Xbox Support Goes AI: Microsoft Tests Virtual Assistant for Gamer Queries

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft's AI chatbot for Xbox support, including game refunds, introduces AI across the gaming platform.
  • The chatbot aims for efficient Xbox support through natural language, with concerns about customer service quality.
  • Aligned with the "Xbox Everywhere" vision, the AI initiative in gaming raises job impact concerns while promising significant technical advancements.

Microsoft is working on an innovative plan to create an AI-powered chatbot for Xbox support services, which can assist with game refunds. 

A report has detailed “an embodied AI character” that shows a depth of understanding when responding to contacts for Xbox support. This is part of a wider effort by Microsoft to embed artificial intelligence across its flagship gaming and entertainment platform.

If the technology is harnessed effectively, it could provide an efficient solution for refunds and other admin tasks connected to Xbox support documents. Conversely, moving away from human contact to a sole virtual assistance service could frustrate and alienate customers.

Microsoft has already been criticized for the difficulty it experiences when attempting to speak to a human operator. While AI can provide many solutions, it can also conflate real-time conversations, presenting inaccurate information as fact.

Haiyan Zhang, general manager of Gaming AI at Xbox, confirmed the tech giant’s ongoing work to test “an Xbox Support Virtual Agent”.

“The prototype makes it easier and quicker for players to get help with support topics using natural language, taking information from existing Xbox Support pages,” Zhang continued.

As stated, the chatbot’s development is part of Microsoft’s overall drive to use AI on Xbox and in game development, including testing, art, and in-game characters.

On art and assets, more AI influence and output means an increased chance of job losses so there will be some resistance from the workforce.

As a result, Microsoft will be moving tentatively in its embrace of AI and will need to strike a balance with its “Xbox Everywhere” vision, which was unveiled earlier this year.

The initiative identified “AI innovation” as a key driver in expansion plans. It is part of a device ecosystem and wider Xbox platform that will enable access from anywhere users want to play.

Xbox president Sarah Bond pledged “the largest technical leap you have ever seen in a hardware generation.”