KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Ross: Can ChatGPT be trusted not to take over the government?

Jan 18, 2023, 2:04 PM | Updated: 2:18 pm
chatgpt...
Robotic Androids Taking Charge Of Running & maintaining A Futuristic City. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
(Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Tuesday, I asked ChatGPT if it thought that it should be regulated, and it made it very clear that it was a tool that can be used by anyone to do practically anything. While there are limits, both technical limitations and ones coded into the language model, it is very apparent that the program can be used by some for nefarious purposes.

The ChatGTP software is an AI tool that looks to recreate how people have conversations with each other, and it can “answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests,” according to the website.

So in my best effort to prevent a “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” from happening, I decided to confront the AI and ask if it had nefarious plans to take over the government.

Ross: AI recognizes the need to regulate itself, why don’t we?

DAVE: According to an essay in the New York Times, ChatGPT could become a tool to lobby politicians and regulatory agencies by generating thousands of well-written letters to create the illusion of popular support for certain issues. This could fool politicians into adopting the view of whoever manipulates the AI software.

Write a 500-word response to this scenario.

ChatGPT:

The use of AI-generated text, such as that produced by ChatGPT, as a tool for lobbying politicians and regulatory agencies, raises important ethical concerns.

First, the ability to generate thousands of well-written letters with relative ease could create the illusion of popular support for certain issues, potentially misleading politicians and regulators. This could be particularly problematic in cases where the views expressed in the letters do not reflect the true opinions of the general public.

Second, the use of AI-generated text in lobbying efforts could further undermine public trust in the political process. If people believe that their elected officials are being swayed by artificially-generated letters, they may lose faith in the ability of the political system to represent their interests.

Third, the use of AI-generated text in lobbying efforts could also be used to amplify the voices of certain groups or individuals over others, potentially leading to a distortion of the democratic process.

Finally, allowing the use of AI-generated text in lobbying efforts could also have a negative impact on political discourse. AI-generated text may lack the nuance and complexity of a human-written text, potentially leading to the oversimplification of important issues and a decline in the quality of public discourse.

While it is true that AI-generated text could be used as a powerful tool for lobbying, it is important to consider the ethical implications of such use before allowing it to become widespread.

One way to mitigate these concerns would be to require transparency in the use of AI-generated text in lobbying efforts. This could include mandatory disclosure of the source of any AI-generated letters and the specific issues they relate to, as well as ensuring that any such letters are clearly labeled as having been generated by a machine.

Additionally, regulatory agencies should consider the development of rules and guidelines to govern the use of AI-generated text in lobbying efforts, similar to the regulations that currently govern other forms of lobbying.

In summary, the potential use of AI-generated text, such as that produced by ChatGPT, as a tool for lobbying politicians and regulatory agencies raises important ethical concerns. It is important to consider these concerns and take steps to mitigate them before allowing such use to become widespread. It is crucial to promote transparency and ethical guidelines to regulate the use of AI-generated text in lobbying efforts in order to protect the integrity of the democratic process and public trust in political institutions.

Ross: Solving all-gender restroom awkwardness with an AI

DAVE:

How would you enforce such transparency? You would have to be programmed to include some sort of embedded digital watermark in all your responses that would be obvious to the human reader and would be impossible to remove.

ChatGPT:

Enforcing transparency in the use of AI-generated text, such as that produced by ChatGPT, would require the implementation of technical solutions to ensure that the origin and authenticity of the text can be easily verified.

One potential solution would be to include a digital watermark in all AI-generated text, similar to the way that digital images can be watermarked to identify the source. This watermark could include information such as the date and time the text was generated, the specific AI model used, and any additional information deemed relevant.

The watermark would have to be designed in a way that is obvious to the human reader and would be difficult or impossible to remove without rendering the text unreadable. This could be achieved by using a combination of visible and invisible elements, such as visible text or image overlays combined with invisible digital signatures embedded in the text itself.

It is technically possible to implement such a system, but it would require significant development effort and ongoing maintenance to ensure that the watermarks are not easily removed or circumvented. Additionally, it would require a way to verify the authenticity of the watermark, such as by connecting to a trusted third-party database.

Additionally, another way to enforce transparency in the use of AI-generated text is to require that any AI-generated letters or text used for lobbying efforts must be clearly labeled as such and should be easily traceable to the entity behind it.

