Microsoft in Hot Water as AI-Generated 'Copilot Designer' Comes Under Fire for Disturbing Content

Company's engineer Jones discovered that the tool produced violent and sexual imagery, potentially violating copyright laws

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Shane Jones, a principal software engineering manager at Microsoft's Redmond headquarters, has raised serious concerns regarding the company's AI image generator, Copilot Designer. According to CNBC, Jones discovered that the tool produced violent and sexual imagery, potentially violating copyright laws.

Jones, who tested the product in his spare time, expressed his disappointment to CNBC, revealing his efforts to alert Microsoft about the troubling content generated by Copilot Designer.


Discovery of Disturbing Content:

Jones encountered the disturbing imagery while red-teaming, actively testing the product for vulnerabilities. He reported seeing images depicting demons, monsters, and contentious issues like abortion rights. Additionally, the tool generated sexualized images of women in violent scenarios, along with depictions of underage drinking and drug use, straying from Microsoft's responsible AI principles.

Microsoft's Response and Jones' Efforts:

Upon discovering these troubling images, Jones promptly reported his findings to Microsoft. However, he was dissatisfied with the company's response, which seemed hesitant to remove the product from the market. Microsoft referred Jones to the tool's developer, OpenAI, but he received no response. Frustrated, Jones took to LinkedIn to voice his concerns, leading Microsoft's legal department to request the removal of his post.

Jones escalated the matter by writing letters to senators and meeting with staff from the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Despite his efforts, Microsoft appeared reluctant to adequately address the issue.

Call for Transparency and Accountability:

In his letters, Jones emphasized the importance of Microsoft implementing disclosures for Copilot Designer to warn users about potential harmful content. He also advocated for a change in the tool's rating on Google's Android app store, suggesting it be rated only for mature audiences.

Jones stressed the necessity of implementing safeguards to protect users, highlighting Microsoft's awareness of the tool's risks prior to its public release.