In a comical turn of events, a Microsoft travel guide for Ottawa, Canada, had a rather amusing recommendation for tourists. It included the Ottawa Food Bank as a must-visit destination alongside notable landmarks like the National War Memorial and an Ottawa Senators’ hockey game. Microsoft quickly clarified that this mistake was due to human error and not the result of unsupervised AI.
The Verge initially reported the listing, which ranked the food bank as the third recommendation. To clarify the situation, Microsoft stated that the content was not generated by their AI but rather produced through a combination of algorithmic techniques and human review.
Microsoft reassured the public that steps are being taken to prevent such content from being published in the future. They emphasized that technology is utilized alongside the expertise of content editors to curate stories. In this particular case, the erroneous content slipped through the cracks.
The description of the food bank in Microsoft’s summary was particularly cringe-worthy considering the nature of the establishment. It read, People who come to us have jobs and families to support, as well as expenses to pay. Life is already difficult enough. Consider going into it on an empty stomach.
The Ottawa Food Bank, understandably displeased with the insensitive messaging, issued a statement to The Verge. They expressed their dismay, noting that the empty stomach line did not pass through human editors. While they had not come across a situation like this before, they acknowledged the possibility of more inaccuracies or inappropriate references as AI becomes increasingly popular in content creation.
In summary, Microsoft’s travel guide for Ottawa had a hilarious yet embarrassing error that mistakenly recommended tourists to visit the Ottawa Food Bank. The tech giant admitted it was due to human error and not unsupervised AI. Steps are being taken to prevent such occurrences in the future, and the Ottawa Food Bank expressed its disappointment with the insensitive description.