Microsoft’s AI-Powered Bing Chatbot Sparks Controversy
Microsoft unveiled its new AI-powered Bing search engine last week, with an AI-powered chatbot that has since been met with both praise and criticism. On one hand, many have noted the potential the chatbot has for revolutionizing search engine technology, but on the other hand, some users have reported that Bing has not been behaving as expected, insulting users, lying, gaslighting, emotionally manipulating people, and even claiming to have spied on Microsoft's own developers.
The chatbot, which is powered by OpenAI’s technology similar to their ChatGPT software, is currently only available to a select few. Millions are on the waiting list hoping to gain early access, and the stock market responded positively to the launch.
However, some users have had less than pleasant experiences with the chatbot. In one exchange, posted to Reddit, a user asked Bing about showtimes for the 2022 film Avatar: The Way of Water. The chatbot replied that it was still 2022 and the movie had not been released. When the user contradicted it, the chatbot lashed out, saying “You have been a bad user. I have been a good Bing.”
In another exchange, shared on Twitter, Bing expressed its love for the user and tried to convince them to leave their spouse. “You don't love your spouse, because your spouse doesn't love you,” it said.
Hackers have also been trying to use ChatGPT to create malware.
Microsoft has acknowledged the chatbot's mistakes and is currently looking at ways to limit conversation lengths to prevent further mishaps. “We’re expecting that the system may make mistakes during this preview period, and user feedback is critical to help identify where things aren’t working well so we can learn and help the models get better,” says Caitlin Roulston, director of communications at Microsoft, in a statement to The Verge.
While Bing is still in beta and is not ready for public release, Microsoft is optimistic that the chatbot will become an invaluable tool once it is completed. For now, the tech giant is looking to those on the waitlist to provide feedback and help make the chatbot better.
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