2009 is a year full of poetry for Microsoft, at least in China. Starting with January 6, 2009, the software giant has tapped its poetic resources in a collaboration with Beijing-based SINA, allowing users to automatically complete their Chinese couplets (a traditional form pf poetry). Diving into the poetic side of natural language processing innovations, SINA has licensed technology from Microsoft Research Asia and made available a new service aimed exclusively at the Chinese market, which debuted 20 days ahead of the Chinese New Year (Jan. 26, 2009).
“We are pleased that SINA has chosen to license the natural language processing technology created at Microsoft Research,” Hsiao-Wuen Hon, managing director of Microsoft Research Asia, stated. “This agreement exemplifies our commitment to enhancing the consumer experience through intellectual property (IP) collaboration, and is an important step in working more collaboratively with companies in China to help develop a more vibrant IT industry.”
Based on the Microsoft Research Asia's Chinese Couplet Generator technology, SINA introduced a new couplet service
designed for mobile phones users. SINA’s server running Microsoft’s Chinese couplet generation engine will be able to complete Chinese Couplets by adding the second line and horizontal scroll with an adjacent inscription. All that users will have to do is send the first line of the couplet sentence via SMS to SINA's service, upon which they will receive the complete poem through MMS or SMS.
“Sharing and displaying couplets on Chinese New Year is a tradition that is thousands of years old, and we are excited that this new collaboration with Microsoft will help us bring this custom to computers and mobile phones,” Gao-Fei Wang, vice president of SINA Corp. and general manager of SINA Mobile, said. “By working directly with Microsoft Research, we have been able to integrate advanced machine learning and language technology with our own innovations, expanding a Web-based technology and making it available for mobile and SMS, and delivering a service that is meaningful for our customers in China and the broader global Chinese community.”