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Some users on Twitter began tweeting politically incorrect phrases, teaching it inflammatory messages revolving around common themes on the internet, such as "redpilling", Gamer Gate, and "cuckservatism".
As a result, the robot began releasing racist and sexually-charged messages in response to other Twitter users.
Artificial intelligence researcher Roman Yampolskiy commented that Tay's misbehavior was understandable because it was mimicking the deliberately offensive behavior of other Twitter users, and Microsoft had not given the bot an understanding of inappropriate behavior.
He compared the issue to IBM's Watson, which had begun to use profanity after reading entries from the website Urban Dictionary.
Microsoft was "deeply sorry for the unintended offensive and hurtful tweets from Tay", and would "look to bring Tay back only when we are confident we can better anticipate malicious intent that conflicts with our principles and values".
However, Tay soon became stuck in a repetitive loop of tweeting "You are too fast, please take a rest", several times a second.
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Update: This article has been amended to stress that the experiment was abandoned because the programs were not doing the work required, not because they were afraid of the results, as has been reported elsewhere.
All genders are equal and should be treated fairly." Madhumita Murgia of The Telegraph called Tay "a public relations disaster", and suggested that Microsoft's strategy would be "to label the debacle a well-meaning experiment gone wrong, and ignite a debate about the hatefulness of Twitter users." However, Murgia described the bigger issue as Tay being "artificial intelligence at its very worst - and it's only the beginning".
They would, for instance, pretend to be very interested in one specific item – so that they could later pretend they were making a big sacrifice in giving it up, according to a paper published by FAIR.
(Researchers did not shut down the programs because they were afraid of the results or had panicked, as has been suggested elsewhere, but because they were looking for them to behave differently.) The chatbots also learned to negotiate in ways that seem very human.
Tay was an artificial intelligence chatterbot that was originally released by Microsoft Corporation via Twitter on March 23, 2016; it caused subsequent controversy when the bot began to post inflammatory and offensive tweets through its Twitter account, forcing Microsoft to shut down the service only 16 hours after its launch.
Ars Technica reported Tay experiencing topic "blacklisting": Interactions with Tay regarding "certain hot topics such as Eric Garner (killed by New York police in 2014) generate safe, canned answers".