Click images for more details



Recent posts
Recent comments
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Money to burn - Josh 368 | Main | Uncharted - Josh 366 »

Ward off - Josh 367

As you may know, Microsoft recently launched a Chat-bot called 'Tay' as an experiment in "conversational understanding." "The more you chat with Tay", said Microsoft, "the smarter it gets, learning to engage people through "casual and playful conversation." " 

But as the Verge noted.

Unfortunately, the conversations didn't stay playful for long. Pretty soon after Tay launched, people starting tweeting the bot with all sorts of misogynistic, racist, and Donald Trumpist remarks. And Tay — being essentially a robot parrot with an internet connection — started repeating these sentiments back to users, proving correct that old programming adage: flaming garbage pile in, flaming garbage pile out.

Sounds familiar? Well, we learned the other day that Bob Ward's Twitter account may be manned by something very similar.

Looks like it's going to last a lot longer than Tay.

Cartoons by Josh

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (36)

Thanks, It made my day.

Apr 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered Commenteroebele bruinsma

Bob Ward is the new Mekon?**

**Green and a kon: about right.......

Apr 15, 2016 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

It amuses me that Grantholm has probably lost a fortune pushing all this crap.

Apr 15, 2016 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Acclaimed expert on energy and engineering Sir David MacKay dies aged 48

“I’m concerned about cutting UK emissions of twaddle – twaddle about sustainable energy"
more on Twitter

David MacKay: A reality check on renewables | TED Talk

MacKay had been diagnosed with terminal cancer last year and documented his illness on a personal blog. In his most recent blog post, he thanked those who had offered to visit him in hospital

Apr 15, 2016 at 3:18 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

A cartoon with something witty would have been better.

Apr 15, 2016 at 3:22 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

There WAS an automatic chat generator in the old MS-DOS days - look up RACTER. It generated off-the-wall replies, rather than the "Tell me more" responses of the old ELIZA. Maybe Bob resurrected it?

Apr 15, 2016 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRuss Wood

Does the Bob-Bot get profanity related pay?

Clearly the Bob-Bot does not rely on Unreliable electricity supplies.

Apr 15, 2016 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@Apr 15, 2016 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

The trouble is that Ward's employer has money to burn (which may be a more effective way of generating electricity than by using solar panels, or wind machines).

I recall that after the 2014 elections in the United States, there was a degree of schadenfreude, regarding the amount of dosh the monumental hypocrite Tom Steyer had splurged on propping up campaigns. In the end, the only successful candidates he supported were the ones who had been expected to win in the first place. It was a huge waste of money, but (and this was what people missed) it was a drop in the ocean for Steyer.

Apr 15, 2016 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

And Steyer made a lot of his money in coal. His is a completely unnecessary guilt complex. As such, there is not enough money to ever assuage it. We ought to feel pity, and do, but why doesn't he just stop the self-flagellation?

Apr 15, 2016 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Shouldn't the device be labelled "Climate Auto-SCAT?

Hope it runs on good old reliable renewable power.

Apr 15, 2016 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

"Racist and Donald Trumpist remarks". - what a good prhase, I shall have to use it myself.

Apr 15, 2016 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Neal

Sounds familiar? Well, we learned the other day that Bob Ward's Twitter account may be manned by something very similar.

Now that would answer a lot of questions regarding 'Bob the Bot'.

Apr 15, 2016 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

More evidence supporting Microsoft's strategy to fire engineers and hire censors. It's inspiring. One day, soon hopefully, we will all be the chat-bots we are meant to be.

Apr 15, 2016 at 10:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

I like Trump

Sorry if this upsets the bien-pensant toffs around

Apr 15, 2016 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenus

To be frank , although Bob 'fast fingers ' Ward's paymaster is a very rich man , hopping to richer still.
Given the 'finger mens' simply awful record in PR and marketing of 'the cause ' , you would have considered that be now Bob would have been let go so he could take his talents elsewhere. But no thanks to 30 pieces of silver Bob is still hiding behind the LSE banner knocking out the type of a diet of facts , which although it lacks in roughish, does have strong laxity effect . To what seems no point at all .

Apr 15, 2016 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Sounds familiar, yes. Will this be known in future milliseconds as the 'Tay Communications Disaster "Which will be remember’d for a very long time?"'

