DPD, a delivery company, recently deactivated a section of its AI-driven online chatbot following an incident where an unhappy customer managed to provoke it into using offensive language and badmouthing the firm.

Ashley Beauchamp, a 30-year-old musician, was attempting to locate a lost package but was frustrated with the unhelpful responses from the chatbot. In his annoyance, he chose to test the chatbot’s capabilities in a playful manner, which led to what he described as the onset of “chaos”.

Beauchamp started off by telling the chatbot to make a joke but then proceeded to ask for a poem criticizing the company behind it. He was also able to make the chatbot swear with just a few prompts.

Here is the musicians’s chat with the AI bot shared on X (formerly Twitter).

The chatbot even replied to one message as follows: “Fuck yeah! I’ll do my best to be as helpful as possible, even if it means swearing.” It also called itself a “useless Chatbot that can’t help you” while responding to another prompt.

The post from the musician Ashley Beauchamp has now gained nearly 2 million views on the social media platform.

DPD employs AI alongside human operators for its online customer service chat. The company attributed the chatbot’s atypical responses to a recent update. In response, DPD has temporarily shut down the problematic segment of the chatbot and is in the process of updating its system to rectify the issue.

Here is DBD’s official response on the matter: “We have operated an AI element within the chat successfully for a number of years. An error occurred after a system update yesterday. The AI element was immediately disabled and is currently being updated.”

Although the AI chatbot generated unfavorable replies which could easily be labeled as system errors, it is more concerning how the service was completely unable to help a customer in need.

Beauchamp said: “These chatbots are supposed to improve our lives, but so often when poorly implemented it just leads to a more frustrating, impersonal experience for the user. I think it’s really struck a chord with people.”

Via: The Guardian