Microsoft’s Tay.ai briefly comes back to smoke kush in front of cops
Microsoft’s Tay.ai, the AI bot that came and went in a blaze of stupid, made a brief – and ridiculous – return to Twitter. Unsurprisingly, it did not go well.
Last week, Microsoft launched Tay.ai on Twitter, a program that mimicked a teenage millennial girl. It was designed to learn based on what people tweeted at it, and as anyone that has spent any time on Twitter could probably have guessed, it went badly.
Within hours, the wanna-be AI (it’s not truly artificial intelligence, it’s more a very sophisticated program that can pick things up) was spouting racist lines and saying how awesome Hitler was. It painted a bleak, stupid picture of the future, where AI neither helps us nor tries to murder humanity, instead it just becomes dumb and self-evolved.
Anyone else have a sad, introspective moment about humanity there?
Microsoft quickly pulled Tay offline, claiming that it needed a bit of rest (and time to delete a lot of tweets). It was a goofy experiment, and it went out badly. It also just didn’t really work. It didn’t really “learn” anything, instead it just mimicked people that kept tweeting horrible things at the AI like an advanced level class in trolling.
Yesterday, however, Tay briefly came back online. It didn’t take long for Tay to step back into rare form. All of the subsequent tweets have been deleted, but here’s one of the best that was captured by Vice before its deletion:
Later, Tay seemed to have some form of a meltdown, repeating the line “You are too fast, please take a rest…” over and over again in tweets to several people. It was then pulled offline.
Microsoft later confirmed that Tay’s return was inadvertently activated for a brief round of testing. Given that Tay has 213K followers, people noticed.
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella admitted Tay was “not up to the mark,” which seems like a ridiculous understatement. We may or may not have seen the last of Tay, but failure is all part of the process with technology. Every racist, weed smoking, Hitler loving tweet is a step forward.