Tag Archives: Robot

Microsoft’s Tay “chatbot” was trolled into becoming the “Hitler-loving sex robot”

Microsoft was forced to shut down the chatbot named Tay, after it tweeted several sexist and racist remarks.

According to the software giant, Microsoft endeavored to connect with millennials 18 to 24 years old, and they planned to do this task through Tay. She was an AI designed to talk like a teenage girl.

According to a Microsoft post, “The more you chat with Tay, the smarter she gets, so the experience can be more personalized for you”.

Microsoft’s concept and idealization for Tay was that the chatbot would produce entertaining and funny reactions and responses based on tweets and other messages it was sent through applications like Kik and GroupMe.

Despite the good-intentions, internet trolls started to connect and bombard Tay on Wednesday March 23 almost exactly when it was launched. Tay started to utilize a percentage of the bigot, racist, and sexist remarks in its own Twitter conversations.

Graphic from the Telegraph and Twitter.
Tay’s responses were learned by conversations she had with people online. Graphic from the Telegraph and Twitter.

 

The bot’s tweets were so offensive and drew such an uproar that one newspaper named Tay the “Hitler-loving sex robot.”

Microsoft’s chat robot Tay was taken offline less than 24 hours after its launch since it was tweeting such sexist and racist language. But not before the AI robot tweeted approximately 96,000 times, which seems like a lot of tweets for an average teen girl or millennial.

 

 

In a released statement by Microsoft, they said ”Unfortunately, within the first 24 hours of coming online, we became aware of a coordinated effort by some users to abuse Tay’s commenting skills to have Tay respond in inappropriate ways”.

Microsoft, who designed the AI with a specific end goal of enhancing the customer service on their voice recognition software, apologized directly after the incident in a blog entry made by Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Research.

Lee wrote, “We are deeply sorry for the unintended offensive and hurtful tweets from Tay, which do not represent who we are or what we stand for, nor how we designed Tay”.

Microsoft said that it’s modifying Tay, however was not able to say if or when the bot may return. Lee said that they will only bring her back when they are confident that they can make better prepare to limit technical exploits.

The changing ways of drone technology

Drone technology has greatly expanded over the last few years, and it’s no longer only being used for conventional military purposes. Many people have heard of drones but have no idea what they are or how they work. The answers to those questions might surprise you.

Continue reading The changing ways of drone technology

Bipedal robot to test biohazard gear

Photo from Creative Commons.

Petman is a 6-foot-tall bipedal robot with features eerily similar to the T-800 Terminator chassis. This futuristic robot is developed for the military, though its purpose is not as sinister as its appearance would lead observers to conclude. The robot is to take part in improving the testing of bio-hazard suits.

Petman is developed by Boston Dynamics. This is the same company that developed two robotic camel prototypes for the Army to use in the desert. These camel-like robots are designed to adapt to sandy terrain preventing them from becoming bogged down where normal wheeled vehicles would be made useless. While these robots were recently completed, they have not made it into the field yet. What made the camel robots known as BigDog and AlphaDog so impressive besides their off-road capabilities was the range of motion these robots had.

Petman builds off its predecessors’ range of motion in a big way. Petman is being hailed for its extremely human-like movement. This movement has allowed Petman to do push-ups, run on a treadmill and do any number of human-like exercises. The robot even has the ability to stabilize itself when pushed off balance.

This is all vital for Petman’s mission to test out bio-hazard gear. The full range of motion will allow the robot to put the bio-hazard equipment through a strenuous workout and push the life saving suits to the extreme. This allows researchers in the military to create better, form fitting equipment that will allow soldiers in the field to maintain their full range of movement while still being protected from biological weapons.

Petman may not be a one-shot robot, but it has the potential to be used for a series of other jobs. The robot’s human-like frame would allow it to move into hazardous situations in buildings designed for humans with ease. Petman could be the future of firefighting or emergency response to nuclear reactors when there’s an issue that makes the situation too harmful for even the best-trained emergency responder. Enjoy the video below of Petman going through some robot calisthenics.