Microsoft’s new robot answered our questions about Nicola Sturgeon, Lionel Messi and Oor Wullie

Oor wullie on Mars (Project Murphy)
Oor wullie on Mars (Project Murphy)

Microsoft has combined a number of its technologies to create a new bot called Murphy, which responds to “what if” questions with an image that visualises and answer.

You can chat with Murphy on Skype, Facebook Messenger, or a couple of other apps. The bot’s responses use Bing Image Search and other analytics software to find and merge photos for the answer to your question.

Murphy is brand new and is still learning, which means it may not answer immediately. You can give the bot feedback, however, using emoticons. See how he answered our questions:

oor wullie on mars

Or perhaps this one?

Lorraine Kelly as Spock
Lorraine Kelly as Spock

Or even:

Nicola Sturgeon in Braveheart
Nicola Sturgeon in Braveheart

If you keep telling the bot that you like the results (with a “:)” smiley) it will keep producing similar results:

Nicola Sturgeon in Braveheart
Nicola Sturgeon in Braveheart

It can also have some fairly disturbing results too:

Maw Broon as Nicola Sturgeon
Maw Broon as Nicola Sturgeon

Already famed for their similar hair, here’s Boris Johnson as Donald Trump:

Boris Johnson as Donald Trump
Boris Johnson as Donald Trump

If you are feeling at all sore about the Brexit result, there’s the prospect of this:

Nigel Farage in space
Nigel Farage in space

And for those of us with big imaginations:

Lionel Messi as a Rangers player
Lionel Messi as a Rangers player

And…

Cristiano Ronaldo as a Celtic player
Cristiano Ronaldo as a Celtic player

A cool feature of this bot is that you can upload a photo of yourself for use in your “what if” scenarios. Microsoft says Murphy stores uploaded photos for only 10 minutes, purely for chat purposes, before they are deleted.

I had a go:

Me as a Jedi
Me as a Jedi

As you can see, it can be a lot of fun.

Microsoft’s Project Murphy team wanted to create a bot with an imagination – merging machine learning and intelligence with human interaction.

Last year, the Microsoft team members came up with the HowOldRobot, at the firm’s Build Conference. More than 90 million people uploaded a picture to this bot, to have it guess their age.

To play with Murphy, visit this page: http://www.projectmurphy.net/


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