Brad Smith reveals Taylor Swift had bad blood with Microsoft’s Taybot

Microsoft president claims Taylor Swift threatened to sue over racist chatbot Tay

Microsoft president claims Taylor Swift threatened to sue over racist chatbot Tay

Microsoft President Brad Smith reveals in an upcoming book called "Tools and Weapons" that Taylor Swift wanted to sue the company for calling the chatbot Tay.

Unfortunately, once the bot launched in America, it became something very different after absorbing the racist and sexist vitriol that seems to be woven into the fabric of Twitter.

Moreover, the chatbot was primarily meant to interact with a relatively younger audience in the age groups of 18 to 24 who were also coincidentally the age group that connected with Swift's music.

The Chinese version of the chat bot is called XiaoIce and was created to have conversations on social media with people.

But shortly after Tay was launched, it tweeted to say it supported genocide and didn't believe the holocaust happened - among other things. Twitter "pranksters", unsurprisingly, trained Tay to become a racist troll in a little more than a day, Microsoft had to take the bot down.

And in his new memoir Tools and Weapons: The Promise and The Peril of the Digital Age, Microsoft president Brad Smith writes the Shake It Off singer filed papers against the company in 2016 - not because of what the bot said, but because its name was similar to hers. An email had just arrived from a Beverly Hills lawyer who introduced himself by telling me, "We represent Taylor Swift, on whose behalf this is directed to you.". "No, I actually didn't know, but the email nonetheless grabbed my attention". The pop star and her legal team are notorious for their strict approach towards protecting her intellectual property rights and going great distances to try and trademark phrases such as "nice to meet you" and "where have you been" as well.

This made sure she was the only person in the world able to use sayings like these on merchandise - and threatened Etsy sellers with legal action in 2015 for using them on their homemade products.

Radio 1 Newsbeat has contacted Taylor Swift's representatives for comment.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays - or listen back here.

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