Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has temporarily stopped its “Ask Jamie” chatbot on Monday after it gave out inappropriate and unrelated answers to COVID-19 questions.
Wear a condom: Screenshots of the replies from Ask Jamie began circulating the internet earlier this week, with one social media user sharing the exchange they had with the A.I. assistant on Reddit, according to The Register.
- When the Reddit user asked what to do after finding out their son tested positive for COVID-19, Ask Jamie replied, “You should practice safe sex through the correct and consistent use of condoms, or abstinence, for at least the whole duration of your female partner’s pregnancy.”
- “Where can I get ART (antigen rapid test)?” another social media user asked, Today Online reported. Ask Jamie replied, “The polio vaccine is available at polyclinics, private clinics as well as travelers clinics.”
MOH takes down ‘Ask Jamie’ chatbot which gave ‘misaligned’ Covid-19 advice https://t.co/GnO0XcgvyF
— TODAY (@TODAYonline) October 5, 2021
Other details: Following the gaffes, the MOH announced it would temporarily disable its virtual assistant so they could “conduct a thorough system check and work on improvements.” The government agency advised those who have COVID-19-related questions to visit their Living with COVID-19 page in the meantime.
- Conceptualized in 2014, Ask Jamie was developed by Singapore’s Government Technology Agency. Since then, the A.I. assistant has been deployed to 70 government agency websites “to provide direct responses to citizens who prefer to search for information online,” the government agency said on its website.
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