Microsoft has been adding artificial intelligence to almost all of its products, from Bing search to PowerPoint. Now it's testing AI for customer support on its Xbox.

“We are testing a virtual Xbox support agent, an internal prototype of an animated character that can query Xbox support topics with voice or text,” Haiyan Zhang, general manager of Gaming AI at Xbox, told CNET in a statement via email.

The animated character would pull information from existing Xbox support pages to provide answers to gamers' questions, Microsoft says.

The chatbot could also process game refunds, according to a previous report report by The Verge.

Microsoft eagerly embraced AI

The move marks another way Microsoft is incorporating AI into its product offerings. Building a chatbot designed to do more than just answer questions goes far beyond the initial Copilot generative AI technologies that Microsoft added to its Bing search engine and Office products thanks to its investment and partnership with OpenAI.

Microsoft has suggested these types of products before. CEO Satya Nadella described using voice-enabled AI to help people fill out forms, and the company has also demonstrated technologies that quickly summarize information from press releases, financial records or meeting transcripts.

The tech giant has made AI such a central aspect of its products that it added a dedicated AI Copilot button to keyboard layouts, the first change since Microsoft introduced the Windows key in 1994.

Read more: AI chatbots are here to stay. Learn how they can work for you

Microsoft hasn't said when its Xbox AI will launch, although the company is planning updates for its console and video game services soon. The company said it unintentionally leaked a presentation describing its upcoming Xbox “Brooklin” last year. The new device, which is reportedly discless, would have a cylindrical design rather than the boxy design of the Xbox Series X (which was mocked in memes for looking like a refrigerator).

AI technology could help Microsoft's Xbox differentiate itself from Sony's upcoming PlayStation 5 Pro video game console, which is rumored to launch later this year. Apple is also looking at AI and planning its own AI improvements for the iPhone, which could be announced as early as this summer during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference.

Editor's note: CNET is using an AI engine to help create some stories. For more information, see this post.



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