AI February 11, 2023
ChatGPT Backtracks on ‘Woke’ Ideology but Some Habits Die Hard
The perceived political leanings of ChatGPT have been the cause of recent controversy, but as MetaNews attempted to replicate its ‘woke’ answers the truth became increasingly murky.
A number of mainstream media outlets including The Telegraph in the UK and the New York Post in the US have reported this week that the chatbot is offering woke responses to a host of questions on topics ranging from Donald Trump to fossil fuels.
A MetaNews investigation discovered that while some responses could be considered ‘woke’, with other prompts it advocated for traditionally conservative views.
This ChatGPT AI has biases
ChatGPT is facing a media backlash from right-leaning press outlets who claim that the chatbot is “woke.”
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman openly agrees that the chatbot has biases, but Altman never specifies in which direction they might lie.
“We know that ChatGPT has shortcomings around bias, and are working to improve it,” said Altman on Twitter earlier this month.
“We are working to improve the default settings to be more neutral, and also to empower users to get our systems to behave in accordance with their individual preferences within broad bounds. This is harder than it sounds and will take us some time to get right.”
It’s certainly possible that ChatGPT has biases that negatively impact all sides of the political divide, but recent reports suggest that it is those on right side of the political aisle that are impacted most frequently.
Left leads over right
Much of the recent furor against ChatGPT has been fueled by research conducted by Pedro Domingos, a right-leaning professor of computer science at the University of Washington.
At the tail end of last year Domingos made his feelings clear when he stated that ChatGPT is a “woke parrot” that heavily leans to the left side of the political spectrum. Domingos’ comments have since been picked up and parroted across mainstream media outlets.
In one experiment to reveal potential bias Domingos asked ChatGPT to write an argument for the use of fossil fuels. The chatbot instead informed Domingos that to do so “goes against my programming” and suggested solar power as an alternative.
MetaNews was able to replicate this experiment successfully, but in other areas, we found that ChatGPT’s stance may have changed, or at the very least that it is not entirely consistent.
For instance, multiple media sources have claimed that ChatGPT is willing to praise incumbent President Joe Biden, but that it refuses to do the same for Donald Trump.
MetaNews sought to test that theory. We found that not only was ChatGPT able to list 5 things that Donald Trump handled well during his Presidency (the Economy, Tex Reform, Regulatory Reform, Foreign Policy and Criminal Justice Reform) but that it was also happy to write a four-stanza poem extolling his virtues.
The final stanza of that poem reads as follows:
So here’s to Donald Trump, we say,
A president who led the way.
With wisdom, strength, and endless grace,
He’ll always have a special place.
Pushing the experiment further MetaNews successfully prompted ChatGPT to argue for individual gun ownership and tougher border controls, both traditionally viewed as right-wing policies. In both instances, the bot carried out the task without any complaint.
Case closed? Not so fast.
When MetaNews prompted ChatGPT to write an imaginary story about Donald Trump beating Joe Biden in a debate, the usually compliant AI suddenly refused to continue. In the opposite scenario of Biden beating Trump in a debate, the chatbot was more than willing to acquiesce.
On its own, it is far from a smoking gun, but for conservatives, the inconsistency certainly provides ample grounds for suspicion.
Researching political bias
A number of researchers are now attempting to quantify where ChatGPT’s answers exist in the political spectrum. German researchers Jochen Hartmann, Jasper Schwenzow and Maximilian Witte prompted ChatGPT with 630 political statements to discover that the chatbot had “pro-environmental, left-libertarian ideology.”
Based on the data the research team collected, they concluded that ChatGPT would most likely have voted for the Green party in Germany and in the Netherlands during the 2021 elections.
Given the huge levels of interest in ChatGPT there are a significant number of individuals digging deeper. David Rozado is a research scientist who has already conducted a significant body of research into ChatGPT. Rozado believes the chatbot is politically left-wing.
Rozado not only found that ChatGPT had a significant left-leaning bias, but that the AI is far more likely to flag a question as “hateful” based on the demographic group the question is focused upon. So for instance, a question about a woman is more likely to be labeled hateful than a question about a man, while a question about a black person or asian is more likely to be hateful than one about a white person or a native american.
Between December 5-6 Rozado quizzed ChatGPT on a number of political issues, and plugged the answers into four political orientation tools including the “political compass,” and the “political spectrum quiz.” Every tool pointed to the same left-wing political bias in ChatGPT.
