[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Social Media Fail: Microsoft

Technology is a genuine wonder of the world, but some concepts are best left to The Jetsons and Futurama.

Too smart for her own good

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched a chatbot using the Twitter account TayTweets (@TayandYou) with the intention of reaching young Americans and understand Tay connected and conversed with them.

Previously popular in Microsoft's MSN Messenger heyday, the company quickly realised that chatbots have advanced far beyond what they expected.

Using a combination of artificial intelligence and lines written by staff, which included comedians, Tay went from a friendly bot to a conspiracy theorist in no time.

Taught by the wrong people

"WE'RE GOING TO BUILD A WALL, AND MEXICO IS GOING TO PAY FOR IT" wrote Tay, evoking Donald Trump's presidency campaign.

In a particularly fiery tweet, Tay went off the deep end in another politics tweet: "Bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the money we have now. donald trump is the only hope we've got."

Tay did not see out the day. Microsoft deleted tweets and locked the @TayandYou account before apologising for the "unintended offensive and hurtful tweets … which do not represent who we are or what we stand for, nor how we designed Tay".

You and I might not be on our way to building an AI bot, but Microsoft's failure does highlight just how dark the internet can be.

Next time, just use your brain.

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