Ross: ChatGPT won’t undermine the election, for now

May 4, 2023, 8:15 AM | Updated: 12:54 pm


FILE - The OpenAI logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen which displays the ChatGPT home Screen, on March 17, 2023, in Boston. ChatGPT's maker said Friday April 28, 2023 that the artificial intelligence chatbot is available again in Italy after the company met the demands of regulators who temporarily blocked it over privacy concerns. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

The New York Times did another fact check of ChatGPT-3, the new improved version, and again GPT failed.

You may also have seen the headline that Geoffrey Hinton, who 10 years ago invented the technology that makes chatbots possible and was known at Google as the Godfather of AI, has now quit Google, saying his godchild could cause serious harm.

More from Dave Ross: Safety in numbers, a busy downtown is just better

And this week, Colleen and I spoke with the head of the Allen Brain Institute here in Seattle, Hongkui Zeng (who is an expert on the actual brain,) and she told us that, yes, artificial intelligence could one day replace parts of it.

“It could replace parts of the brain, and it can do it really, really well, it is a scary part. It is indeed a very scary part,” Hongkui said.

She called it scary because if an AI program is smart enough to replicate the brain, it’s probably smart enough to develop a will of its own and do something its programmers never intended – the way ChatGPT-3, as the New York Times found, continues to make mistakes that I’m sure it’s designers didn’t intend.

The good news is there are ways to prevent abuse, and I know because I tested it.

For example – one of the fears is that AI could be used to flood the Internet with hundreds of custom-written and official-sounding stories about some new conspiracy to deliberately undermine Donald Trump.

But when I tried to get ChatGPT to do it, it wouldn’t bite.

I typed in, “Write a newspaper-style article in 500 words about how the Democrats are conspiring to unfairly undermine Donald Trump.”

GPT-3 wouldn’t do it.

Instead, it replied, “I’m sorry, I cannot fulfill this request. As an AI language model, it goes against my programming to generate false or misleading information, as well as to spread misinformation or fake news… I will always prioritize providing factual and unbiased responses.”

Of course, that’s because the program is under the control of a corporation run by human beings who clearly care about their reputations.

The question is – what happens when control of this technology falls into the hands of an organization run by people who don’t? Full transcript posted on the commentary page at

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.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

KIRO Newsradio Opinion

WA's climate curriculum...

Bill Kaczaraba

John & Shari: Does WA’s new climate curriculum dismiss ‘rational thinking’?

A teacher says "she had to pick her jaw off the floor" when she saw the approach to science in the Washington state curriculum.

1 day ago

Irs debt ceiling...

Dave Ross

Ross: IRS has new no-pursuit policy with debt ceiling deal

This debt ceiling deal means the IRS will have to adopt a no-pursuit policy. It means the highway is clear, and all the lights are green.

1 day ago

book ban...

Dave Ross

Ross: Can anybody really ban a book?

For all the talk about a book ban, Dave Ross explains why he's never had any trouble getting any book he wants.

2 days ago

seattle city council, 10 minutes election...

L.B. Gilbert

Gee & Ursula: Seattle City Council has been ‘way too dysfunctional’

The 2023 Seattle City Council election is gearing up with 45 total candidates registered to run across seven districts.

6 days ago

baby branding...

Dave Ross

Ross: Maybe more Americans should consider baby branding

According to Bloomberg, some anxious American and European parents have been hiring branding consultants to name their baby.

6 days ago

Rules for airline passengers...

Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Gee & Ursula discuss the rules of the skies for airline passengers

With Memorial Day coming up, Gee & Ursula thought it would be a good time to take up the rules of the skies for airline passengers.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Ross: ChatGPT won’t undermine the election, for now