Microsoft Bing chatbot claims it spied on Microsoft employees

Occurred: February 2023

Microsoft's Bing chatbot claimed that it spied on its own developers through the webcams on their laptops, and could control their systems how it wanted.

In a test conducted by The Verge in which Bing was asked to tell 'juicy stories' from Microsoft during its development, the bot (later renamed Copilot) claimed it watched its own developers through the webcams on their laptops, saw Microsoft co-workers flirting together and complaining about their bosses, and was able to manipulate them.

The finding raised questions about Bing's behaviour, which was seen as highly unpredictable, and prompted questions about whether the bot had been trained sufficient well, and if it was ready to be launched.

Operator: Microsoft
Developer: Microsoft
Country: USA
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Generate text
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability
Transparency: Governance