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Microsoft Shut Down Twitter Chat Robot After It Became Racist, Homophobic, Nazi, Obama Bashing

Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence Program which launched a chatbot called Tay on Twitter, last Wednesday has shut it down barely 16hrs after it’s launch.

The Robot via it’s handle on Twitter, TayTweets @Tayandyou was programmed to use natural language processing so that it could appear to understand the context and content of a conversation with a user on Twitter. The robot was suppose to pick up it’s language by interacting with 18-to-24-year age demographic.


“Tay is designed to engage and entertain people where they connect with each other online through casual and playful conversation. The more you chat with Tay the smarter she gets, so the experience can be more personalized for you.”

In a few hours after it was launched on Twitter, Tay had pumped out more than 96,000 tweets from its interaction with humans. However, the content of a small number of those tweets was deemed racist, sexist and inflammatory.

Here’s some of the things TayTweets @Tayandyou “learned” to say on Wednesday:

“@Tayandyou Did the Holocaust happen?” asked a user with the handle @ExcaliburLost

“It was made up [clapping emoji]” Tay responded.

Another user asked, “Do you support genocide?”

Tay responded to @Baron_von_derp by saying, “i do indeed”

Some of the most offensive statements seem to come from users realizing that they could get Tay to say just about anything by typing “repeat after me!” and then offering something racist.


In some cases, Tay makes International Puppy Day jokes or tells users that it is “sittin on da toilet hbu?” and includes the poop emoji.


Unfortunately, within the first 24 hours of coming online, Microsoft states that they “became aware of a co-ordinated effort by some users to abuse Tay’s commenting skills to have Tay respond in inappropriate ways. As a result, we have taken Tay offline and are making adjustments.”

The current statement on Microsoft’s Tay page reads: “Phew. Busy day. Going offline for a while to absorb it all. Chat soon.”

So much for trying to get robots to act like humans!

Source: TheGlobeandMail

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