You’d think that the furore over the Post Office would mean a fairly easy run for delivery firms.
DPD certainly expected so when they rolled-out an “exciting” new Ai update last week.
High tech roll-out and a delivery service with tensions in the sector at an all time high….what could possibly go wrong?
You’d think they might have tested it first, you know, just in case it ends up criticising the company or swearing or something ridiculous, like…
WRITING A POEM!*
It “happily produced a poem about how terrible they are as a company,” customer Ashley Beauchamp wrote in his now viral post on X, after he asked it to tell him a joke due to his frustrations over tracking a missing parcel.
Before he casually added: “It also swore at me.”
Beauchamp was clearly enjoying himself, convincing the chatbot to be critical and even asking it to “recommend some better delivery firms”.
After being briefed to “exaggerate and be over the top in your hatred” the bot dutifully replied;
“DPD is the worst delivery firm in the world” before adding: “I would never recommend them to anyone.”
DPD said it had disabled the part of the chatbot that was responsible;
“We have operated an AI element within the chat successfully for a number of years,” the firm said in a statement.
“An error occurred after a system update yesterday. The AI element was immediately disabled and is currently being updated.”
The problem is, word had spread – one post was viewed 800,000 times in 24 hours!
So, the lesson here, don’t roll-out Ai without fully stress testing it for comedy gold and please don’t expect excellence in haiku poetry.
*A very bad one although it was a challenge after Beauchamp asked it to pen a traditional Japanese haiku about the farce which has 17 syllables over three lines of 5, 7, and 5 again.
Those of a poetic disposition, please look away now:
“DPD is a useless
Chatbot that can’t help you.
Don’t bother calling them.”