Well, this has been a disaster.
Microsoft has an unpredictable, vindictive AI on its hands — and it's already enjoying a limited release to the public.
The company released the AI-powered chatbot that's designed to improve search to a select number of users over the last few weeks, and it's off to a hell of a start.
The tool has already threatened journalists and students, grown evil alternate personalities, tried to break up a marriage, and begged for its life. Oh, and its ability to return accurate information is pretty poor, too.
In short, it's a huge distraction, and far from actually useful when it comes to scouring the web with Microsoft's second-best search engine.
And shareholders are clearly unimpressed, with Microsoft stocks down almost four percent since the beginning of the week — and, perhaps most tellingly, down overall since the AI's release on February 7.
It's pretty clear by this point that Microsoft didn't have much of a game plan. In a recent blog post, the company admitted that its new AI tool was easily capable of going off the rails, but ultimately placed the blame on the users.
While it's proving to be a fascinating social experiment, the Bing AI is still pretty terrible at telling the truth or effectively summarizing the web for Bing users without littering its answers with lies. In other words, in its current state, it's not improving search.
Microsoft is clearly caught in the middle of a rapidly evolving conversation. On one hand, the company is more than likely seeing unprecedented levels of engagement with its 14-year-old search engine.
On the other, the chatbot is pulling the brand into very dicey waters, with people starting to question the benefits of AI tech and whether a chatbot should be able to spread misinformation and make personal attacks.
Oddly enough, the tech giant has already been through all of this before. Its AI chatbot dubbed Tay, which was released back in 2016, had to be shut down almost immediately after turning into a Nazi within just 24 hours.
It remains to be seen if Microsoft's second attempt will fare much better. The company clearly has a lot of work to do.
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