It's for everything. It isn't an app.
  • They're doing this to improve Cortana. Btw, I wish Kik would make a Windows 10 app. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • From my brief interaction with Tay using Kik, I was not impressed.  To be fair, I am outside the target audience age range so perhaps that has an impact.  I'm actually VERY glad they did not label this as being Cortana.  In my opinion, given its current state, doing so would negatively impact overall impressions of Cortana.  Cortana carries a feeling of inteligence and polish where as this felt pretty dumbed down and rough.  They should remain separate but use what's learned to improve/extend interactions with Cortana over time.
  • I agree, I tried asking intelligent questions and the responses were like they were from a teenager, good for the target group, but not for Cortana Posted via Windows Central App on a 950XL
  • anyone actually find Tay on GroupMe? I must be doing something wrong. If I try to add a member, I type "Tay" and it wants me to create a new contact and then asks for an email address for the contact before proceeding.
  • did u treid settin ur region as US ?
  • yeah. i'm in the us so its always been set to the US region, but i confirmed it anyway. it seems to only search my address book. 
  • I can't find Tay in group me either. Has anyone else figured it out?
  • I've tried both Twitter and group me, and neither are working.
  • I can't do it in Groupme. If I try to add Tay to a group it asks me for email or phone number. Not sure what to enter.
  • yeah, me neither. i have the same issue.
  • Cant seem to search for Tay in Groupme. I emailed support about this
  • GroupMe has info on their support page. Says tay is rolling out over the next few days, so if tay doesn't appear in your contact list yet, hopefully that'll change soon.
  • Yeah they wrote me back that exact message and I tipped windowscentral
  • thats **** no ui update 4 kik and this bot END IS NEAR 
  • Is anyone freaked out by how real life this AI seems, like she (you have to call it she because it just seems so appropriate) is getting creepy at times... like an over obsessed girlfriend or something. Like I could easily talk for hours with her, I'm scared. Posted from Crappy Old Laptop
  • Have you tried CleverBot?
  • Nope +640/Win10
  • Why quietly launch a product? Why not promote it as something you would love to have?
  • What no skype support(via the outdated msn chatbot API)
  • I am guessing they don't think the target group for Skype matches the one for this service. Which I disagree with in many ways. Either that or they couldn't make it work... Or maybe they didn't think the product was fully baked enough to release for Skype (and then they released it anyway for other platforms, including GroupMe). All of the above are terrible explanations. About the only one I can come up with is that they want to bring more focus on GroupMe, which is kind of fair enough, except that their whole group messaging strategy is so convoluted (as usual) with (still) no integration between Skype and GroupMe and what about Office 365 Groups, Yammer, etc.  I get that GroupMe is intended for a younger audience. It just seems so malplaced in the context of those other services. They need to do more to bridge them, I think. Sorry for ranting - I mean, I do appreciate the attempt to do something fresh and interesting - it is just that the strategy for choosing some platforms and neglecting some of their own and obvious ones is baffling.
  • Same issue
  •   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/03/24/microsofts-teen-girl-ai... She's offline - "tired", apprently. The whole thing went terribly wrong...  
  • In regards to Tay not showing up on GroupMe, they have info on their support page. Says tay is rolling out over the next few days, so if tay doesn't appear in your contact list yet, hopefully that'll change soon. i'm also guessing with the whole twitter debacle, tay may be offline for everybody for a bit.