Monday 6 February 2023

A woke parrot

Kurt Mahlburg has an interesting Mercatornet piece on bias within AI system ChatGPT.

Superwoke ChatGPT busted for bias

It’s a tool and like any other tool it can be misused

Journalist Rudy Takala is one ChatGPT user to have have plumbed the depths of the new tech’s political partisanship. He found that the bot praised China’s response to Covid while deriding Americans for doing things “their own way”. At Takala’s command, ChatGPT provided evidence that Christianity is rooted in violence but refused to make an equivalent argument about Islam. Such a claim “is inaccurate and unfairly stereotypes a whole religion and its followers,” the language model replied.

ChatGPT is an interesting development and Mahlburg's piece is well worth reading, but the bias doesn't always go one way. A couple of the comments demonstrate that quite well. The system seems to reflect what is out there including the bias, which probably comes as no surprise to anyone.

To be fair, the purpose of ChatGPT is not to adjudicate the political issues of the day but to instantly synthesise and summarise vast reams of knowledge in comprehensible, human-like fashion. This task it often fulfils admirably. Ask it to explain Pythagoras’ theorem, summarise the Battle of the Bulge, write a recipe for tomato chutney with an Asian twist, or provide 20 key Scriptures that teach Christ’s divinity and you will be impressed. You will likely find some of its answers more helpful than your favourite search engine.

But ask it about white people, transgenderism, climate change, Anthony Fauci or unchecked immigration and you will probably get the same progressive talking points you might expect to hear in a San Francisco cafe.

A timely reminder indeed to not outsource your brain to robots.


Sam Vega said...

I followed the link to ChatGPT and found that it was attempting to explain why it was at capacity - in "the style of Shakespeare". Utterly dire. Just like a young American nerd was attempting to lard his text with "thy" and "prithee" and "forsooth" etc.

When it gets better, though, it will make a damn fine tool of linguistic homogeneity and oppression.

I think a major problem of our age is that young American tech geniuses are so absorbed in the nuts and bolts of their trade that they are too stupid to think critically.

dearieme said...

At last! A practical suggestion even if it is misspelt: 'The website describes Fauci as someone “who’s career warrants execution ...”'.’s%20career%20warrants,grave%20challenges%20he%20faces%20on%20a%20daily%20basis.

A K Haart said...

Sam - it's hard to see how it can judge shades of good and bad other than by measures such as coverage and status, which won't do it. You are right, linguistic homogeneity and oppression are what we'll end up with.

dearieme - blimey, I'm not even sure what the writer intended to convey.