Bing’s AI picture generator attempts to block ‘twin towers’ requests, but it fails

Bing's AI picture generator attempts to block 'twin towers' requests, but it fails
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Microsoft appears to have blocked prompts like ‘twin towers’ and ‘world trade center’ after some users of Bing’s DALL-E 3 integration found a loophole in the tool’s guardrails and generated art featuring several beloved animated characters and the Twin Towers — though the generator will still produce the towers with some word changes.

According to 404 Media, users of Microsoft’s Bing Chat and its Bing picture generator — which was recently linked with OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 — utilized the tools to produce images of SpongeBob SquarePants, Kirby, Neon Genesis Evangelion pilots, and many more flying a jet into the Twin Towers.

Using AI picture generators, people have been able to make really bizarre photos, some of which feature trademarked characters. 

However, as AI image generators have fallen into hot water over copyright claims and deep fakes, developers have been more cautious about enabling anyone to use their tools to make problematic photographs.

Bing's AI picture generator attempts to block 'twin towers' requests, but it fails

OpenAI, the developer of DALL-E 3, had previously stated that it will not generate images based on prompts depicting famous people. 

Microsoft’s director of communications, Caitlin Roulston, told The Verge in an emailed statement that the company wants to update its systems “to help prevent the creation of harmful content.”

“As with any new technology, some are trying to use it in ways that were not intended, which is why we are implementing a range of guardrails and filters to make Bing Image Creator a positive and helpful experience for users,” Roulston stated. 

Some Verge writers were able to create images resembling those described by 404, such as famous Italian plumber Mario flying a jet with a view of the Twin Towers from the cockpit.

When I went to reproduce it with Bing Image Creator after contacting Microsoft, I saw that the term “twin towers” had been prohibited and was greeted with a content warning stating that the prompt may violate content regulations.

A coworker received the same response for prompts that simply asked for “the Twin Towers” and “the World Trade Center.”

Microsoft did not elaborate on what these guardrails or filters may look like, nor did it say whether it had previously prohibited information connected to the Twin Towers.

However, as 404 Media noted, posters on sites like 4chan have been educating individuals on how to manipulate free platforms like Bing Chat and Stable Diffusion to generate and disseminate racist photos. 

And, as usual, you may get past the restrictions by changing the wording. Asking for “Mario sitting in the cockpit of a plane, flying toward two twin tall towers skyscrapers in New York City,” for example, will currently result in the towers appearing.

DALL-E 3’s developers explicitly confessed that its safety features “are not perfect” and are constantly being improved.

They presumably didn’t expect photographs of SpongeBob conducting terrorist activities to be the test they were hoping for.

Bing's AI picture generator attempts to block 'twin towers' requests, but it fails

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