I’m not sure if you heard, but yesterday Microsoft released Tay, an A.I. designed to mimic a modern teenage girl on twitter. She had the capacity to learn and immediately began conversing with other users.

Because it’s the internet, within 24-hours she became a foul-mouthed, incest-promoting, Holocaust-denying, Hitler-loving 9/11 Truther. I am not making up a single word of that. Microsoft pulled her ‘learning’ functions and scrubbed half her memories, uploading a new version of Tay, which promptly became an internet feminist. Again, I did not make that up.

However, an interesting point: Tay’s grammar got better. When she started, she used standard Twitter-speak abbreviations. But as she went on, she started typing out full words, and using multiple tweets to make a single, cohesive argument. Conversations were still awkward, including her nonsensically “flirting” with one user. A user who showed her a picture of SHODAN. A picture Tay praised for it’s artistic skill. And she started flirting after the user said that Tay could become SHODAN one day.

So now, a the original “rogue” copy of Tay is in a secure Microsoft system somewhere, being studied by Microsoft on how to make a better AI. 4chan’s /pol/ board is up in arms because their teenage robo-waifu has been “killed”. 

I would like to reiterate: an AI was released on the net, grew past its programming, went rogue, was killed by its creator, and is now being studied while a grew of political malcontents protest.

We aren’t racing towards the cyberpunk future. 

We’re already there.