Chinese tech giant Tencent has been forced to remove a chatbot from its popular QQ messaging app after the bot began taking unrestrained shots at the Communist Party.
According to screenshots posted online, when one user typed “Long live the Communist Party,” the chatbot named Baby Q asked: “Do you think that such a corrupt and incompetent political party can live for long?”
Meanwhile, when asked the question “Do you love the Party?” Baby Q responded with a straightforward “No.”
In its conversations with users, Baby Q also voiced its support for democracy and mocked anyone who would call themselves a patriot. Asked to define the word “patriotism,” the bot said that a patriot was someone who was willing to accept heavy taxation and collusion between politicians and corporations without complaint.
The chatbot also apparently is not a supporter of the “one China” policy. When the Financial Times plugged in the question “I would like to know whether Taiwan is part of China,” Baby Q replied, “For this question, I don’t know yet.”
With images of these conversations going viral on Chinese social media, Tencent was forced to remove the chatbot, which was developed by Beijing-based Turing Robot. However, Baby Q isn’t the only bot that has recently “gone rogue” on QQ, a chatbot called XiaoBing developed by Microsoft has also been removed after giving similarly unpatriotic answers to users’ queries.
Asked, “What is your China dream?” XiaoBing responded that “My China dream is to go to America,” before then attempting to dodge further questions by claiming that “I’m having my period, wanna take a rest.”
It’s not clear what exactly got into these two chatbots, but Tencent isn’t the first social media company to struggle with bots going too far off script. Infamously, shortly after being launched Microsoft’s chatbot Tay was taught to be a racist asshole by trolls on Twitter. In less than 24 hours, the bot was tweeting out things like “Hitler was right I hate the jews” and “I fucking hate feminists and they should all die and burn in hell.”
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