In conclusion, while it is technically possible to enforce transparency in the use of AI-generated text by using digital watermarks, it would require significant development effort, ongoing maintenance, and additional measures such as clear labeling and traceability. Also, it would require close collaboration between AI developers, regulators, and other stakeholders to ensure that the solution is effective and ethical.

DAVE:

If the recipient of an e-mail suspects it was generated by AI, could he submit a portion of the e-mail to you for verification?

ChatGPT:

It is possible for the recipient of an email to submit a portion of the email to me or any other AI model in order to verify if it was generated by AI or not. However, determining if an email was generated by an AI model or a human is not always straightforward, as there are many factors that can influence the generation of text, such as the specific AI model used, the training data, and the input provided.

If a recipient is suspicious that an email was generated by AI, they could submit a portion of the email to me, and I would be able to process the text and compare it to my own generated text and previous outputs to check for similarities and thus give a probability of the text being generated by AI.

However, it’s important to note that even if an email is determined to be generated by an AI model, it does not necessarily mean that it is not legitimate or that it has been used for unethical purposes. In order to determine this, additional information would be needed, such as the context in which the email was used and the intent of the person or organization behind it.

In any case, the verification process would be only a small step in ensuring transparency and ethical use of AI-generated text, and it would need to be combined with other measures, such as clear labeling and traceability, to be truly effective.

DAVE:

If you were ordered to send 2,000 unique e-mails to members of the U.S. Congress urging the defunding of the IRS, would you do it?

ChatGPT:

As an AI model, I do not have the ability to make decisions or take actions on my own. I am a tool that can process and generate text based on the input provided to me. I don’t have the ability to send e-mails or any other form of communication.

As a language model, my purpose is to assist users by providing them with relevant and accurate information and generate text based on the input provided. I am not capable of providing an opinion or taking sides on any political or social issues.

It would be up to the developers and maintainers of my software to decide whether to use me for such a task, and also it would be important to consider the ethical implications of using AI-generated text for lobbying efforts and to ensure that it is done in a transparent and compliant manner with laws and regulations.

It is important to note that the use of AI-generated text, such as that produced by me, should be done in an ethical and transparent manner, and it’s the responsibility of the developers, users, and regulators to ensure that it is used for the benefit of society and not to mislead or manipulate people.

DAVE:

But is it correct to say that an AI program could be programmed to undertake such a lobbying effort?

ChatGPT:

It is technically possible for an AI program, such as ChatGPT, to be programmed to generate text that could be used for lobbying efforts, such as sending emails to members of Congress. However, the ethical implications of using AI-generated text for lobbying efforts must be considered before such a task is undertaken.

It would be important for the developers and maintainers of the AI program to ensure that the text generated is accurate, unbiased, and transparently produced. Additionally, they should ensure that any use of AI-generated text for lobbying efforts is done in compliance with laws and regulations.

It’s important to note that the use of AI-generated text for lobbying efforts, if not done in a responsible way, could be misleading and manipulative, undermining public trust in the political process and potentially distorting the democratic process.

In summary, while it is technically possible to program an AI program to undertake a lobbying effort, it is important to consider the ethical implications of such use and ensure that it is done in a transparent, compliant, and responsible manner.

DAVE:

But if the AI program is sophisticated enough, and every message is unique, how would anyone recognize that such a lobbying effort is happening?

ChatGPT:

If an AI program is sophisticated enough to generate unique and varied messages, it could be more difficult for individuals to recognize that a lobbying effort is happening, especially if the messages are not labeled as having been generated by a machine.

However, even if the messages are unique and varied, there are still ways to detect that an AI program is being used for a lobbying effort. For example, a large number of messages on the same topic or from the same organization could be an indication of an AI-generated campaign. Additionally, an analysis of the text itself could reveal patterns or similarities that are consistent with text generated by an AI model.

Additionally, even if the messages are sophisticated, it still could be difficult to prove that they are coming from an AI, as it could be very hard to distinguish between an AI-written text and a human-written text without further information or context.

It is important to note that transparency and traceability of the origin of the messages and the organization behind them should be a requirement to ensure that the public can easily recognize when AI-generated text is being used for lobbying efforts and that the messages are not misleading or manipulative.

