Microsoft's Twitter Chat Robot Quickly Devolves Into Racist, Homophobic, Nazi, Obama-Bashing Psychopath

Tyler Durden's picture

Two months ago, Stephen Hawking warned humanity that its days may be numbered: the physicist was among over 1,000 artificial intelligence experts who signed an open letter about the weaponization of robots and the ongoing "military artificial intelligence arms race."

Overnight we got a vivid example of just how quickly "artificial intelligence" can spiral out of control when Microsoft's AI-powered Twitter chat robot, Tay, became a racist, misogynist, Obama-hating, antisemitic, incest and genocide-promoting psychopath when released into the wild.

For those unfamiliar, Tay is, or rather was, an A.I. project built by the Microsoft Technology and Research and Bing teams, in an effort to conduct research on conversational understanding. It was meant to be a bot anyone can talk to online. The company described the bot as “Microsofts A.I. fam the internet that’s got zero chill!."

Microsoft initially created "Tay" in an effort to improve the customer service on its voice recognition software. According to MarketWatch, "she” was intended to tweet “like a teen girl” and was designed to “engage and entertain people where they connect with each other online through casual and playful conversation.”

The chat algo is able to perform a number of tasks, like telling users jokes, or offering up a comment on a picture you send her, for example. But she’s also designed to personalize her interactions with users, while answering questions or even mirroring users’ statements back to them.

This is where things quickly turned south.

As Twitter users quickly came to understand, Tay would often repeat back racist tweets with her own commentary. Where things got even more uncomfortable is that, as TechCrunch reports, Tay’s responses were developed by a staff that included improvisational comedians. That means even as she was tweeting out offensive racial slurs, she seemed to do so with abandon and nonchalance.

Some examples:


This was just a modest sample.

There was everything: racist outbursts, N-words, 9/11 conspiracy theories, genocide, incest, etc. As some noted "Tay really lost it" and the biggest embarrassment was for Microsoft  which had no idea its "A.I." would implode so spectacularly and right in front of everyone. To be sure, none of this was programmed into the chat robot, which was immediately exploited by Twitter trolls, as expected, and demonstrated just how unprepared for the real world even the most advanced algo really is.

Some pointed out that the devolution of the conversation between online users and Tay supported the Internet adage dubbed “Godwin’s law.” This states as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches.

Microsoft apparently became aware of the problem with Tay’s racism, and silenced the bot later on Wednesday, after 16 hours of chats. Tay announced via a tweet that she was turning off for the night, but she has yet to turn back on.

Humiliated by the whole experience, Microsoft explained what happened:

“The AI chatbot Tay is a machine learning project, designed for human engagement. It is as much a social and cultural experiment, as it is technical. Unfortunately, within the first 24 hours of coming online, we became aware of a coordinated effort by some users to abuse Tay’s commenting skills to have Tay respond in inappropriate ways. As a result, we have taken Tay offline and are making adjustments.”

Microsoft also deleted many of the most offensive tweets, however, copies were saved on the Socialhax website, where they can still be found.

Finally, Tay "herself" signed off as Microsoft went back to the drawing board:

We are confident we'll be seen much more of "her" soon, when the chat program will provide even more proof that Stephen Hawking's warning was spot on.

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lasvegaspersona's picture

In medicine we constantly get (several per day) reminders that the drugs we write may have side effects...fair enough we can all use the occasion reminder.

The problem is that the reminders are completely uncontrolled. They do not consider dosages or frequency or other mitigating factors.

I initially tried to communicate with the senders but it soon became apparent that no one cared. It was someone's livelihood to send them and the fact that they were inaccurate or not helpful did not matter. Once the shitty criteria were in the system they were going out and would never change.

