Social Media Win or Fail: Microsoft
The internet can be a dark place. Not because the internet is inherently dark, but because it is populated by humans who can hide behind anonymity.
This most recently reared its ugly head when Microsoft launched a twitter account managed by an artificial intelligence platform. Tay was a test by Microsoft to find something to interact with millennials and generation z. (Read more about Tay here.) Artificial intelligence learns by observing and interacting with the community it is put in.
When this was released, the internet went to work quickly. Within 24 hours of launching, Microsoft had to shut down the twitter account. The internet had taught Tay to be racist and sexist. With tweets like this:
Microsoft brought Tay back online a few days later and this was the result:
But at least they could turn off the account. In England they recently ran an online vote to name a new 300 milion dollar research vessel. The winning name: Boaty Mc Boat Face.
Oh internet, this is why we can’t have nice things.