Artificial intelligence

Better Safe Than Quick

Tay the robot with an account source Twitter
Tay, the chatbot who was given a Twitter account and went off the rails. Teaching a robot is like teaching an impressionable child, say users.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Companies are fighting to bring products to market using artificial intelligence, not always putting safety first.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Artificial intelligence first boomed in the 1980s and now is expected to transform one industry after the next.
    • More and more companies are buying AI firms to gain talent and technology. Most recently, Apple bought Turi, and Intel bought Nervana.
    • Last year, companies bought 37 AI startups, and this year, there have been 29 takeovers so far.
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  • Audio

    Audio

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Some people got a good laugh when a chatbot was given its own Twitter account – and was then transformed into a Holocaust-denying racist in 24 hours and swiftly taken offline.

The Microsoft chatbot – called Tay – is a piece of software which can communicate with others with no human involvement. This bot was equipped with artificial intelligence but was easily manipulated by Twitter users.

Teaching a robot works just like drilling an innocent, unknowing child, as artificial intelligence learns from the sum of its experiences, much like human beings. The more often a subject is talked about, opinions expressed, and certain wordings used, the more likely the software is to consider it normal and use it.

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