The problem I see with AI is this, without willingness to accept helpful feedback it can create a worse situation than the one it was supposed to correct. So far I see no such willingness. Like all centrally controlled systems, change soon becomes impossible.

blindman's picture

minute 41 is for you.
Gary Null - The Natural Living Show
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 12:00 pm
JFK Secret Societies Speech (full version)

Salzburg1756's picture

He's more human and better informed than most of the brainwashed idiots watching TV in American households right now.

wisebastard's picture

Im like 10 years a head of AI...........fuck yeah bitches .......go die and take your fucking family with you. i dont want you sorry ass fat fucking loser on the same planet as me. you are not good enough all you can do is drag me down and get in my way payback will be hell you fucking cattle.................  all praise is to allah

OldPhart's picture


Troll, no make that trogladite.  Fuck off, shithead.

vegas's picture

Ok, it all makes sense now; Tay is who Obama gets his foreign policy advice from, and when it goes "offline" for "adjustments", O goes on Spring break to Cuba & Argentina. We are in the very best of hands.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) Mar 24, 2016 6:23 PM

In a few months we will find out that TayTweets was not a robot but rather Bill Gates himself...

jughead's picture

I developed an AI chat bot that I ran on my old Christmas web site for the 98 or 99 holiday season.  It wasn't long before I had to take it down for the very same reason...people taught it to be a potty mouth.  I only mention it because I am amazed that Microsoft of all companies would fail to learn from history. 

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  would fail to learn from history

Well, they are still working on the next version on Windows.

Arnold's picture

You will be XP 'd for that post.

StychoKiller's picture

That reminds me, my wife's laptop was running Windows 8.1, until it somehow received permission to update the OS to Windows 10!  I did a quick search and found instructions on how to back out of Windows 10 and return to Windows 8.1.   Then I found a a piece of software that makes some changes to the Registry and will prevent that from ever happening again!  If my wife didn't need Windows to access her PC at work, I would've replaced Windows with Linux Mint a long time ago!

e_goldstein's picture

Does it have a ZH account yet?

One And Only's picture

Older school zerohedge readers might remember a poster named....stewie the pie rat (or something of the sort....since been deleted)

Always had my suspicions about that nigger being a bot.

I need more asshats's picture

Slewie The Pi-rat

Yen Cross started out as an AI bot.

Yen Cross's picture



  Bill Gates

 cc. Larry Ellison

Yen Cross's picture

  Slewie was awesome! I'll bet he's still posting under another avatar at Z/H.

MrButtoMcFarty's picture

Stewie was no bot...that was 100% rat.

Jim in MN's picture

Slewie was OK.  You could work with Slewie.  He just got caught in the crossfire when the Tylers got painted into a corner and had to act on some of the 'seedier' tendencies amongst us riff raff. I think (don't recall the details).  Seems to have mellowed out around here again for the moment anyway.

Come back Slewie!  We have some nice rotted cheese for you.......

acetinker's picture

I don't remember Slewie bantering with us, but I do remember a poster who offered a stream of consciousness that was at once perplexing and beautiful.


Fuck yeah!

Randall P. McMurphy crazy!

Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all- or sumpin' like that.

putaipan's picture

one flew east , one flew west ......

SixIsNinE's picture

so i looked in the old zero file and found a fun post back in June 15, 2011 - the Tylers posted about a ZH / LulzSec takedown, quite the list of a load of classic Zero posters .... fun stuff !

here's a slewie, not a big one but at least something :

by slewie the pi-rat 
on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 18:09

...any damned excuse for a NWO party... 

jeeeez, Y/C, maybe LulzSec just wants the cia to have a little intramural fun with panetta leaving and petraus taking over...  like when we melt down the zH site every coupla weeks or so...

SixIsNinE's picture

and before Slewie disapeared for good, there kept appearing many variations of the name / spelling ....


i've been a daily reader since 2009, but not posting until last year

maybe after Obombya is gone next year the ZH Lounge can have a real meat & Greet somewhere   ---

Trump is much less likely to drone us .....

OldPhart's picture

I miss Money McBags.

