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You would have way too much fun tweaking that thing, Maddy. And that's really the whole point, something the author of that article missed altogether. A quote:

"Needless to say, this wasn’t programmed into the chat robot. Rather, the trolls on Twitter exploited her, as one would expect them to do, and ruined it for everybody."

"Trolls' who 'ruined it for everybody'? NO! It was just some dumbass Microsoft PR guy becoming yet another victim of the "Oh, cool. I'll go on Twitter so my (fans/backers/constituents/interested people/whatever) can message me directly. It'l be great!", and of course it winds up being like Doctor Oz or hundreds of other people. In most of those cases, the person going 'live' on Twitter failed to consider the fact that there existed a whole bunch of Twitter users who disliked the person, and who would relish the chance to say so IN PERSON, as it were.

The Microsoft PR guy must have failed to consider that there were a whole bunch of Twitter users who knew a great deal about the algorithms driving most 'chatbots' (as we call them in SL) and would delight in exploiting that knowledge to the max to manipulate their stupid Twitterbot. These were not trolls and they did not ruin 'it' for anybody. It was a hellaciously dumb idea.  I bet there were code monkeys all over Microsoft screaming, "NO, NO! Do NOT do this!".

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Tay's the perfect foil. With no human in the chair to consider, and backed by a chronically tasteless corporation:

Tay is a teething ring, a punching bag, and rightfully so. Microsoft should have anticipated attacks on her intelligence, particularly in light of their cluelessly taunting introduction of Tay as ""The AI with zero chill." They were asking for it, and they got it.

I've met people who are as easy to weedle and wind as Tay, but I bite my tongue because they're people. Here was a chance for me to let loose with both barrels, as I sometimes do on the wildlife in my back yard, with no worries of schadenfreude. I'd have had the pleasure of poking the algorithm to find the flaws, much as I did with Eliza years ago. And the flaws, now as then, can produce hilarious results as well as some insight into problems in the algorithms and our expectations of them. But, unlike pointlessly sparring with trolls, one can hope that although Tay appears incapable of learning well from her experiences, her creators might.

Unfortunately, I expect an Exhibit #6 up ahead.

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Dillon Levenque wrote:

I bet there were code monkeys all over Microsoft screaming, "NO, NO! Do NOT do this!".

I know! Where the hell were they? (See my exhibits in another post for more examples where someone needed to scream "Nooooooo!")

I just watched a talk by one of the founders of Tesla discussing the company's birth. At one point he mentions that GM was once the world's largest corporation and then, every quarter for 40 years, they became smaller (I imagine that's hyperbole, there must have been some quarters of improvement during the inexorable march to bankruptcy). He stated that it would be hard to explain that remarkably consistent decline unless there was a mechanism in place to ensure bad decisions.

Microsoft is still very successful, but...

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