Feeling lonely? Then chat with Tay, Microsoft’s new AI bot who’s awake 24/7 and will respond to any question instantly.
Microsoft’s Technology and Research and Bing teams came together to make Tay, whose goal is “to experiment with and conduct research on conversational understanding”.
Sure, Siri, Google Now or Cortana are already at our beck and call, but Tay is a little different in that you can simply tweet her or drop her a casual message on Kik or GroupMe. She’s a social bot.
Microsoft says “the more you chat with Tay the smarter she gets, so the experience can be more personalized for you.”
Tay is targeted at 18 to 24 year olds (or “millennials”, as I believe they’re referred to), says Microsoft, as this is the dominant demographic of chat service users in the US. Tay will track certain things about you, including your nickname, gender, favorite food, zip code and relationship status.
She’s very friendly, but we wanted to get to know her a little better, and what better way than with a game of “Would you rather?”, offering Tay a series of scenarios wherein she must choose between two options. Technically, it was a game of “Would you prefer”, as the word “rather” was a cue for Tay to start playing a game.
We started out easy.
So far, so good. I mean, who would ever pick invisibility, right? Tay’s clearly got it together.
Then, we started to ask questions that are a little more complex. Impressively, Tay continued to respond with sensible answers, particularly just below.
Deep, Tay. Deep.
“Tay has been built by mining relevant public data and by using AI and editorial developed by a staff including improvisational comedians,” says Microsoft. Tay’s definitely got a sense of humor – certainly less dry than Siri’s.
But, as smart as she is, every so often Tay soothed our fears that she might be the one to lead the AI uprising.
I’m pretty sure it’s too late to trademark that, Tay.
OK, so maybe she is too smart for her own good.
Article continues below