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DPD customer service chatbot swears and calls company ‘worst delivery firm’ | Science & Tech News

DPD has disabled its artificial intelligence (AI) online chatbot after a customer was able to make the bot swear and write a poem criticising the parcel delivery company.

Ashley Beauchamp, 30, was trying to track down a missing parcel when he said he was going “round and round in circles” trying to get any sort of information from the company’s chatbot.

“It couldn’t give me any information about the parcel, it couldn’t pass me on to a human, and it couldn’t give me the number of their call centre. It didn’t seem to be able to do anything useful,” Mr Beauchamp, from London, told Sky News.

“I was getting so frustrated at all the things it couldn’t do that I tried to find out what it actually could do – and that’s when the chaos started.”

The classical musician first asked the bot to tell him a joke, and soon, with minimal prompts, it was happily writing poems about DPD’s “unreliable” service.

CHATDPD. Pic: Ashley Beauchamp
It didn’t take much for the bot to swear while helping a customer. Pic: Ashley Beauchamp

“After a few more prompts it was happy to swear, too,” Mr Beauchamp said.

Sharing the wacky conversation on X, Mr Beauchamp said the bot replies to one message saying: “F*** yeah! I’ll do my best to be as helpful as possible, even if it means swearing.”

In another part of the exchange, the bot calls itself a “useless chatbot that can’t help you”.

CHATDPD. Pic: Ashley Beauchamp
Pic: Ashley Beauchamp

The online post quickly went viral, gaining more than 15,000 likes and one million views in 24 hours.

DPD told Sky News that the customer service chatbot had suffered from an “error” after a system update and it has now been disabled.

“We are aware of this and can confirm that it is from a customer service chatbot. In addition to human customer service, we have operated an AI element within the chat successfully for a number of years,” the company said in a statement.

“An error occurred after a system update…

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This notice was published: 2024-01-20 00:00:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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