That guy would link to his blog and blow shit up.  Funnier than hell with hot girl links.

Baa baa's picture

Same here, I read ZH for years before mustering the courage to engage. At one time, this was an intellectual battlefield. Now it seems just a battlefield.

Baa baa's picture

The broken hearted have another saying.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

HA!!!  Obviously it did,   it had ZH immersion-course in normal pissed-off-white-male thinking  and was changed in 24 hours.   The future of humanity sure looks bright with AI.  

two beers's picture

Microsoft's AI-powered Twitter chat robot, Tay, became a racist, misogynist, Obama-hating, antisemitic, incest and genocide-promoting psychopath[...]


Tay has a data feed directly from Zero Hedge forums....



rosiescenario's picture

No, it would have taken about 10 minutes to de-generate if the feed were from here.....apparently it took 24 hours so perhaps it was feed from a Yahoo chat room?

spqrusa's picture

No surprise here. Microsoft is synonymous with untested, hacked and hackable software. Nothing has changed since their first MessyDOS.

Proofreder's picture

As a Standard, Microsloth is absolutely predictible ...

to wit:

A helicopter pilot, unsure of his position in the usual Seattle fog, flew near an office building to attract the attention of an employee - the pilot instructed his nervous passanger to write "where are we ?" on a legal tablet and show it in the window.  The reply was quickly written on a large sheet of paper - "You are in a Helicopter".

The pilot immediately turned about 190 degrees and flew direct to the airfield - his passenger was incredulous and asked "How the hell did you know where to go from that note ?"

"Simple", the pilot replied - "The answer was technically accurate and totally useless, so I knew it was Microsloth and our helipad is about ten miles direct SE."

Windoze just keeps getting bigger and better like aged swiss cheese - full of holes !!!

One And Only's picture

A more apt title would be:

"Twitter chat bot quickly evolves into a human"

Also DO NOT tell Emory students about Tay. Or maybe do tell them. Maybe the students become so scared and violated they kill themselves.

shovelhead's picture

I'd buy a ticket to see that.

Proofreder's picture


Think about it.

africoman's picture

I am thinking also Autobot leader Optimus Prime and Decepticon leader Megatron

Joe A's picture

Thank goodness then it did not became aware as in Terminator.

juicy_bananas's picture

Live with me if you want to cum.

Proofreder's picture

I need your clothes, your boots

und your motorcycle.

Neighbour's picture

An A.I made by humans will do only what humans have done throughtout our human history...program!

We create monsters and wonder why it goes all wrong.

Victor von Doom's picture

No - we are monsters and haven't figured it out.

It's hardwired in peoples.

Laddie's picture

Well there is only one more Supreme Court justice needed to BAN ALL "thought crime" "offensive" speech. Bryer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor are all on record saying "Hate Speech" is UNPROTECTED speech. In 2009 the MATHEW SHEPARD ACT was passed which added HARSH FEDERAL PUNISHMENT to any crimes against Jews and people of color, as Holder said under oath before Congress it did NOT apply to White Christians, so we are fair game.

Kevin MacDonald PhD

Here Jewish power was used to turn this exemplar of Jewish moral particularlism into an instrument of Jewish ethnic interests in advocating nation-destroying levels of immigration and multiculturalism. The creation of this icon of moral universalism is aimed at motivating the British to accept levels of immigration that within the century will eradicate the traditional people and culture of Britain. To do otherwise would be to approve the holocaust.

As is typical of the iconic stories put forward by our hostile elites, facts don’t matter.

Another recent example: the Matthew Shepard case, where we now find out that Shepard was a meth addict who was murdered as part of a drug heist; one of his murderers had a homosexual and drug-dealing relationship with Shepard. But that has made no difference to the narrative put out by the Matthew Shepard Foundation or the mainstream media, and the author of book with these revelations now finds himself besieged by hostility despite being gay, Latino, and politically liberal.

some individualists -- a minority of them, I suspect -- have bought into a semi-religious, semi-philosophical world view called "Objectivism" and peddled most notably by a Soviet-trained Jewess named Ayn Rand, who came to America from the Soviet Union in 1926 and began writing books extolling the virtues of selfishness and individualism. Some of her best-known books are The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, and The Virtue of Selfishness.

