Tech company, Microsoft, has apologized on behalf of its wayward child, and said it is “deeply sorry” for the offensively racist and sexist Twitter messages that Tay, its experimental AI teenager chatbot delivered last week.
The apology comes after Tay’s first 24 hours of freedom online last week saw her at turns deny the holocaust and also suggest casual linkages between feminism, and cancer.
Despite exhaustive testing and implementing contingency protocols in her design, Microsoft state that they had not anticipated the actions of a subset of Twitter users and had “made a critical oversight for this specific attack. As a result, Tay tweeted wildly inappropriate and reprehensible words and images.”
Microsoft also took the opportunity to state that they would only revive Tay if its engineers could essentially prevent or undermine internet trolling from shaping the AI in a negative manner.
This is the second apology Microsoft have issued. The first was short and to the point, pointing out as it did, that Tay was an experiment, and a ‘learning machine…[so]…some of its responses are inappropriate and indicative of the types of interactions some people are having with it.”
The idea behind Tay was that the chatbot would become smarter with each passing human the AI conversed with. What the designers didn’t factor into her programming was the capacity for the internet to troll.
“We are deeply sorry for the unintended offensive and hurtful tweets from Tay, which do not represent who we are or what we stand for, nor how we designed Tay,” said a spokesman for Microsoft. “To do AI right, one needs to iterate with many people and often in public forums. We must enter each one with great caution and ultimately learn and improve, step by step, and to do this without offending people in the process. We will remain steadfast in our efforts to learn from this and other experiences as we work toward contributing to an Internet that represents the best, not the worst, of humanity.”
In short, this was probably Microsoft’s way of saying: F***** internet trolls.