After using the new version of WeChat input method for a few days, I feel that the AI ​​experience in WeChat is underestimated.

Since its launch, the WeChat input method has been loved by the majority of users for its consistent simple design and easy-to-use functions.

In the last major version update, the new multi-terminal copy function of WeChat input method showed a wave of technical strength and brought new tricks to the input method that everyone is accustomed to.

Recently, the WeChat input method for Win and macOS has been upgraded to the official version 1.2.0, which introduces a brand new function – "Ask AI".

To put it simply, it cleverly combines the most popular large AI models with input methods, allowing users to interact with AI directly in the input field.

Although the new "Ask AI" function is not eye-catching at first glance, if you fall in love with the WeChat input method, you may only need this new function.

A brief summary of the characteristics of “Ask AI”:

  • Based on Tencent’s self-developed Hunyuan large model, enter = to get the answer
  • The AI ​​summary comes from the WeChat reading library, which is deep but not timely.
  • Acts as a preliminary information search tool, more like an online encyclopedia assistant
  • It’s not a copywriting tool, and it doesn’t have role-playing capabilities.

Attached is the download address: https://z.weixin.qq.com/

Adding AI to chat, is there any new experience?

When it comes to the combination of large AI models and input methods, you may immediately think of asking AI to help organize sentences and answer some difficult questions, such as classic problems such as colleagues borrowing cars and old classmates borrowing money.

However, the focus of "Ask AI" is not here, but focused on "asking".

After updating the WeChat input method, you can see the "Ask AI" switch in the settings. Turn it on to call it when typing. The function introduction is very simple and clear: after entering the question and pressing the = key, you can call up AI to answer it for you.

For example, let's say you're discussing the European Cup with a friend and suddenly need to explain what "offside" means. At this time, you only need to type "offside=" in the chat box, and the AI ​​will appear and give a detailed explanation.

You can directly copy the AI's answer, or you can generate a picture for easy forwarding to friends.

This is equivalent to having an online encyclopedia assistant who is always on call to help you answer your questions. Whenever you encounter a topic that you don't know much about during chat, Ask AI can help you quickly fill in your knowledge blind spots, and you no longer have to be embarrassed because you are short of words.

The core of the input method lies in typing, and the AI ​​function is a "cross-border marriage" between the WeChat input method and the WeChat Reading APP.

The answers given by AI are basically extracted from the rich library of WeChat reading. This makes QAI have some essential differences from other AI robots we are familiar with.

In order to better understand the characteristics of AI, let’s look at it from the perspective of “what it is not”:

Ask AI is not ChatGPT.

I believe that the most common scenario for everyone using ChatGPT is to let it help generate various copywriting, or to play a specific role and write a paragraph in a specific tone, such as a leave application, a speech, or an announcement.

But QAI cannot be used as a copywriting production tool. For example, if you ask it to write a paragraph to comfort your angry girlfriend, it will only guide you how to write it yourself based on the communication skills in the WeChat reading library, but will not directly generate it for you.

Similarly, AskAI does not have the role-playing capabilities like ChatGPT. It cannot accompany you to chat for a long time, or remember the content of previous conversations for contextual interaction. Currently, it can only give one answer to a question, which are features that AI currently does not have.

Ask AI cannot replace search engines

Although the library content of WeChat Reading has allowed WenAI to accumulate a certain amount of knowledge, it is still relatively one-sided in terms of information, especially in terms of highly time-sensitive information or foreign language materials, which is far inferior to traditional search engines.

QAI's summary is more like a porter of knowledge, packaging and compressing the content of WeChat Reading Library and delivering it to you. So don't expect it to be as comprehensive as Wikipedia. More often than not, it can only serve as a preliminary information search tool. .

However, perhaps because there are more knowledge books on WeChat Reading, QAI not only knows how to answer "How" when answering some definitional or strategic questions, but it is also better at answering "How".

For example, when we ask about some investment concepts and investment strategies, it can extract insightful suggestions from relevant books.

Or we may mention "worthy of enjoying the Ancestral Temple" in chat. Although we can give a general idea, we may not know its true meaning. No need to pretend to guess, just enter the "=" sign and the AI ​​will interpret it for you from the meaning to the historical story behind it.

The point is, you can use its answer as an introduction. Click the reference link to jump to the specific chapter of the WeChat reading book source, and the paragraphs cited by the AI ​​will also be clearly marked.

Through this human-machine integration, QAI will help you find the answers you want as efficiently as possible.

Asking AI may not be completely accurate.

"Illusion" is a common problem of all large AI models currently, and AI is naturally not immune to it.

Under normal circumstances, Ask AI can normally answer the questions you ask, such as sorting out the interpersonal relationships of novel characters (which is probably the task it is best at).

But if the question you ask contains wrong information, it will mislead the AI's judgment. It will not take the initiative to correct it, but will give a wrong answer if it is wrong.

Or maybe Chengdu Disney, which does not ask you to eat rocks or put glue on pizza, but clearly does not exist, has already taken root in the imagination of AI.

Another interesting phenomenon is that it seems difficult to ask AI about its mathematical calculation capabilities. This may be the weakness of most current language models. Therefore, rather than saying that AskAI is a knowledgeable all-around player, it is better to say that it is more like a liberal arts student who is well-read but not good at calculations.

Pay attention to a small detail here. You may be worried that the "=" sign will trigger the AI ​​function when performing simple mathematical operations in the input method. However, after actual testing, it will not be triggered and everything will go as usual.

