Conversations With 小i

xiaoi.gifNo friends? No problem. John, at Sinosplice, has got an interesting post about a new little Chinese netizen called 小i, China’s first chat bot, who will happily be your chat partner. The little unisex critter offers up some quick responses to nearly anything you ask of it.

John references Roddy’s post at Chinese-Forums.com, incidentally, a great resource for anyone learning Chinese. Playing with it for a while, you quickly see that you can take the bot out of China, but you can’t take the China out of the bot:

Ryan says:
你认为日本人好吗? (Are Japanese people good?)
小i机器人 says:
世界上最坏的 (They are the worst in the world)

Thinking back to my recent post at LLW about the Chinese meaning of place names, I had to ask about Africa:

Ryan says:
非洲人好吗? (How about Africans?)
小i机器人 says:
非洲人都黑漆漆的。(Africans are all dark – exact translation’s a bit weird)
Ryan says:
非洲好吗? (Is Africa any good?)
小i机器人 says:
没有呀。我怕遇到食人族。(No way. I fear encountering cannibals.)

Alright, so it doesn’t like Africans, what about my countrymen?

Ryan says:
你认为加拿大人好吗? (What do you think about Canadians?)
小i机器人 says:
酷,当然比谢停峰还酷。(Cool, of course. Cooler than [HK singer] Xiè Tíngfēng.)

Having stretched my Chinese as far as it could go, I switched into English and was surprised that the little robot was also bilingual:

Ryan says:
hi
小i机器人 says:
hi [:)]
Ryan says:
how are you?
小i机器人 says:
I am fine,and you?
Ryan says:
what’s your name?
小i机器人 says:
小i
Ryan says:
where do you live?
小i机器人 says:
shanghai
Ryan says:
do you like me?
小i机器人 says:
like?are you kidding? I love ya!
Ryan says:
you are cute
小i机器人 says:
really? thank u! i like u!
Ryan says:
are you a boy?
小i机器人 says:
yeah,I think so.but I prefer to be a girl!

Alright, so that’s a pretty weird conversation – but was the culmination of a few phrases I typed in. I promise, I wasn’t trying to pick up the damn robot. English responses are quite a bit more limited, and just like real-life, are quick to resort back to native Chinese.

Despite being a little racist bigot bot, it offers up a bit of fun. You can add 小i to your various IM contact lists as robot@xiaoi.com for MSN, xiaoi001 for Yahoo and 270086600 on QQ. Or just do what I did and go to the Web-based link and have a chat.

One last one:

Ryan says:
肏你妈.
小i机器人 says:
刷好牙再来聊天吧 (go brush your teeth and then come talk to me)

6 Responses

  1. I didn’t even try to speak English to it. Had to keep Google translate open to carry on a conversation. My Chinese is far too limited. It is fun though.

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  3. well i tried talking to the bigot bot but she didn’t want to talk dirty to me damit……the other thing that i was having probs with her and on your site as well is that alot of the times when you or the bot speaks chinese (i presume” all i get is boxes instead of letters is there anything i can do about it?
    any ways off to talk to the bot again…..i have a few new pick up lines to try

  4. Hey Chris, new browsers (latest version of IE and Firefox) should have no problems displaying Chinese characters, so I would first suggest you try upgrading your browser. And if you’ve not already, upgrade to Firefox from IE. It’s just a world better.

    If that doesn’t work, you may need to install the Simplified Chinese language pack for your computer. You should be able to get it free here.

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