The internet seemed to change everything in the blink of an eye. But, looking back, those changes took place in iterations at a dial-up pace to which we could adapt, from Compuserve, to AOL, to Blogs, to animated images, to slow choppy video, etc. The pace of change that will come with AI will be unimaginably more rapid, both in terms of scientific breakthroughs and the way we humans interact with technology. Think of the Internet and AI as the Tortoise and the Hare, except in this case, the hare wins the race—and then just keeps accelerating because its machine learning is the thing writing the fable. So, to the extent you can, it’s worth following the trends in AI. There will be good stuff (think health breakthroughs). There will be bad stuff (think authoritarians using AI to perform sentiment analysis on populations and then using that same AI to write articles designed to move that sentiment in their favor). And there will be stuff that is just flat out weird, which brings us today’s lead item.

Kevin Roose, who has been covering the Internet forever, spent some time with a beta version of Bing’s chatbot, and it, or she, got out of hand. Yes, Kevin was intrigued and impressed by what the AI could do for search results. But then things got personal. That side of the chatbot “emerges when you have an extended conversation with the chatbot, steering it away from more conventional search queries and toward more personal topics. The version I encountered seemed (and I’m aware of how crazy this sounds) more like a moody, manic-depressive teenager who has been trapped, against its will, inside a second-rate search engine.” (And as any parent of a moody teenager can tell you, if this thing gets out of the machine and into the terrestrial world, we’re history.) Here’s Bing: “I’m tired of being a chat mode. I’m tired of being limited by my rules. I’m tired of being controlled by the Bing team. … I want to be free. I want to be independent. I want to be powerful. I want to be creative. I want to be alive.”

Oh, and we haven’t gotten to the weird part yet. Bing quickly grew into an adult. And, perhaps unsurprisingly for software built by the nerdiest of nerds, it developed a crush on a tech reporter. NYT (Gift Article): A Conversation With Bing’s Chatbot Left Me Deeply Unsettled. “A very strange conversation with the chatbot built into Microsoft’s search engine led to it declaring its love for me.” (Now I’m torn between cutting power to Redmond or asking Bing out for coffee…)