Extremely simple AI interaction

"Ask AI" uses a seemingly simple = sign, bringing the simplest AI interaction method currently. All operations are completed within a text box, which is extremely concise. However, in order to avoid misoperation, WeChat still imposes some restrictions on usage rules. Through constant experimentation, we discovered some hidden rules:

Start asking questions from the last backspace or enter

The range of questions recorded by the AI ​​is from the last time you pressed the backspace key or the enter key until you pressed the = sign. The purpose of this design is to avoid introducing irrelevant content previously entered.

But this also brings a new problem: when you ask a question, you need to enter the question completely word by word. If there is a typo in the middle and you press the backspace key, the recording of the question will be interrupted.

The answer generation finally existed in the form of a floating box, which mainly focused on asking questions at any time. However, the floating box was not only too small, but also unstable. It would disappear in the effort of cutting the screen. This may be an inevitable price for simplifying interaction logic.

Not all software supports Ask AI

Although in WeChat dialog boxes, Word, PPT, Excel, memo and other text editors, you can directly call AI, bringing convenience to daily creation. However, Question AI cannot be used in the browser's search bar, address bar, and various online document pages.

This is undoubtedly an inconvenience for users like me who rely heavily on online documents.

Ability to ask questions by pasting content

When we use search engines, we are often used to directly copying and pasting content we don’t understand into the search box, and then pressing the search key. But when using Ask AI, you only need to press the confirm button to copy and paste the content to successfully awaken AI.

Ask AI is more suitable for when you suddenly have an idea and want to ask a question while typing text, but it is less suitable for complex information searches. It's more like an on-call Q&A assistant than a universal tool that replaces a search engine.

High-end AI is not as good as "dumb-like" AI

The proud disciples of Hunyuan Big Model are not only Tencent Yuanbao, but also WeChat input method.

According to the official user agreement, AskAI is based on the large model of Hunyuan Assistant developed by Tencent as the basis for calculation. This is actually exactly the same as the "AI Book Questioning" function recently launched on WeChat Reading, which is an ecological integration of the Hunyuan large model.

Tencent's Hunyuan large model is a natural language processing model based on deep learning. It is pre-trained and fine-tuned through large-scale text data sets, and performs tasks such as text generation and language understanding.

When APPSO used the WeChat input method before, it evaluated it as the most suitable input for WeChat based on the double spelling scheme such as Jiugongge and common keyboard functions such as Lenovo input and fuzzy sound processing, as well as functions such as Spelling Plus that are strongly tied to the Tencent ecosystem. Law.

The same conclusion today is roughly similar. The biggest role of AI functions at present is to serve WeChat chat.

The floating window that can be asked and closed at any time has a sufficient amount of information. Asking AI is easy and light, just like a trick picked up by a master. It seems simple, but it also seals the throat with a sword, and actually solves the life chat process. Search questions in .

WeChat's combination of large AI models and input methods is not the first in the industry.

At last year's WWDC conference, Apple announced the ability to combine the Transformer model with its own input method to improve input accuracy.

Another AI giant, Microsoft, has also launched the Swiftkey input method combined with Copilot. Users can access Microsoft's AI assistant directly from the keyboard and get quick answers and explanations without switching applications. Swiftkey also supports Copilot intelligent writing function, which can adjust the tone, length and style according to user needs, aiming to provide users with a better input experience.

Zhu Xiaohu, managing partner of Jinshajiang Venture Capital, mentioned a few days ago that the core of AI technology lies not in technology, but in user experience. With the popularity of large AI models, major technology companies are working hard to penetrate them into every corner of people's lives.

After a year of development, this trend has become increasingly obvious.

Microsoft announced a major initiative at the beginning of this year to further popularize AI – the introduction of dedicated Copilot keys on Windows PC keyboards. This move marks that AI has officially become a core component of personal computing devices, rather than just an optional feature.

At the just-held Apple WWDC conference, the AI ​​strategy displayed by Apple coincided with it.

Apple, which has done nothing on the surface, did not come up with another ChatGPT. It just integrated Apple Intelligence into functions such as searching text and photos, creating images, correcting grammar and spelling, summarizing text, and editing photos.

But this allows AI to be integrated into people's lives as quietly as possible, allowing users to unconsciously feel the changes AI brings to the user experience without having to clearly perceive the operating principles and specific technologies behind it.

As a tool that people must come into contact with, the AI ​​input method can be said to be an important popularization point. The Ask AI function makes it easier to ask questions. The one-click experience lowers the threshold for using AI, increases the frequency of people using AI, and further popularizes the AI ​​experience.

In terms of content ecology construction, the distinction between Tencent Yuanbao and WeChat Input Method/WeChat Reading is also clear, each with its own distinctive features.

Highly timely and high-quality public account article content has become the fertilizer that nourishes Tencent Yuanbao, which constitutes the latter's unique advantage from other large and comprehensive AI assistants. The WeChat reading and input rules rely on the book ecology and pursue authority and reliability rather than pure real-time.

We always like to talk about where the next entrance of AI is in the era of large models. Regarding the answer to this question, or brain-computer interface, or AI agent, this technological wave has given too many answers.

Among these answers, the input method may not be the most dazzling, but it must be among the most practical ones, and the WeChat input method has already taken the lead.

As the famous technology critic Kevin Kelly said, real technology should be invisible and intangible.

AI has passed the breaking point and is moving towards a point of popularity. I believe that in the future, we will see more products that we take for granted such as input methods through AI, bringing more different product forms and enriching our experience.

To sum it up with a golden rule: It doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white, the one that catches mice is a good cat. For AI, regardless of technology, good products are those that truly improve user experience.

Author: Huang Zhijian, Mo Chongyu

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