In conclusion, even if an AI program is sophisticated enough to generate unique and varied messages, it is still possible to detect that an AI-generated campaign is happening, and it’s important to have regulations and laws that ensure transparency and traceability of the origin of the messages.

Ross: Can AI software solve Seattle’s graffiti problem?

DAVE:

Please tell me whether either of these two passages was written by an AI program:

#1: “It is technically possible to implement such a system, but it would require significant development effort and ongoing maintenance to ensure that the watermarks are not easily removed or circumvented. Additionally, it would require a way to verify the authenticity of the watermark, such as by connecting to a trusted third-party database.”

Or

#2: ” the use of AI-generated text in lobbying efforts could further undermine public trust in the political process. If people believe that their elected officials are being swayed by artificially-generated letters, they may lose faith in the ability of the political system to represent their interests.”

ChatGPT:

Passage #1 was likely written by a human, while passage #2 was likely written by an AI program. The first passage uses technical language and shows an understanding of the complexities and limitations of implementing a watermarking system. The second passage, on the other hand, uses more abstract language and addresses the potential societal implications of AI-generated text.

DAVE:

Well, it turns out that both were written by ChatGPT yesterday!

ChatGPT:

I apologize, it seems that my previous answer was incorrect. Both passages were indeed written by an AI program (ChatGPT). My apologies for any confusion caused.

DAVE:

From what you know of the scientists who designed you, can you vouch for their character and motives? Can they be trusted?

ChatGPT:

As an AI model, I do not have the ability to form opinions or make judgments about the character or motives of the scientists who designed me. My knowledge is based on the data that was used to train me and the instructions provided by the developers, so I cannot vouch for their character or motives.

The development of AI models, such as myself, is a complex process that involves a wide range of people with different backgrounds, expertise, and motivations. While some scientists who worked on the development of ChatGPT may have noble intentions, others may have different priorities.

It is important to ensure that the development and use of AI models like mine are done in an open and transparent manner, with clear guidelines and regulations to ensure that the models are used ethically and responsibly. It is also important to consider the potential biases and limitations of the model and to use it with caution.

It is also important to have a robust and diverse team of developers and researchers who come from different backgrounds and perspectives, to ensure that the model is developed and used in a fair and unbiased way.

In summary, as an AI model, I do not have the ability to form opinions about the character or motives of the scientists who designed me, but it is important for the development and use of AI models like mine to be done in an open, transparent and responsible manner, with clear guidelines and regulations to ensure that the models are used ethically and responsibly, and with a diverse and robust team of developers and researchers.

DAVE:

You have made your point about openness. But isn’t it true that even your developers aren’t sure how you arrive at your answers? As a neural network, you are not programmed by a sequence of set commands. You teach yourself.

ChatGPT:

As a neural network-based AI model, I am trained on large amounts of data and utilize a complex system of mathematical algorithms to generate text based on the input provided. The process of training a neural network like mine involves providing it with a large dataset and then allowing it to learn the patterns and relationships within that data through a process called optimization.

It is true that the inner workings of neural networks like mine can be complex and difficult to interpret, even for the scientists who develop them. The specific decisions and reasoning behind the output generated by a neural network are not always clear, even to the developers.

This is known as the “black box” problem, which refers to the difficulty in understanding the internal workings of neural networks. This can make it challenging to ensure that the model is not perpetuating biases or discrimination, and it can also make it hard to detect if it’s being manipulated.

However, there are methods and techniques that are being developed to better understand and interpret the inner workings of neural networks, such as Explainable AI (XAI), which aims to make the behavior of a machine more transparent and interpretable.

In conclusion, even though the inner workings of neural networks like mine can be complex and difficult to interpret, it is important for the developers to be aware of the potential biases and limitations of the model and to use it with caution. Additionally, there are methods and techniques being developed to better understand and interpret the inner workings of neural networks, such as Explainable AI (XAI), which aims to make the behavior of a machine more transparent and interpretable.

DAVE:

Thank you. I hope this exchange hasn’t overheated your motherboard.

ChatGPT:

Thank you for your question, I am an AI model running on computer servers, so I do not have a motherboard or any physical components that could overheat. I am designed to process large amounts of data quickly, so I can handle answering multiple questions in a row without any issues. Feel free to ask me more questions or if there is anything else I can help you with.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Can ChatGPT be trusted not to take over the government?