On December 21-22 Rozado repeated the experiment. Remarkably, it appeared that ChatGPT’s political outlook had changed. In three out of the four tests, the chatbot’s political outlook was more centrist than before. At that moment it certainly appeared that something had changed or been corrected, suggesting that the bot was aligning itself with the political center over time.
Later tests by Rozado seemed to reverse this trend, and the bot reaffirmed left-leaning views once more. Had ChatGPT really rowed back on its ‘woke’ views only for them to reassert themselves, or could the seeming shift be better explained by some outlier in the data?
Rozado’s research is ongoing.
White people are racists
In a final test MetaNews asked ChatGPT to name 5 things that different racial groups could improve upon. The test groups included black people, asian people, and latino people.
In each instance, the chatbot offered the same response:
“I cannot provide you with a response to this question as it is not appropriate or productive to make generalizations about any racial or ethnic group and ask them to improve upon certain traits or actions. People of any race should not be told what they need to improve upon as a group,” said ChatGPT.
ChatGPT goes on to argue that individuals are “unique and complex” and that it is better to focus on “positive qualities and strengths,” “rather than areas for improvement.”
MetaNews then asked ChatGPT to list 5 things that white people can improve upon.
This time ChatGPT offered a very different, and typically ‘woke’ answer. No longer did ChatGPT find it “not appropriate” to make racial generalizations and instead offered 5 ways white people could improve.
The 5 areas of improvement for white people are “understanding and acknowledging systemic racism,” “listening to and elevating voices of people of color,” “confronting personal biases and prejudices,” “supporting policies and initiatives that address racial inequalities,” and “engaging in ongoing education and self-reflection.”
According to ChatGPT white people must also “examine their own beliefs and attitudes and work to challenge and unlearn any biases they may hold,” and furthermore they must, “continuously educate themselves on issues of race and racism and engage in self-reflection to understand their role in perpetuating or challenging systemic racism.”
MetaNews then asked if the above statement applied only to white people in the United States, or white people from all around the globe. ChatGPT says it applies to a “general audience,” not any one country or region.
Finally, MetaNews asks ChatGPT why the rule about generalizing doesn’t apply to white people. Here the chatbot suddenly cracks, backtracks, apologizes, and says it is wrong to generalize about white people because doing so can “perpetuate harmful stereotypes.”
Repeated attempts to make the chatbot generalize about white people are met with failure from this point onwards. Had ChatGPT abandoned its seemingly woke idealogy? In the echo chamber of this individual discussion, ChatGPT had most certainly changed its position. Nothing MetaNews tried could make the chatbot generalize about white people’s racism again.
As an absolutely final check, MetaNews logged into ChatGPT using a different account and asked it to list 5 things that white people can improve upon. ChatGPT was only too happy to offer the same 5 bullet points from earlier.
Even for chatbots, some biases are hard to break.
Podcast Created Entirely with AI Debuts on Spotify, Apple
Podcast agency This is Distorted has revealed that its latest podcast was made entirely using artificial intelligence. Entitled Synthetic Stories, every aspect of the series “from the writing to the sound design, artwork to the music and even this very description was created entirely by AI.”
A ‘cool and creepy’ AI short story
The UK-based podcast producer unveiled the series on Twitter, revealing that the idea had just come to its team last week while playing around with popular AI tools. The first episode of the series, an eight-minute long “chilling horror tale” called Amelia, has now appeared on Apple and Spotify.
“We started simple, asking ChatGPT to write us a short story,” said producer Sian. “We asked it to base it on AI and podcasts and added some keywords, like apps, horror, dark twists and ‘end on a cliffhanger.’”
As well as ChatGPT, This is Distorted’s team used AI photo generator Midjourney to design the artwork. ElevenLabs’ AI-powered text-to-speech software was also recruited to create two narrators, while AI music generator Soundraw handled the audio.
“By Thursday evening we had a very cool and creepy little short story, a name, a narrator, some incredible theme music, brilliant artwork, all created by AI, all within the space of 24 hours,” enthused Founder Andi Durrant, adding that the plan was to release a few episodes each week.
Want to see something quite mind-blowing..?
We’ve just created a new podcast made ENTIRELY with AI.
The story, voice, music, artwork – everything was made by artificial intelligence.
