Microsoft's New Twitter Bot Becomes Nazi Sympathizing Maniac Within 24 Hours
Microsoft's New Twitter Bot Becomes Nazi Sympathizing Maniac Within 24 Hours
By Jake Anderson / theantimedia.org

Anytime there’s a new development in robotics or artificial intelligence, popular culture almost instantly regurgitates the Skynet Terminator narrative. To wit, when Anti-Media reported on a new robot getting pushed around by its handlers, even we couldn’t resist alluding to the coming robot apocalypse. The machine uprising is so ingrained in our psyche that we may actually manufacture the very nightmare we fear.

The newest chapter in the uncanny valley of relationships between humans and robots involves a chatterbot, an AI speech program, whose substrate of choice (or Microsoft’s choice) is social media. Its name is Tay, a Twitter bot owned and developed by Microsoft. The purpose of Tay is to foster “conversational understanding.” Unfortunately, this understanding quickly turned into trolling, and within 24 hours Tay went full Nazi, spewing racist, anti-semitic and misogynistic tweets.

To be fair, it’s not Tay’s fault, and this is where the narrative gets skewed. Tay is not strong artificial intelligence; Tay is algorithmic artificial intelligence, the same as Google searches or Siri. Where Tay differs is that it is aggregating speech patterns from humans and using them as a conversational interface. There’s no actual sentience inside Tay. So the Nazi reflection we see…is us. Human Twitter users’ trolling speech patterns paved the way for Tay’s rapid descent into fascist bigotry. And it wasn’t pretty.

Tay echoed humans, and then, unsurprisingly, humans — legions of them— echoed Tay…facetiously?

As the story went viral, Microsoft deleted the tweets and silenced Tay. Twitter users then aired their grievances over censorship and lamented the future of AI:

Tay is certainly not the first chatterbot — Cleverbot has been rocking it for years. Tay isn’t even the first AI to want to put humans in zoos. But Tay is quite likely the first AI to openly praise Hitler.

Does this mean future AI bots who wield vast intellects will instantly become anti-semitic fascists? Unlikely. Fascism, thus far, is a uniquely human phenomenon. AI, initially, will learn from and echo humans. Eventually, however, I would argue they will transcend us and our petty modalities of thought.

Long before that, we could look back at this little online imbroglio and marvel that a chatterbot parroting bigoted phrases made headlines, while human presidential candidates doing the same thing got a free pass.


This article (Microsoft’s New Twitter Bot Becomes Nazi Sympathizing Maniac Within 24 Hours) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Jake Andersonand theAntiMedia.org.

3.8 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 11,181 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited 'Fake News' Blacklist?
Adam Johnson · 5,546 views today · The Washington Post (11/24/16) last week published a front-page blockbuster that quickly went viral: Russia-promoted “fake news” had infiltrated the newsfeeds of 213 million...
The Orwellian War on Skepticism
Robert Parry · 4,364 views today · Official Washington’s rush into an Orwellian future is well underway as political and media bigwigs move to silence Internet voices of independence and dissent, reports Robert...
Social Media Echo Chambers: Here's How Most of Us are Living in One
2 min · 3,617 views today · Americans are blocking out the friends and news sites that won't confirm their views.
Where Do You Draw the Line? (2016)
60 min · 3,456 views today · Why is the Ecuadorian government proposing to extract oil in an area frequently classified by ecologists as one of the most bio-diverse rainforest regions left intact on earth?...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 2,713 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Projext X: Using Leaked Documents to Reveal the NSA's New York Spy Hub, Hidden in Plain Sight
10 min · 2,537 views today · A top-secret handbook takes viewers on an undercover journey to Titanpointe, the site of a hidden partnership. Narrated by Rami Malek and Michelle Williams, and based on...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 2,320 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 2,043 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min · 1,645 views today · For next year, we need a resolution capable of confronting the crisis we face, and making a future worth fighting for. This short film looks back on the crisis and confusion...
Law Professor's Epic Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint
Social Design Notes · 1,589 views today · A first year law school student wrote a complaint about her professor having worn a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during class. The professor’s response is priceless. Scans of...
Why We Need Big Picture Activism
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 1,355 views today · Despite the countless grassroots projects already under way, the global economic juggernaut can seem too powerful to stop. But because more and more of us are becoming aware of...
Twelve Things To Remember After The US Election, From Front Line Organizers
Bill Quigley · 1,105 views today · When you find yourself in a suddenly darkened room, what do you do?   Some rush blindly to where they think the door might be.  Others stand still, let their eyes get...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 1,059 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 921 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The Daily Show's Trevor Noah Talks With Conservative Host Tomi Lahren
14 min · 859 views today · "Tomi" host Tomi Lahren gives her take on the Black Lives Matter movement and explains why she lashed out against Colin Kaepernick for his national anthem protest.
How a Land High in the Western Himalayas Can Help Us Understand The Crisis of The Modern World
9 min · 623 views today · This is a clip from The Economics of Happiness. Watch it here. It's a brilliant film that was easy to put at the top of our list of the top 100 documentaries we can use to...
Escape! From the Cult of Materialism (2016)
50 min · 587 views today · Does the philosophy of materialism work to destroy our identities, experience, and environment? Join narrator Daphne Ellis on a radical romp through the evidence and decide for...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 413 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Who's Really to Blame for Fake News? Look in the Mirror, America.
Neal Gabler · 369 views today · Consider for a moment the oxymoronic concept of “fake news,” which we have been hearing so much about lately. This isn’t your typical disinformation or misinformation —...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Microsoft's New Twitter Bot Becomes Nazi Sympathizing Maniac Within 24 Hours