Microsoft’s AI Tool Raises Concerns Over Violent and Sexual Images

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  • Issue: The AI tool creates violent and sexual images that are deemed inappropriate and potentially harmful.
  • Warning: Shane Jones, a seasoned software engineer at Microsoft, has urgently warned about the tool’s capabilities to generate harmful content.
  • Copyright Concerns: The AI tool reportedly ignores copyrights, raising legal and ethical questions about image generation.
  • FTC Involvement: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been urged to intervene by ensuring better safeguards are put in place before the tool can be used in the public domain.

Redmond, WA — March 7, 2024Microsoft’s cutting-edge AI technology, known as Copilot Designer, has recently come under scrutiny due to its potential to generate sexually harmful and violent images. The company’s own engineer, Shane Jones, has issued a warning about the tool’s capabilities and the need for better safeguards.


Copilot Designer, developed jointly by Microsoft and OpenAI, is an advanced generative AI model designed to assist developers, designers, and content creators. It leverages vast amounts of data to generate creative content, including images, text, and code. However, recent findings have raised serious concerns about the unintended consequences of this powerful tool.

The Issue

During his work at Microsoft over the past six years, Jones extensively explored Copilot Designer. His investigations revealed that the tool could create violent and sexualized images, often depicting women in distressing scenarios. These images included harmful content related to drug use, underage drinking, and other sensitive subjects.

Jones’s Warning

In an open letter addressed to Microsoft and the broader tech community, Jones expressed his alarm. He repeatedly urged Microsoft to take immediate action to address the following issues:

  1. Copyright Ignorance: Copilot Designer sometimes generates content that infringes on existing copyrights. This raises legal and ethical concerns, especially when the tool is used for commercial purposes.
  2. Lack of Responsible AI: Despite Microsoft’s commitment to responsible AI development, Copilot Designer’s output occasionally veers into potentially harmful territory. Jones emphasized the need for better oversight and guidelines.
  3. Public Use Safeguards: Jones called for the removal of Copilot Designer from public use until robust safeguards are implemented. He believes that the tool’s potential impact on society requires careful consideration.

Microsoft’s Response

In response to Jones’s concerns, Microsoft referred him to OpenAI, emphasizing their collaborative role in Copilot Designer’s development. The company acknowledged the need for improvements and pledged to work closely with regulatory bodies, including the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to address the issues raised.

FTC Chair Lina Khan’s Statement

FTC Chair Lina Khan expressed her support for responsible AI practices. She emphasized the importance of transparency, accountability, and user safety. The FTC plans to investigate Copilot Designer’s impact and ensure that it aligns with ethical standards.

Next Steps

Microsoft and OpenAI are committed to addressing these challenges promptly. They aim to strike a balance between innovation and responsible AI deployment. As the debate continues, the tech industry must grapple with the complexities of AI-generated content and its potential consequences.

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