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Microsoft's Tay AI makes brief, baffling return to Twitter

Tayandyou? More like Tay and itself.
James Trew, @itstrew
March 30, 2016
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Microsoft's Twitter AI experiment -- Tay -- briefly came back online this morning. Tay was initially switched off, after learning the hard way that, basically, we're all terrible people, and cannot be trusted to guide even a virtual teenage mind. This morning, however, it looks like Microsoft temporarily flipped the switch, activating the account again. It didn't take long before the Artificial Intelligence got itself in a bit of bother, by tweeting at itself, and instantly replying. The result? An infinite loop of telling itself "You are too fast, please take a rest..." Within minutes, Tay was offline again. Or rather, the account has now been made private.

It's unclear whether Tay's return was planned, perhaps as part of the planned testing to see whether it was ready to face the public again.For now, at least, the account is dormant again -- unless you're on the followers list already. Those awkward teenage years appear to be far from over for Tay, and like others are finding out, carelessly running your mouth on the internet can be a costly endeavour.

Update: CNBC received confirmation from Microsoft that (as suspected) Tay was inadvertently activated on Twitter for a brief period of time as part of testing.

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