Microsoft's artificial intelligence (AI) program, Tay, reappeared on Twitter on Wednesday after being deactivated last week for posting offensive messages. However, the program once again went wrong and Tay's account was set to private after it began repeating the same message over and over to other Twitter users. According to a Microsoft, the account was reactivated by accident during testing.I'm puzzled by this explanation but I'll go back through the evidence to see which explanation is best supported.]
"Tay remains offline while we make adjustments," a spokesperson for the company told CNBC via email. "As part of testing, she was inadvertently activated on Twitter for a brief period of time." (emphasis added)
[Update 6:35am It now looks like the "account hack" was really a bungled test session by someone at Microsoft Research -- effectively a "self-hack".
Important: This episode was not "Tay being Tay".]
The @Tayandyou Twitter chatbot has been silent since last Thursday when Microsoft shut it down. Shortly after midnight today, Pacific time, the @Tayandyou Twitter account woke up and started blasting tweets at very high volume. All of these tweets included other Twitter handles in them, maybe from previous tweets, maybe from followers.
But it became immediately apparent that something was different and wrong. These tweets didn't look anything like the ones before, in style, structure, or sentience. From the tweet conversations and from the sequence of events, I believe that the @Tayandyou account was hacked today (March 30), and was active for 15 minutes, sending over 4,200 tweets.
The online media has started posting articles, but they all treat this as more "Tay runs amok". Only The Verge has updated their story. If you read an article that doesn't at least consider that Tay's Twitter account was hacked, could you please add a comment with link to this post? Thanks.]