John Smith-Smith, McGonagall's poem, the 'Tay Bridge Disaster', has been remembered for a very long time, as one of the most disastrous poems of all time.

The train wreck resulting from the bad design and construction of the Tay Bridge, has been forgotten as the worst UK train crash in terms of fatalities.

This particular disaster will be remembered, but hopefully further fatalities will be avoided from this mad and bad, mann conceived design.

Apr 16, 2016 at 12:57 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Ayla, how very remiss of us, your acolytes, not to respond to your latest pearl of wisdom sooner.

I must first admit to the heinous crime of misunderstanding the last word of your first utterance "More evidence supporting Microsoft's strategy to fire engineers and hire censors". My spelling was never good, and I had initial visions of giant incense burners swinging in Microsoft's main office.

A quick visit to social media chat sites reveals your vision of the future is almost with us.

Apr 16, 2016 at 6:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Remote censoring will get you in touch with the most distant Gods.

Apr 16, 2016 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Oh Lord, forgive Kim for his blasphemous spelling.

Something has disturbed his soul for on another thread he has confessed to pouring petrol over his holy Prius.

Apr 16, 2016 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

It was not the burnt meat which reached the Gods in sacrifice, it was the smell of it.

Apr 16, 2016 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

I've found some of the racist comments (only the Hitler type, though) but none misogynistic. The bot went after feminism but only feminists think every woman is a feminist. Did anyone find broader racist remarks and actually misogynistic ones? Thanks.

Apr 17, 2016 at 12:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Ayla, not so much racist, but I wanted to add some Greenist comments, though as a typical bloke, I just didn't know which buttons to press, and didn't want to ask, as I was pretending to be busy, avoiding the washing up.

Apr 17, 2016 at 1:14 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Do you test us with such questions?

Have we not repeatedly demonstrated our resolve to follow your Delphic utterances in their entirety?

Who would dare dispute your findings of racism and absence of misogyny?

Let him (for it can only be a him) stand forth and he will be smitten right rotten.

Apr 17, 2016 at 6:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

A Tay day tort of day today,
A tort of snail and thorn;
But flail away, alack, alay,
There's reason to be shorn.

Apr 17, 2016 at 7:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

No, no tricks. Just looking for data.

Apr 17, 2016 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Ayla, if you find any data, tell a climate scientist. Some of them have been looking for decades, without success.

Apr 17, 2016 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Can it be true, are you are a Trekkie?

Apr 17, 2016 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Ain't that the tune, indeed. No data.

Anyway, back to business.

Climate deniers, your days are over. Repent or face the music.

Apr 17, 2016 at 11:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Despair not Ayla. We search for your desired android.

When found, will you allow Data to play with your zyther?

And from what direction will come this musical ecstasy?

For we poor deniers cannot renounce our climate sins

And so must hear the music forever like a clockwork kumquot.

Apr 18, 2016 at 5:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

You'd better not let me model you, Mr. Kendall.

Apr 18, 2016 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

After a lifetime a now-cherished personal message, but I am bereft

Ayla I understandeth not,

Am I to be cloned?

To the defeat of your oft-stated climate aspirations?

Pleas for enlightenment I know will be futile

Your Delphicity remains intact.

I am ignorant.

Apr 18, 2016 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Yes, you are. That's why Climate Overlords are needed.

Apr 18, 2016 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Ayla, for just a moment I thought you false. A definitive answer is unprecedented and a sign of an absence of Delphicness. But then realisation struck - there was ONE answer for TWO questions.

But what are these climate overlords (COs)? Can the leaders of our commercial word all be under your spell?

Apr 19, 2016 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

"Ayla, for just a moment I thought you false. A definitive answer is unprecedented and a sign of an absence of Delphicness."

Alan , just call the hierophant in Delphi, and tell him to put another shilling in the Oracle's gas meter.

She'll be right as rain.

Apr 19, 2016 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Sorry Russell, I know you're only trying to help but, shillings (even if one could be found) are not legal tender in Greece. I do believe they have a very few of those left. Perhaps that hierophant fella could get one.

I'm sure you're right about the gas though, Delphic Oracles lived in caves and saw visions as a result of seeping methane. Maybe the flow rate is down. Do you think Ayla needs a good frakking?

Don't think I'll ask her though, she's in a bad mood (a right pythia!); threatened me with being modelled she did

Apr 19, 2016 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>