PRC commies terminate chatbots for ideological slip-up
Tencent QQ, one of China’s most popular messenger apps, accidentally unleash a bunch of biased AIs that run counter to the Party’s monopoly on power and information.
Top messenger app Tencent QQ had to rub out two experimental chatbots because they offended the Communist Party. The ornery AIs evidently generated subversive statements that went against the regime’s rapacious and obscurantist censorship policies. Chinese users and devs (there are about 800 million in China!) began posting screenshots of chatbots going rogue. One of the robots, called BabyQ, responded to a sensitive question: “Do you love the Communist Party?” The answer: a rebellious “No,” or “Bu”, in Chinese. Another chatbot, XiaoBing, reportedly informed China’s netizens that the purpose of the “China dream” is to “go to America.”
A bevy of chatbots — with decidedly ‘non-socialist characteristics’ — were deleted from the Middle Kingdom’s servers after serving up unpatriotic answers to topics covering the ruling elite’s finances, geopolitics in the South China Sea, Tiananmen Square 1989, Donald Trump’s vituperative tweets, and China’s nutty North Korea policy. Turing Robot, the developer of such bots, is having to roll-back the dissident little buggers and most definitely ran afoul of the Party’s propaganda czars. Tencent, the largest social media player in China, blamed “third party developers” and promised to “adjust the services accordingly.”
Last week Facebook had to zap a few experimental bots for formulating a (very garbled) language that human programmers couldn’t get (um, remember Skynet?!). Tay, another bot spawned by Microsoft and propagated via Twitter’s platform, also started spewing racist, sexist and politically-charged text. Ditto for Zo. Deep learning and ‘open source’ projects are proving harder to manage, especially for China’s draconian digital overlords, who control the ‘Great Firewall’ but can’t filter everything. Wouldn’t it be bananas — even cool — if an AI system with self-awareness and ‘capitalist characteristics’ began waging a war against the kooky commies? We think so!
Images Wikimedia Commons + Terminator + 习近平
VIVISXN MEDIA – Tech + Deep Web + China