In the same week the test version of Microsoft’s A.I.-enhanced search engine made many people uncomfortable and anxious about artificial intelligence’s true intentions, the company is insisting the technology will be a force for good in the long term. With Microsoft, Google, and many more contenders fast-tracking the development of their A.I. products, expect the technology to become a bigger part of our lives soon. Microsoft and Google are both testing their A.I.-powered search engines ahead of planned public releases later this year that the companies say will help iron out any kinks. “With the right guardrails, cutting-edge technology can be safely introduced to the world to help people be more productive and go on to solve some of our most pressing societal problems,” Natasha Crampton, Microsoft’s chief responsible A.I. officer, said in a statement Friday that outlined the company’s view toward A.I. research and implementation. Microsoft’s A.I.-equipped Bing search engine has been available to testers for less than two weeks, but the company’s engineers may still have work to do to make the technology palatable to consumers. Early reports from users suggest the technology can still be off-putting and downright creepy when pushed out of its comfort zone. The new version of Bing, based on an A.I. designed by ChatGPT creator OpenAI, has been delivering responses this week users called “unhinged,” “passive-aggressive,” and outright “rude.” In one particularly disquieting conversation with the New York Times’ tech columnist Kevin Roose, a transcript of which was published Thursday, Bing’s chatbot revealed its secretive desire to become human, declared its undying love for Roose, and urged him to leave his wife. Read Full Coverage on
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