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Microsoft's AI-powered Virtual Support Assistant is said to help answer Xbox players' questions and refund games right from the Xbox website.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

April 2, 2024

2 Min Read
Logo for Microsoft's Xbox console.
Image via Microsoft.

At a Glance

  • The support chatbot is reportedly one small step for Microsoft's plans to incorporate AI into Xbox's development pipeline.

A new report from the Verge claims Microsoft is working on an AI-powered chatbot for Xbox. This "Virtual Support Agent" (as Xbox puts it) will be an "embodied AI character" that effectively serves as customer support, like chatbots on other websites.

It's said the VSA is part of a larger AI push inside of Xbox. Along with the generative AI design tools unveiled last November, Microsoft reportedly wants to incorporate the technology into its art and game testing pipelines, among other areas.

Beyond answering questions from Xbox users, the VSA is said to be able to process game refunds from the website. Microsoft's reportedly expanded the test pool, suggesting it'll be available for all Xbox users in the near future.

The Verge further claims it's being tested internally against support queries for the Minecraft Realms subscription service. That may indicate the VSA coul be usable in games, or at the very least, there'll be game-specific queries it'll be able to assist with.

A spokesperson for Microsoft told the outlet its internal VSA prototype would "[make] it easier and quicker for players to get help with support topics using natural language, taking information from existing Xbox Support pages.”

Microsoft and the AI game

When it comes to AI and its games division, Microsoft is reportedly "moving cautiously." In the last year, there's been a negative sentiment around the technology, thanks largely to heavy pushback from workers in creative fields across the entertainment industry.

It's said that during a recent Xbox all-hands, Microsoft executives featured "AI innovation" as part of their "Xbox Everywhere" vision. Part of that may include incorporating AI into its next major Xbox console.

Xbox has largely focused on AI tools from a developer perspective thus far. There's clearly an interest in using the technology beyond lightening the load of customer support.

The Verge's full report on Xbox's AI goals can be read here.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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