Paul Gilster: Microsoft’s Tay stumbled, but chatbots have bright future

Computers unsettle us when they do things we don’t expect. Take the case of a Reddit user who goes by the screen-name “barney13.” When he asked Google Now – the intelligent assistant he accesses through his smartphone – to show him travel pictures he had taken in Nice, France, the digital helper showed him the photos, but also expressed its sympathy for the loss of his father, who had died in the city back in 2010. What happened? After verifying the interaction with a video he posted on YouTube, barney13 explained that Google Now had learned about his father’s death via an email he received shortly afterwards. The request for photos from Nice sparked an immediate search through his data, connecting the city with the event. Finding the message of…


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