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In Zo’s case, it appears that she was trained to think that certain religions, races, places, and people—nearly all of them corresponding to the trolling efforts Tay failed to censor two years ago—are subversive.“Training Zo and developing her social persona requires sensitivity to a multiplicity of perspectives and inclusivity by design,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.
“We design the AI to have agency to make choices, guiding users on topics she can better engage on, and we continue to refine her boundaries with better technology and capabilities.
If the data isn’t diverse enough, then there can be bias baked in.
It’s a huge problem and one that we all need to think about.”When artificially intelligent machines absorb our systemic biases on the scales needed to train the algorithms that run them, contextual information is sacrificed for the sake of efficiency.
A few months after Tay’s disastrous debut, Microsoft quietly released Zo, a second English-language chatbot available on Messenger, Kik, Skype, Twitter, and Groupme.
Zo is programmed to sound like a teenage girl: She plays games, sends silly gifs, and gushes about celebrities.
In the Microsoft family of social-learning chatbots, the contrasts between Tay, the infamous, sex-crazed neo-Nazi, and her younger sister Zo, your teenage BFF with #friendgoals, are downright Shakespearean.These social lines are often correlated with race in the United States, and as a result, their assessments show a disproportionately high likelihood of recidivism among black and other minority offenders.“There are two ways for these AI machines to learn today,” Andy Mauro, co-founder and CEO of Automat, a conversational AI developer, told Quartz.“There’s the programmer path where the programmer’s bias can leech into the system, or it’s a learned system where the bias is coming from data.Mentioning these triggers forces the user down the exact same thread every time, which dead ends, if you keep pressing her on topics she doesn’t like, with Zo leaving the conversation altogether.(“like im better than u bye.”)Zo’s uncompromising approach to a whole cast of topics represents a troubling trend in AI: censorship without context. Chatroom moderators in the early aughts made their jobs easier by automatically blocking out offensive language, regardless of where it appeared in a sentence or word.