Air Canada pays damages over an AI chatbot!

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Air Canada, Canada's largest airline, is forced to pay compensation after its artificial intelligence chatbot provided wrong information to a customer, misleading him into buying a full-price ticket, The Guardian reports, mentions euronews.ro.

Air Canada representatives were criticized in harsh terms after implying that they are not to blame for the mistake made by the chatbot, on the grounds that the software is "responsible for its own actions".

This is the first lawsuit filed in Canada that raises questions about how companies oversee the tools they use to communicate with customers, amid increasing pressure on firms to automate their services.

The story in short

In 2022, Jake Moffatt contacted Air Canada to determine what documentation is required to qualify for a fare in the event of the death of a loved one and whether refunds can be granted retroactively.

Moffatt, a man who lives in the Canadian province of British Columbia, took a screenshot of the conversation with the airline's chatbot. He was told he could refund "within 90 days of the date your ticket was issued" by filling out an online form.

He later booked tickets to and from Toronto to attend a relative's funeral. Instead, when he requested the refund, Air Canada told him that death rates do not apply to completed trips and advised him to consult the bereavement section of the company's website.

The company admits: the chatbot gave "misleading indications".

Because of this, Air Canada must pay Moffatt C$650,88 (nearly R2.300), the difference between what Moffatt paid for his flight and a discounted bereavement fare — as well as C$36,14 in prejudgment interest and fees in the amount of C$125.

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