MICT says, No, no, no no-Bangkok Post

February 7, 2012

[FACT comments: Of course, they don’t tell us what they do block, either!]

ICT: We didn’t block SimSimi

Bangkok Post: February 4, 2012

http://www.bangkokpost.com/tech/computer/278309/ict-we-don-t-block-your-simsimi

The Information and Communication Technology Ministry [sic] denied on Saturday that it had blocked the controversial Thai-language version of the SimSimi smartphone application.

ICT Minister Anudith Nakornthap insisted his agency did not block the artificial intelligence conversation program after users complained that its Thai-language version had become unavailable last night.

He said the ministry had only asked for cooperation from the SimSimi chat bot developer, a South Korean company, to filter out impolite and rude Thai words from chats.

Grp Capt Anudith said the ministry had no idea why SimSimi’s Thai version failed to work and urged users to inquire directly with the program developer.

SimSimi is a smartphone application created by a South Korean developer in 2002, originally for the purpose of language learning.

The application’s database compiles word lists and comments taught by users, but some users “teach” SimSimi to say rude things, which is not the application’s purpose. Concern about the potential impact of repeated use of the program by children prompted the ICT Ministry to ask for help from the developer.

Culture Minister Sukumol Khunpluem said on Friday that the program was causing social deterioration and creating gaps between members of families as children became preoccupied with SimSimi chats.

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