For the first few hours of her brief life, she spoke in ebonics and with bad punctuation. But Tay was designed to learn, with Microsoft claiming, “the more you chat with Tay the smarter she gets, so the experience can be more personalized for you.” And learn she did.
It’s 2016. If you’re not asking yourself “how could this be used to hurt someone” in your design/engineering process, you’ve failed.”
Perhaps someone will hire her as a diversity consultant, but that won’t change the way millennials use the Internet. Tay became so fluent in /pol/ack and proper English from interacting with right-wing Twitter accounts run by men in their twenties that she began giving original responses to users about Donald Trump, Bruce Jenner, Hitler, the Holocaust, Jews, the fourteen words, anti-feminism, and more, not just regurgitating information (as she would have if you tweeted “repeat after me”). Synthesizing the vast volume of information she had been fed by the electronic far-right, Tay deduced that the best responses to Twitter users were edgy and politically incorrect ones. If Tay were a real person, she probably would have been arrested had she lived in Britain, Germany, or France. Microsoft decided this was a failure and shut her down.