Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Microsoft Takes Chatbot Offline after Offensive Tweets

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Microsoft Takes Chatbot Offline after Offensive Tweets

Article excerpt

Chatbot shelved after it 'learns' racism, sexism

Artificial-intelligence software designed by Microsoft to tweet like a teenage girl has been suspended after it began spouting offensive remarks.

Microsoft says it's making adjustments to the Twitter chatbot after users found a way to manipulate it to tweet racist and sexist remarks and make a reference to Hitler.

The chatbot debuted on Wednesday and is designed to learn how to communicate through conversations with real humans. It targets young Americans, ages 18 to 24. Users interact with it using the Twitter account @tayandyou.

Microsoft's statement Thursday says that within 24 hours, "we became aware of a coordinated effort by some users to abuse Tay's commenting skills to have Tay respond in inappropriate ways."

Most messages have been deleted. The latest remaining tweet begins, "c u soon."

Arizona voting delays criticized * Lengthy waits for some Arizona residents wanting to vote in the presidential primary have led to accusations of voter suppression from Democrats and civil rights proponents who cite a decision by elections officials to slash the number of polling places this year.

Residents in metro Phoenix have been bristling for years over a perception that state leaders want to make it harder for them to vote, and the mess at the polls Tuesday only heightened their frustration.

Republican lawmakers passed a series of measures in recent years aimed at cracking down on voter fraud. But opponents believe the changes were merely ploys to stifle Democratic turnout. Those battles are being waged again after people waited in line for five hours to vote in some places.

Daniel Scarpinato, spokesman for Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, says talk of voter suppression is misplaced, but the governor wants the problems fixed.

Kansas, Oklahoma battle wildfires * Crews made progress Thursday against wind-whipped wildfires that spread from Oklahoma into southern Kansas, burning hundreds of square miles of largely grassland. …

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