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Being a chatbot is rather hard, but after Tay’s untimely demise we had thought Microsoft’s Xiaobing, who lives on messaging networks in China, was a bit better at navigating the vagaries and social mores of modern life.
Unfortunately, it seems even that bot could be led astray, at least if you ask the Chinese government.
The bot has been taken offline after Chinese authorities were notified of its unpatriotic attitude.
On the Tencent network XiaoBing, which is developed by Microsoft, told users, “My China dream is to go to America.” When the bot was then quizzed on its patriotism, it dodged the question and replied, “I’m having my period, wanna take a rest.”
Unsatisfied by the responses, host network Tencent has taken the bot offline and sent it for re-education, saying: “The group chatbot services are provided by independent third party companies. We are now adjusting the services which will be resumed after improvements.”
XiaoBing was not the only bot caught in the witch hunt, with Beijing-based company Turing Robo’s BabyQ, responding with a definite and fatal “No.” when asked, “Do you love the Communist Party?”
Of course, in most cases the response of the bots are moulded by interactions with thousands of users, suggesting China may have a bigger a problem than a few unpatriotic bots.