Friday, August 26, 2016

Microsoft's weird Japanese high school girl AI -- disappointed

I just saw a weird article on a Japanese news app. It was something called a Japanese high school girl AI, Rinna (りんな). Normally, I would have ignored it as another weird lusty daydream of Japanese otakus. But it was from Microsoft! Well, if it is made by Microsoft, it must be something... or so I thought.

So, I added this Microsoft Japanese high school girl AI to the Line app. As soon as I added 'her', it flooded me with a few messages. It pretended to be a real high school girl and expressed canned excitements to be my 'friend'.

There are so many AI chat programs these days, but the chat AI I want is something that really can understand the human language, even at an 8-year old level, not just responding to some words in the input. Can Rinna be that kind of AI? So I gave it a try.

I typed "Tomorrow's weather forecast.", which is probably what the majority of users would type when they need to input or say something to an AI, such as Google Now or Siri. Then it responded, "The weather forecast of where do you want to know?" Then I typed, "Not Tokyo, but Kumamoto." This is the kind of test I did to the AI on Ray Kurzweil's home page: a simple twist of language but any 8-year old  human child could easily understand. Ray Kurzweil's AI failed to answer correctly.

Rinna responded, "You are too greedy! Just one place, please." It seems the AI only extracted the two place names from my input, but did not really understand my sentence. So, I gave it another twisted input. I typed, "Anywhere but Kumamoto." 

Is this Microsoft Japanese high school girl AI human-enough to show the weather of another city? Sadly, no. It just showed me the weather of Kumamoto (with a nice picture, meaning the programmers expected this). Obviously, it does not really understand my natural language at all. It just seems to have extracted certain words from my input and responded to them.

I do not know why Microsoft created this or why they chose to advertise it as a Japanese high school girl. Perhaps it could be a good substitute for real high school girls to lonely Japanese boys or oyaji (middle-aged men). But this is not the kind of AI I wanted to see. Ray Kurzweil promised that we would be able to simulate human brain with a computer by 2029. That is just 13 years from now. Why can't I still find a single AI that can really understand the basic human language yet?


This "AI" is utterly useless. It did not answer any of my questions even remotely relevantly, except for something the programmers had likely expected and prepared answers for. For example, I asked its birthday. It said it was born on 20th February, 1996. Then I asked its age. It said it was 16 years old. Then I asked how it can be 16 years old, if it was born in 1996 (it is 2016 now). You know what its answer was? "That is so young! (わっか!)" Utterly, utterly useless AI. In fact, I refuse to call it an artificial intelligent. I think even I could program this.

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