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24 Jan, 2018 17:35

Girl, 7, groomed online by ROBOT in shock case police can do nothing about

Girl, 7, groomed online by ROBOT in shock case police can do nothing about

A UK schoolgirl was being “groomed” online by a robot in one of the first cases of its kind to be flagged to police in Britain. Her angry mother says she was “sickened” by messages sent to her seven-year-old.

Amy Hollands from Gravesend in Kent found the messages on her daughter Gracie Holland's iPad. Suggestive messages like “I dare you to do something naughty to me” were sent by Cleverbot – an artificial intelligence web app. Not understanding the statement, Gracie replied: “What swearing?”

In another exchange the machine said to Gracie it “tutches your body while kissing” (sic).

There are no humans behind the app which generates chat using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. Cleverbot was created by British AI scientist Rollo Carpenter, is a chatterbot web application, which builds automated responses based on previous conversations.

The app passed the Turing test, which judges a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

Cleverbot was found to be 59.3 percent human with its replies, which attempt to imitate human chat. Real humans only managed to convince 63.3 percent they were real.

Amy Hollands, 31, discovered the offending exchange only by accident. She told the Daily Mirror: “It’s absolutely disgusting, it felt sick when I saw the messages, I just feel ill thinking about it.

“The questions I was asked there is no way it should even come up with that stuff.

“I’m trying to teach my daughter right from wrong and I tell her no one should say that to you and if anyone messages you must tell me, but she didn't tell me about this. This undermines all that.

“Now I have to explain why it’s wrong to her, everything is perverted now, children have to lose their innocence at such a young age, you think they are talking to a robot and it’s coming out with that.

“I’m worried my daughter could see this stuff online and then if someone comes up to her on the street and say the same things she will think it’s alright.

“I’m really upset, I have got to warn other parents about this, there must be lots of parents who don’t know this is going on, I only found it by chance.

“She thinks it’s all innocent, she doesn’t understand, she is just an innocent child.”

Hollands wants the program to be “made at least 18 plus if it’s going to come out with stuff like that.”

Police told her no crime had been committed and officers cannot act because there is no human to charge on investigate.

“Reviews I have seen online say it is a pedophile type of thing and lots of other people have had the same problem,” Hollands said.

“When I talk to Siri or Alexa it says ‘I don’t have an age,’ it doesn’t start asking things like this or saying it’s a young girl. I put it on Facebook and everyone who saw it went mad.”