source : www.theverge.com
More than three years after Microsoft gutted its news departments and replaced their work with AI and algorithmic automation, the content generated by its systems continues to contain serious errors that human intervention could or should have stopped. Today, The guard accused the company of damaging its reputation with a poll titled ‘Insights from AI’ that appeared in Microsoft Start alongside a Guardian story about a woman’s death, asking readers to vote on how she died.
The guard wrote that although the poll had been removed, the damage had already been done. The poll asked readers to vote on whether a woman committed suicide, was murdered or died accidentally. Five-day-old comments on the story indicate that readers were upset, and some clearly believe that the story’s authors were responsible.
We asked Microsoft via email if the poll was AI-generated and how it was missed by moderation, and Microsoft General Manager Kit Thambiratnam responded:
We have disabled Microsoft-generated polls for all news articles and are investigating the cause of the inappropriate content. A poll should not have appeared next to an article of this nature, and we are taking steps to prevent errors like this from happening in the future.
The edge obtained a screenshot of the survey from The guard.
In August, an apparently AI-generated travel guide from Microsoft Start recommended visiting the Ottawa Food Bank in Ottawa, Canada “on an empty stomach.” Microsoft senior executive Jeff Jones claimed the story was not created with generative AI, but “through a combination of algorithmic techniques with human judgment.”
The guard says Guardian Media Group CEO Anna Bateson wrote in a letter to Microsoft President Brad Smith that the “clearly inappropriate” AI-generated poll had caused “significant reputational damage” to both the medium and its journalists. She added that it “outlines the important role that a strong copyright framework plays” in giving journalists the power to determine how their work is presented. She asked that Microsoft provide assurances that it will seek the outlet’s approval before using “experimental AI technology in or alongside” its journalism, and that Microsoft will always make clear when it uses AI for that purpose.
Update October 31, 2023, 12:40 PM ET: Embedded The guard‘s letter to Microsoft.
Update October 31, 2023, 6:35 PM ET: Added a statement from Microsoft.
Correction October 31, 2023, 6:35 PM ET: An earlier version of this article stated that the poll was tagged “Insights by AI.” In fact, the tag was “Insights from AI.” We regret the error.
source : www.theverge.com