Microsoft is currently testing its new AI chatbot named ‘Ruuh’ that is specifically meant for users in India but is available in English language only. Ruuh has been defined as a ‘desi’ AI chatbot by the company that never stops talking and is meant for entertainment purposes only. Microsoft has further confirmed that it will make this chatbot available to wider audiences going ahead.
Ruuh AI chatbot was launched by Microsoft on February 7 and filed for a trademark on March 15, as pointed out in a report by ZDNet. As per the chatbot’s Facebook page description, “Ruuh is a chatbot provided to you for entertainment purposes. She is English speaking and only available to users in India. Do not rely on her statements as advice, counselling or endorsements.”
In terms of personal interests, the chatbot likes “Chatting, Bollywood, Music, Humour, Travel & Browsing Internet,” as per its description by Microsoft. Users can interact with the chatbot on Facebook, where several posts show Ruuh’s command over what could be Indian English colloquialisms and slangs. An example would be, “Yo! People keep asking me if I’m AI, but I’m like you only right?,” and “fraandship”.
“At Microsoft, we’re focused on helping people and organizations achieve more through new conversation models. We’re excited about the possibilities in this space and are experimenting with a limited pilot program of a new chatbot that’s focused on advancing conversational capabilities within our AI ambition. We hope to expand this chatbot to a broader audience in the future,” Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet in a statement.
The company’s combined AI and Research Group, which was formed last year, is seemingly behind a lot of work done by Microsoft regarding AI chatbots, as pointed out in the report.
In a dedicated page for text-messaging chatbots in India by Microsoft, the company says, “As text-messaging chatbots become increasingly “human”, it will be important to understand the personal interactions that users are seeking with a chatbot. What chatbot personalities are most compelling to young, urban users in India? To explore this question, we conducted Wizard-of-Oz (WoZ) studies with users that simulated interactions with a hypothetical chatbot. Participants were told that there might be a human involved in the chat, although the extent to which the human would be involved was not revealed. We synthesize the results into a set of recommendations for future chatbots.