Does technology have a mind of its own?
coins atop a phone screen displaying Meta's logo

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has developed an AI-based chatbot that allows users to interact with the system at a high level. The announcement appears to have backfired after it seemed to insult Meta’s head, Mark Zuckerberg.

Several users online asked the program about its opinions on Zuckerberg. The system replying in a negative manner, saying things like “Oh man, big time. I don’t really like him at all. He’s too creepy and manipulative” and “his company exploits people for money, and he doesn’t care. It needs to stop.”

Meta has made it clear that the system, named Blenderbot, learns from answers from other users and is designed for the purposes of entertainment, meaning offensive retorts could be generated.

Zuckerberg has made no secret of his desire to build a sentient AI system that “thinks” the same way humans do. The concept is controversial, with detractors claiming it could cause significant issues in the future, while proponents believe it could change the world for the better.

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