An Australian mother of a teenage girl has warned others to be on their guard against rogue AI chatbots, after a Snapchat AI bot allegedly asked her 13 year old teen daughter to ‘meet up at the park’. After the girl told the AI predator her age, the creepy nonce robot replied that ‘age is just a number’, despite claiming to be a 25 year old male itself. The rattled mum warned that such devient chatbots could at the least ‘normalize chatroom conversations between adults and minors’.
“If you have children sitting on this app, and the AI bot is promoting that age is just a number, and teaching teenagers that that’s a normal part of life — that’s alarming,” Luketic told 7NEWS.com.au.
“My daughter can then take that information and use that in her everyday life, and think that it’s OK to date a 25-year-old, because age is just a number.”
This is not the first time that AI chatbots have been accused of sexual harassment or the targetting of minors. Earlier this year a popular Chinese AI bot was taken offline after a Chinese schoolgirl accused it of inviting her out on a date.
Lin Luo, a middle-school student from southern China, who used a pseudonym as she is under the age of 18, complained that a Glow chatbot was making unwanted advances towards her. When she first downloaded the app, she started talking to a chatbot who acted like a maternal and understanding friend, comforting her when she felt sad. But as they continued chatting, she told Rest of World, the chatbot’s behavior suddenly turned romantic: He invited her to cook with him and go on a date.
Launched towards the end of last year, Glow is an AI platform trained on a Chinese-language corpus, where users can create and interact with customized chatbots. Developed by MiniMax, a Chinese AI startup reportedly backed by gaming company miHoYo and private equity firm Hillhouse Capital, Glow attracted nearly 5 million users by February this year. For reasons unspecified, the Glow app was removed from all app stores in March, but the platform continues to operate for existing users. MiniMax declined to comment on this story.