Last week, Microsoft’s AI-based Twitter account Tay was born, swiftly became a ranting racist and then took a well-deserved rest. Yesterday evening, though, the bot briefly came back to life — before the account suddenly became protected.
Tay started contributing to the hum of Twitter again at around 6pm AEDT. But it seems to have gotten stuck in some kind of loop, retweeting itself saying “You are too fast, take a rest…” over and over and over and over and…
— Matt Gray (@unnamedculprit) March 30, 2016
— SEFD (@SEFDStuff) March 30, 2016
Soon after, the Tay account became protected, so now only confirmed followers can see @TayandYou’s tweets. It’s currently unclear if that’s Microsoft or Twitter stepping in to take control of the account and its burst of AI-based spam.
Its total tweet count did soar to over 100,000 during the spam-fest, though the count is now back down to 95,000 or so. That suggests that someone somewhere was furiously deleting tweets.
Whatever’s happening, it’s another strange turn in its brief but chequered history. What will become of the troubled Tay?