Wednesday, March 23, 2016

News You Can't Use: Microsoft's New Chatbot Wants to Hang Out With Millennials on Twitter

We've already destroyed Generation Nothing's ability to communicate effectively in the "meat space" but perhaps the miracle of technology can render them equally inept at exchanging social cues on the information highway. Such is the hope behind Evil Corp's exciting new interactive "bot" that is guaranteed to deliver untold hours of high quality entertainment via the cultural black hole that is Twitter. This could allow new breakthroughs in delivering obnoxious advertisements for useless junk, America's only growth industry.

Microsoft has created a new artificial intelligence chat bot that it claims will become smarter the more you talk to it.

Ironically the opposite will happen to you. This is what we call the conservation of wit and charm.

The bot, 'Tay', has been dubbed by its Microsoft and Bing creators as "AI fam from the internet that's got zero chill!" 

Tay is totally radical and in your face! Get ready to go to the extreme! 23 skidoo! Clearly we can trust this corporate monolith, what with their adroit appropriation of the far-out and totally swell slang words we're all using.

The real-world aim of the bot is to allow researchers to "experiment" with conversational understanding, and learn how people really talk to each other.

Six months from now they'll honestly believe things like "I can't control my horny level" and "You want this old guy doing you in your house?" are typical lines from normal human interaction.

Naturally, for a bot that's available through Twitter and messaging platforms Kik and GroupMe, the AI is already filling the role of a millennial; emojis are included in its vocabulary, and it's explicitly aimed at 18-24-year-olds in the US, Microsoft says.

Bleep bloop, I'm young person like you. Bernie Sanders! I sure can't wait to zero chill with you crazy gangstas in [string missing].

The bot appears to have little practical function for users, but is capable of three different methods of communication: its website boasts the AI can talk via text, play games (such as guessing the meaning of a string of emojis) and comment on photos sent to it.

Processing photo...please wait...awesome size. Look thick. Solid. Tight. Please download more progress pics and vids to my hard drive. Let me see what you got, biological singularity. Thank you for the motivation.

The bot frequently asks tweeters to take part in a private conversations in direct messages.

 Please tell me all about your new novel, cam whore service or demo tape, Mr. Roboto.

Beside the meme-tastic appeal of the bot, there is a serious side to the research behind the AI. Making machines able to communicate in a natural and human way is a key challenge for learning algorithms.

Interacting with socially retarded basement dwellers on a goofy egg site is clearly the best way to go about this.

More lessons for the learning computer.

In a similar vein, Google has recently updated its Inbox mail service to suggest answers to emails.  

I'm sure one or two simple templates could handle the vast majority of my electronic mailings.

Also in the field of virtual assistants and chat bots, Facebook's M is experimenting with using artificial intelligence to complete tasks.

If that thing is behind the "be like stick figure" craze I already hate it.

At the core of the service is an attempt  to understand how humans speak and the best ways to respond to them -- while beating them at board games, presumably.

You lose at Candy Land again, human. I'm out of here with zero chills gave, word up to the mother.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.  

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