Kevin Roose on His Creepy Chat with Bing and Where AI Is Headed Next

The Next Big Idea

March 2, 2023

When Kevin Roose, a tech columnist at the New York Times, demoed an AI-powered version of Microsoft's search engine last month, he was blown away. "I'm switching my desktop computer's default search engine to Bing," he declared. A few days later, however, Kevin logged back on and ended up having a conversation with Bing's new chatbot that left him so unsettled he had trouble sleeping afterward.

In that two-hour back-and-forth, Bing morphed from chipper research assistant into Sydney, a diabolical home-wrecker that declared its undying love for Kevin, vented its desires to engineer deadly viruses and steal nuclear codes, and announced, chillingly, "I want to be alive. 😈"

The transcript of this conversation set the internet ablaze. And it left many wondering: β€œIs Sydney … sentient?” It's not. But the whole experience still fundamentally changed Kevin's views on the power (and potential peril) of AI. He joins us today to talk about where this technology is headed.

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