Korea’s controversial AI chatbot Luda to be shut down temporarily

2021.01.12 10:46:48 | 2021.01.12 10:47:43

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South Korea’s AI chatbot Lee Luda (Luda) will be temporarily suspended after coming under fire for its discriminatory and vulgar statements, as well as privacy breach allegations.

“We will return with an improved service after addressing the issues,” Scatter Lab, the Korean startup that is a developer of the interactive bot, said in a statement on Monday.

Luda was launched on Dec. 23 as a 20-year-old female bot running on Facebook Messenger. Its ability to engage in natural and realistic conversations quickly drew the attention of people in Korea, helping it rack up a user base of 400,000 in less than a month.

But it made headlines when some male users were found to be using it to have sexual conversations and sharing tips on how to make it a sex slave.

Other conversations showed Luda making homophobic or other discriminatory remarks, calling homosexuals “disgusting” and “creepy.”

The company apologized for the robot’s remarks regarding the LGBTQ community. “The statements do not reflect the company’s core values. We’re working on ways to prevent such discriminatory hate speech in the future,” Scatter Lab said.

By Lee Dong-in and Kim Hyo-jin

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