Microsoft’s troubled AI chatbot briefly hacked this morning, then shut down

Microsoft created a Twitter-bot, tied it to the account name @TayandYou, turned it loose to tweet with people. Trolls being trolls, the artificial intelligence known as Tay was quickly subverted, started spewing some pretty vile stuff.

So Microsoft shut it down.

Last night, around midnight PT, Tay suddenly came back to life:

The @Tayandyou Twitter chatbot has been silent since last Thursday when Microsoft shut it down. Shortly after midnight today, Pacific time, the @Tayandyou Twitter account woke up and started blasting tweets at very high volume. All of these tweets included other Twitter handles in them, maybe from previous tweets, maybe from followers.

But it became immediately apparent that something was different and wrong. These tweets didn’t look anything like the ones before, in style, structure, or sentience. From the tweet conversations and from the sequence of events, I believe that the @Tayandyou account was hacked today (March 30), and was active for 15 minutes, sending over 4,200 tweets.

The theory is that someone hacked the account. No matter the cause, after about 15 minutes, the account was flagged as hacked and locked.

I love the idea of this experiment and hope @TayandYou comes back to life soon, albeit in a more intelligent form.