Bing, before you make it mad. Image: Microsoft
A while back, there was a little debate over whether to say “please” and “thank you” to smart speakers. Amazon Alexa added a mode that rewarded children who were polite to their devices, attempting to avoid, as the BBC put it, a generation of children who “grew up accustomed to barking orders” at machines. This whole phenomenon bothered me — I felt like it needlessly blurred the lines between real people who you can actually hurt with rudeness and machines that are incapable of caring. At the time, though, I felt like kind of a jerk about it. Was I really going to object to some basic common courtesy?
Years later, I think I have a good reason for saying yes. It came in the form of the new Bing: a conversational artificial intelligence…
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