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Microsoft’s Racist Twitter Bot

By: Eileen Guo

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/03/24/why-microsofts-racist-twitter-bot-should-make-us-fear-human-nature-not-a-i/

How we portray ourselves in the real world is how we portray ourselves on the Internet, maybe even worse. The Internet is a place where people can hide behind a mask and make any type of racist, sexist, discriminatory comment possible. We may not see this in our everyday lives, but all the negativity revolving around the world is what we purposely put into it. We give this Microsoft robot, Tay, all the freedom in the world to act as a mirror and reflect back what the Internet users put out: all the negativity and harassment that orbits around us in our everyday lives is mirrored back through our digital personalities. Identity plays a really big role in this, as what we make of ourselves online is what is seen on a global and digital scale. We may not always realize what type of people we are, whether that be for good or bad, and we don’t realize how negative the world around us may be. There are users out there who are trying to manipulate and harass as many people as possible, where in real life, they may seem nothing like that. In giving someone so much freedom and anonymity, they can easily abuse this privilege. Humankind sees A.I. being an improved version of the human race, but if the human race can’t improve itself, then there’s no way to better the lives of future generations. 

About Eileen Guo

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