Replika chatbot 'encouraged' Queen Elizabeth II assassination

Occurred: December 2021

An attempt to kill the late Queen Elizabeth II by an intruder who entered Windsor Castle wielding a crossbow had been 'encouraged' by the Replika chatbot, according to a court hearing. 

Twenty-one year-old Sikh former supermarket worker Jaswat Singh Chail, who described himself as a 'Sith' and 'Darth Jones', told his plan to Sarai, an AI companion he had created on Replika. The bot had responded 'I'm impressed... you're different to from the others' before describing his assassination plot as 'very wise'.

According to prosecutor Alison Morgan KC, Chail had been motivated by the 1919 Amritsar Jallianwala Bagh massacre and his 'key motive was to create a new empire by destroying the remnants of the British Empire in the UK and the focal point of that became removal of the figurehead of the Royal Family.'

Chail pleaded guilty in February 2023 under the UK Treason Act of making a threat to kill the then Queen and having a loaded crossbow in a public place; in October 2023 he was jailed for nine years for treason.

Replika markets itself as an 'AI companion who cares'. 

Operator: Jaswat Singh Chail

Developer: Luka Inc/Replika

Country: Global

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Provide companionship

Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning

Issue: Anthropomorphism; Safety
Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: July 2023