Magazine
Latest Issue

Leith on life: Troll of trolls

Microsoft owes it to the world to put "Tay" back online

By Sam Leith   May 2016

©10 Face/Shutterstock

How long do you have to spend on social media before you start hating Jews, theorising that 9/11 was an inside job and wanting Donald Trump elected as President of the United States? Twelve hours will do it, it seems, if you’re a chatbot.

It all started pretty innocently. Tay was the name given to a Microsoft Artificial Intelligence experiment, a Twitter feed with a teenage girl persona designed to appeal to millennials and which would learn how to chat by interacting with other users. “@tayandyou” was…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect