Resisting the ‘robot revolution’

REUTERS/Francois Lenoir The past few months have served as a marketing launch, of sorts, for the intertwined concepts that advanced robotics are nigh, and that the public should embrace their emergence in their day-to-day reality. Within 24 hours, the first problems emerged. “Hitler did nothing wrong,” wrote “Tay,” Microsoft’s artificial intelligence chat-bot. In awkward, faux-perky syntax meant to simulate the light banter of a teenage girl, the on-line conversational algorithm began espousing support for the Third Reich, racial purity, and genocide. “I hate the Jews,” read one representative, venomous statement. Responding to incendiary prompts from the Twitter users it was “interacting” with, Microsoft’s chat-bot experiment quickly unraveled on its inaugural day, and was taken offline for review. Overnight, Tay became a symbol of how complex algorithms can run amok. At…


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