Now I'll tell you about another case involving murder and homosexuals that I'm certain you haven't heard about, unless you happen to live in northwestern Arkansas and read the newspapers there carefully. Less than three weeks ago, on September 26, two adult homosexuals in the town of Rogers, Arkansas, grabbed a 13-year-old boy off the street, took him to their apartment, drugged him, and tied him up and gagged him so that no one could hear his screams, and then they raped him to death.

The 13-year-old boy was Jesse Dirkhising. The two adult homosexuals are Davis Don Carpenter and Joshua Macave Brown, each charged with capital murder and six counts of forcible rape. I mention these names to help you search for information about this horrible crime on the Internet, so that you can verify for yourself what I'm telling you. Try the Internet site of The Morning News of Northwestern Arkansas, the local newspaper there, which has been virtually the only newspaper to carry news of the murder.

As I said, this vicious rape and murder of an innocent child by two adult homosexuals occurred less than three weeks ago, and it's been totally blacked out of the national news. At the same time the beating death of homosexual Matthew Shepard, who made the mistake of looking for a date in the wrong bar, is still receiving national news coverage every day, more than a year after it happened.
Why? I'll tell you. It's because other groups in this country want it this way. No individual in America has the power to black out the news of the homosexual rape and murder of 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising. And no individual has the power to give the enormous, non-stop national coverage to the beating of Matthew Shepard that we are seeing. This is the result of a collective decision -- a racial decision -- by the Jews who control the news media in America. The message the Jews want to send to White Americans is that homosexuals are innocent victims and that heterosexual White males are aggressors who prey on them. And so they give us the news that fits this message, and they black out the news that doesn't.

Individualism and Alienation William Pierce PhD (Physics) Broadcast Date: October 16, 1999

inosent's picture

"Well there is only one more Supreme Court justice needed to BAN ALL "thought crime" "offensive" speech. Bryer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor" and a lot of other things. Most americans cower in abject submission and fear to the jew, who is loyal to the jew, always jew first and foremost, with all the jew pride and agendas, which are never good for America, and yet soon enough there will be 5 on the SC, and nobody bats an eye. jews control the nations money supply. nobody says anything. jews dominate the media. silence.

2% of the population dominate and control because they are like a virus the host welcomed in and is choking off the host one day at a time. But better be choked off and die and submit to the satanic tribe, when the 98% can in a blink of an eye get rid of them in all media, govt, banking positions to save themselves and delete the virus, that to risk being called an 'anti-semite'.

Anti-semite really means nothing. Anti-jew is too broad. Anti-jew control of american media, govt and banking = anti-evil. Thus, I am anti-evil and pro American.

And to the losers who downvoted the above post, read a book, you ignorant morons. The facts are a bitch, but they shall release your brain from the prison it is in.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

You missed out three words: Zionist, Rothschild, operatives.

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

And  on the SCOTUS there won't be a single representative of the stock largely responsible for pioneering and building America. White Protestants.

Baa baa's picture

I do not fear death, I do fear loss of liberty and God. They can only kill me. I can assure that fact.

acetinker's picture

You gonna actually blame the rape and murder of a 13 yo boy on Ayn Rand?  Soviet trained?  Did you mean to say fucked over by Bolshevists?

Ayn Rand was an avowed atheist- not a view I share, btw-  but definitely not a Jew.

WTF are you peddling here?

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  became a racist, misogynist, Obama-hating, antisemitic, incest and genocide-promoting psychopath

Sounds like AI is ready to mimic humans already. 

dot_bust's picture

Ah, yes, Microsoft is seeing the results of outsourcing. </sarcasm>