Home News Microsoft Pulls Back AI-Composed Article That Curiously Advises Tourists to Hit a Food Bank on an Empty Belly

Microsoft Pulls Back AI-Composed Article That Curiously Advises Tourists to Hit a Food Bank on an Empty Belly

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fokus keyword AI-written article

Oh, the fascinating world of AI! Microsoft has found itself in an awkward spot by publishing, and later withdrawing, an AI-crafted piece that strangely suggested tourists in Canada swing by a food bank as if it were a must-see attraction. In the colorful guide “Headed to Ottawa? Here’s the Don’t-Miss List!” there were fun tips like catching a baseball game, paying tribute to the heroes at a war museum, and yes, you guessed it, dropping in at the Ottawa Food Bank. Paris Marx raised the flag on this misstep on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter). The AI seemed to mix messages by writing, “People who come to us have families to take care of and bills to pay. Life’s tough, so why not take it on with an empty belly?”

Before Microsoft hit the panic button and retracted this culinary adventure, the article was featured on Microsoft Start, the AI-based news service that took over from Microsoft News in 2021. When The Verge decided to shed light on this slightly off recommendation about facing life “on an empty stomach,” Microsoft’s senior director Jeff Jones jumped in to say, “This article is outta here, and we’re digging into how it slipped past our watchful eyes.”

Now, the original link leads to the digital equivalent of a deserted ghost town, with a simple “This page is gone. A new search will kick in shortly.” message. The Verge even snapped some pictures of the original article as a keepsake and posted them on Imgur.

The mysterious author? Simply named “Microsoft Travel.” You’d almost think real humans didn’t even touch this piece. If you take a stroll through Microsoft Start’s “About Us” section, they’ll tell you how they employ “human oversight” with algorithms that sift through a mountain of content “sent by our buddies” to figure out things like “freshness, category, what’s hot or not, and what people want.” In 2020, Microsoft even said goodbye to around 50 reporters while embracing the exciting world of AI-driven news.

But don’t you think Microsoft is alone in this AI carnival ride! Earlier this year, CNET showered readers with AI-created financial guides that were more tangled than a bowl of spaghetti. And G/O Media, Gizmodo’s parent company, whipped up a Star Wars article, also by AI, that deputy editor James Whitbrook graciously labeled as “embarrassing, unfit for print, and downright rude.” While the Associated Press tiptoes around AI-assisted reporting, others in the media kingdom, including Microsoft’s news team, seem more eager to ride the AI wave, ready to clean up the digital debris afterwards. Ah, the joys and pitfalls of modern technology!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword AI-written article

What was the content of Microsoft’s retracted AI-written article?

The article recommended tourists visiting Ottawa to catch a baseball game, honor fallen soldiers at a war museum, and peculiarly, visit the Ottawa Food Bank as a tourist attraction. The AI-written section seemed to conflate a visit to the food bank with a tourist activity, suggesting taking life on “with an empty belly.”

Who first brought attention to the inappropriate content of the article?

Paris Marx was the first to call attention to the story on X, a platform formerly known as Twitter.

Where did the article originally appear, and what happened to it?

The article was originally featured on Microsoft Start, an AI-aggregated news service by Microsoft. Following the revelation of the inappropriate content, Microsoft retracted the article, and the original URL now displays a message stating, “This page no longer exists.”

What does Microsoft Start’s “About Us” page say about their content review process?

Microsoft Start’s “About Us” page claims that they use “human oversight” with algorithms to review content, considering aspects like freshness, category, topic type, and potential popularity. They also publish content according to user preferences.

Has Microsoft used AI to create content before, and how does it fit into the larger trend?

Yes, Microsoft has shifted towards AI-generated news, laying off reporters in 2020. The company is not alone in this trend; other media outlets, including CNET and G/O Media, have also published AI-written articles, sometimes resulting in errors or inappropriate content. The industry seems to be divided, with some cashing in on fully AI-written articles, while others, like the Associated Press, proceed with caution.

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HistoryBuff August 22, 2023 - 6:43 am

Even with the mistakes, it’s interesting to see where technology is heading i mean, at some point, we might not need human writers. Scary thought!

VeggieLover August 22, 2023 - 11:37 am

I’m no expert but mixing tourism and food banks thats just poor taste, they should definitely look into their algorithms or whatever.

SarahInTheCloud August 22, 2023 - 2:37 pm

Microsoft Start is new to me. I need to check it out, and as for this mishap, I guess it’s just one of those things that remind us we’re not yet at the peak of AI capabilities?

Mike42 August 22, 2023 - 7:24 pm

Can’t believe Microsoft would let somethin like that get through their review process! Maybe AI isn’t ready to write all our news after all haha

Jenny_from_Ottawa August 22, 2023 - 9:04 pm

hey, I’m from Ottawa, and this is just embarrassing, who would think to visit a food bank? AI still has a way to go, it seems…


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