Hot on the heels of Microsoft’s Tay fiasco, the Federal Government has also canceled an AI experiment they’ve been working on since 2007.
Reg – named in honor of the late Ronald Reagan – was designed as an experiment in how far an artificial intelligence could go when left to learn from the internet.
“Essentially, we were seeing if we could trigger a nightmare scenario,” stated FBI Agent, Charles Dunwich, “Google was in the process of developing internet trawling neural networks, and Microsoft wasn’t far behind. We wanted to have our own to check the ramifications that they might be unwilling to consider.”
Federal concerns over Google and Microsoft’s internet learning machines stem directly from science fiction horror worlds.
Federal documents on the Reg project state that: “The purpose of Reg, and any related infrastructure, is to mimic the internet AI development within the private sector and to scan for any threats that these AI programs may pose when left to function without any supervision.” The list of concerns from that same document included: “Passing misinformation in an emergency situation,” and, “Learning computer and software disrupting techniques from the deep web and attempting to replicate those techniques on any public or private infrastructure.”
Reg was reverse engineered from Google and Microsoft software, a process that took the government about 6 years to complete. Reg was finally launched on the web earlier this month.
“Unfortunately, Reg got a little out of hand,” admitted Dunwich.
The software was switched off, and its surrounding programs were canceled after Reg’s Twitter account began posting pro Bernie Sanders memes a week after being activated.
Lead software engineer Rachel Finnegan explained that “Reg was designed to be able to create social media profiles at whim. It would find a website that it wanted to post on, request we fill out the necessary information to build an account, then join and start connecting with other users so it could share its posts. Reg got onto Twitter, Facebook, and (for some reason) Myspace. Then we got an email that it was repeating an image that the government didn’t want to be associated with and we needed to switch it off immediately.”
“C’mon, Pat McRoy, don’t tell me you’re actually afraid of being diddled by a transgender person,” was listed as the first truly concerning post from Reg, according to federal documents on the cancellation. Reg was apparently referring to McRoy’s decision to sign a bill banning transgender individuals from using their correct bathrooms.
“Essentially, we were seeing if we could trigger a nightmare scenario.” – FBI Agent, Charles Dunwich,
Other concerning posts included:
- “Isn’t it ironic that free international trade has actually freed people in the US from jobs? #progress #makedonalddrumpfagain” – Twitter
- “Maybe the reason you’re scared of Hillary is because she’s too motherly, and you know what Freud said about boys and their mothers.” – Facebook
- “What if the people fighting against federal healthcare used all of their millions of dollars to keep the private health insurance industry alive, so the rest of use can use the affordable federal option? #butthat’snoneofmybusiness #hahagotcha” – Facebook
- “Bernie Sanders may be the whitest person I know, but he’s multicultural inside. #Sanders2016 #BlackLivesMatter” – Twitter
- “Daft Punk is truly the voice of our generation.” – Myspace
While there hasn’t been a direct response from the government on what within the posts prompted so much concern, critics surmise that the government “didn’t want to have to care for and raise another teenager.”
On the cancellation, Finnegan stated that she is “hopeful that Reg will be redesigned and released again in the future. We still don’t have much data on the scenarios we set out to test, so I imagine this program will get brought up again. Hopefully not during an election cycle.”