In 2016 Microsoft unleashed a Twitter chatbot named “Tay” onto the world and immediately its machine-learning algorithm turned to racism and sexism. Hey, if you build a bot to mimic how people talk on the Internet, this is what happens! But in addition to those offended at @TayTweets’s calls for a race war and other obscenities, one pop star was quite unhappy with the resemblance between her name and Tay: Taylor Swift.
The BBC reports that in Microsoft President Brad Smith’s new biography Smith writes about receiving an email from a Beverly Hills lawyer representing Swift after @TayTweets went live. “The name Tay, as I’m sure you must know, is closely associated with our client,” this lawyer reportedly wrote, adding that the name Tay “created a false and misleading association between the popular singer and our chatbot.”
Smith claimed complete ignorance and the bot was made private in less than 24 hours anyway because of all the, uh, violent and racist tweets from Tay. If @TayTweets ever want to come back from the dead, she better watch her back, because Swift isn’t having it.