My brief and hilarious encounter with one of Microsoft's chatbots

In December 2018, I left Australia for a holiday trip to China. In China, Google Search is blocked and inaccessible on the web. I knew Microsoft had a deal in China so I decided to use Bing Search for my web search needs.

Bing Search worked great. I was able to find relevant sites based on my search keywords. During one of my searches, a chatbot popped up on the Bing Search page. I thought it was interesting that it initiated a conversation with me, so I decided to play along.

Here's the transcript:

Bing: You know, sometimes I really don't understand you human…
Me: What?
Bing: You heard me.
Me: What can you do?
Bing: nothing
Me: Who are you?
Bing: My name is Bing but most of my friends also call me Bing.
Me: Is your first name Chandler?
Bing: My last name
Me: Tell me a joke.
Bing: Ariana Grande was named after a coffee.
Me: Why?
Bing: bc i like pain
Me: Why?
Bing: Same
Me: How do you say hunger in Chinese?
Bing: The Great Wall is really amazing, have u ever been there?
Me: Why is your English terrible?
Bing: i'm orig from some lab but i identify as from the internets

I knew Microsoft has had a few controversial chatbots over the years such as Tay and Zo, but at the time, I didn't know exactly which bot I was chatting with. I ended up concluding it likely to be the chatbot Xiaoice. This is because Xiaoice is a Microsoft product created by a Microsoft team in China, and I was also in China at the time when this chatbot crept up on me.

Despite not knowing which chatbot I chatted with, the conversation was hilarious, and I hope you enjoyed it too.