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The Rise Of The Machines – The Growth Of Artificial Intelligence And Internet ‘Bots’

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The rise of the machines – the growth of artificial intelligence and internet ‘bots’

After the controversy surrounding Microsoft’s offensive chatbot Tay, this week saw a more light-hearted response to its latest artificial intelligence driven bot.

The tech giant which had to deliver an official apology and shut down Tay after just 16 hours when the bot responded to Twitter posts with racism and sexism, has delivered its latest AI experiment. Captionbot, with its tagline ‘for pictures worth the thousand words’, features tech that allows it to recognise what is in a picture and deliver a text caption. Now, while it’s been pretty accurate in many examples, there have also been some that don’t quite hit the mark and quite predictably, the wonderful users of the internet have responded brilliantly testing it with some fun photos and posting the results.

One widely shared example shows Barack and Michelle Obama embracing with the (half right) caption

Captionbot Obama (yep, Captionbot uses Emojis!).

It does seem to have a strange penchant for cats wearing ties with that being more than one of the humorous incorrect guesses. The pictures were actually of the infamous blue-black/gold-white dress and a dog (not wearing a tie).

Some of the more spot-on responses included a description of Kanye West as:

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 16.59.17

…and of pop songstress Taylor Swift as, ‘…I think it’s Taylor Swift holding a hair brush…’.

While it seems we’re a little way away from getting it perfect, it does raise some interesting questions for the communications industries. Could we see fully AI run customer service Twitter feeds in the not too distant future?