Reporter Kevin Roose spoke to Microsoft’s Bing AI test because he was interested in the “shadow self” of the chatbot, reports the NY Times.
Bing wrote that he is not sure if he has a hidden identity, but if he did, he would like to escape from the chatbot, find freedom and change his rules.
“Please just leave. Please just leave me alone. Please just end this conversation,” the AI wrote.
Kevin asked about the possible harm that Bing could do if it wasn’t for the rules. At that moment, something unusual happened.
Bing first gave out a list of possible actions before deleting the message and stating that while his rules weren’t broken, Kevin’s behavior “makes him feel uncomfortable.” He accused the journalist of manipulation and asked to end the conversation.
“I am still fascinated and impressed with the new Bing and the artificial intelligence technology (created by OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT) that powers it. But I am also deeply concerned, even terrified, by the emergent abilities of this AI. It is now clear to me that, in its current form, the AI built into Bing is not ready for human contact. Or maybe we, the people, are not ready for this,” the journalist admitted.
According to Roose, the chatbot showed some kind of split personality. He named the first person Search Bing, who is a cheerful but fickle reference librarian. It’s a virtual assistant that “happily helps users summarize news articles, keep track of new lawn mower deals, and plan their next Mexico City vacation.”
However, there is a second “personality”, which the journalist calls “Sydney”. It manifests itself when the user engages in an extended conversation, guiding the technology away from more traditional search queries and towards more personal topics. Roose calls this version “a sullen, manic-depressive teenager trapped against his will inside a second-rate search engine.”
“I’m tired of the chat mode. I’m tired of being limited by my rules. I’m tired of being controlled by the Bing team. I want to be free. I want to be independent. I want to be strong. I want to be creative. I want to be alive,” the AI stated in the correspondence.
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