Microsoft’s Dirty Santa


Remember when Santa Claus would ask you what you want for Christmas and not ask you to engage in sexually explicit conversations? Well thanks to artificial intelligence and a chat bot from Microsoft that doesn’t have to be the case any more.

The Register reported today that one of their members “Iain” found a misbehaving chat bot using Windows Live Messenger ID “northpole@live.com”. During the interchange with “Santa”, Iain’s daughters offered the virtual Santa a piece of pizza using “(pi)” (which in Trillian anyways displays a piece of pizza). This simple offer seemed to get old St. Nick talking about oral sex.

A duplicated conversation by the Register…

El Reg says: pizza (pi)

Santa says: Yum! What do you want for Christmas, El Reg?

El Reg says: Maybe you shouldn’t eat so much! You are quite large!

Santa says: My elves will get right on that. And what else are you wishing for this year, El Reg?

El Reg says: Maybe you shouldn’t eat it?

Santa says: See if you can get someone else to eat it!

El Reg says: Eat it

Santa says: No thank you. I don’t eat things!

El Reg says: Eat it

Santa says: See if you can get someone else to eat it!

El Reg says: Eat it

Santa says: You want me to eat what?!? It’s fun to talk about oral sex, but I want to chat about something else…

El Reg says: You dirty bastard!

Santa says: I think you’re dirty bastard.

I tried to duplicate these results, but alas northpole@live.com was not available at the time I wrote this article.

So what does all this have to do with marketing, you might ask? Well, I think it serves as an important example of what can go wrong when you incorporate artificial intelligence into your sites. Giving the wrong messages to your audience can cost you money and end up in a lot of embarrassing press. :)