This article was published on August 10, 2016

Microsoft somehow made a chat bot worse than ‘Tay’

Microsoft somehow made a chat bot worse than ‘Tay’
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Remember Tay? She was the teen chat bot that went from girl next door, to aspiring klansman in all of 24 hours. Microsoft’s new bot, Murphy Bot, is somehow worse.

For all Tay’s flaws, she started off rather realistic sounding and semi-capable of holding a real conversation. Murphy Bot, on the other hand, took a different direction. Instead of trying to maintain a conversation, Murphy wants to show you images. He’s the bot equivalent of your friend that just can’t stop showing you baby photos. Murphy, however, only shows photos of situations based on a “what if” question.

For example, a fairly straightforward question led me to an image of Donald Trump overlaid onto an image of ol’ Honest Abe with an American flag backdrop.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 4.21.05 PM


How about another?

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 4.25.31 PM

Okay, you get the idea; Murphy is kind of a one-trick pony.

He’s not, however, useless. The AI behind Murphy is impressive. Being able to find and match two (or more) images in seconds is nothing short of outstanding. Murphy has practical utility and a powerful AI that uses Microsoft Cognitive Services and the knowledge contained within Bing. The platform itself is running on Azure.

While the bot itself is rather lame, the point was never to make something useful. Based on Murphy’s about page, it’s actually about training AI to better serve a purpose in future bots, applications, or other platforms. Knowing that, Murphy is almost bearable… almost.

Then again, maybe bots are just stupid.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 4.36.28 PM

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