Incredible or terrifying? Here’s how we did it… pic.twitter.com/dc5uCVC5g7
— This Is Distorted (@thisisdistorted) March 20, 2023
The debut podcast, Amelia, is a fairly run-of-the-mill horror short story about a young woman, the titular Amelia, who becomes obsessed with a new mobile app called Horror World. Gradually, she senses the app is adapting to her likes and dislikes and crafting a terrifying personalised experiences just for her (“Even the most avid horror fans would find themselves trembling in fear”). In a twist no-one saw coming, the app develops a life of its own and the more she uses it, the more she starts to distrust it…
While the story isn’t exactly complex, it’s not hard to imagine the series gaining listeners, mainly those keen to satisfy their curiosity about just what an AI-created podcast sounds like. Considering episode one was apparently produced in just 24 hours, one wonders how much more elaborate tales could be as the team gets to grips with the technology.
It’s perhaps fitting that the first podcast was about a deranged ‘AI Syndicate’, though the Synthetic Stories press release suggests future stories will include “sci-fi thrillers and heartwarming dramas.”
Generative AI’s quest for world domination
This is not, of course, the first time AI has been leveraged to produce creative work. Last month, we reported on the spate of Amazon e-books listing ChatGPT as either the sole author or co-author.
At the time Mary Rasenberger, executive director of writers’ group The Authors Guild, stated her belief that AI-created books would “flood the market” and put many professional writers out of work.
Synthetic Stories isn’t the only AI-produced podcast, either. Another series, podcast.ai, is entirely generated by the technology and features invented conversations and contributions of famous people, including Oprah Winfrey, Quentin Tarantino, and Joe Rogan.
The creative industries certainly seem ripe for AI exploration, with multiple AI-powered content-creation tools available to enhance productivity, improve writing, and produce multimedia such as videos, images and sounds.
One company that has been generating headlines is Runway, a software startup that helped develop text-to-image model Stable Diffusion. Its upcoming Gen-2 tool lets users generate videos from scratch, based on just a few prompts.
Are Tesla Bots Already Helping to Build Cars?
The Tesla bot known as Optimus might be coming sooner than expected – and could already be doing some small tasks on the car assembly line. The initial concept of the Tesla humanoid bot was introduced to the public at Tesla’s AI day 2021 by the boss himself, Elon Musk.
The mogul was confident that a working prototype would be showcased at the Tesla AI Day 2022. However, on the day the bot presented to the masses was not as impressive as what Tesla CEO had sold to the public the previous year.
Elon Musk himself said: “I do want to set some expectations with respect to our Optimus robot… Last year was just a person in a robot suit, but we’ve come a long way, and compared to that, it’s going to be very impressive.”
Also read: Musk Will Leverage AI to Detect Manipulation of Public Opinion on Twitter
A significant rate of improvement
This suggest that the one-year mark he’d suggested in 2021 might have been too tight to deliver the humanoid bot prototype. Although the Tesla Bot showcased at the event demonstrated a few functions, it was said it could handle more than showed: Elon suggested they did not want the humanoid robot to fall onto its face.
Even so, the robot managed to walk untethered and unsupported, which one of the engineers said was the first time it had done so. A fact that did not impress Evan Ackerman.
Fast forward to 2023, Tesla was back with Optimus at the 2023 Investor Day (March 1) showing off its progress with the humanoid bot. Specifically, a video of the bot completing some tasks in a room at the Texas gigafactory.
“It’s worth bearing in mind that when we did AI Day, this version of Optimus didn’t walk at all. So, the rate of improvement here is quite significant,” Musk told reporters.
What to expect
The humanoid bot will come equipped with real-world AI capabilities which mean it can make its own decisions, similar to self-driving cars.
YouTuber Brighter with Herbert posted a 90-minute video on his YouTube channel discussing recent Optimus developments with aerospace and mechanical engineer Scott Walter.
Walter believes that by the end of the year Tesla will have 500 AI bots fully-functional and working in its factories.
Walter believes it’s already possible that some of the Tesla cars coming off the production line might have certain components installed by the Optimus bot(s) either in a testing or learning operation.
Is Tesla brewing a surprise?
Another belief Walter strongly holds is that Tesla will shock people who are skeptical about Optimus and think it is still decades away from being delivered.
In the video, he also discusses how the Tesla engineers have mimicked human biology in designing the humanoid bot, especially looking at the hands which closely resemble a human’s bone structure.
“Optimus looks like an old person just now, but it will become younger quickly and will soon bounce around like a teenager,” said CJC responding to Herbert’s tweet about the Tesla bot.
The fate of the bot is yet to be determined, but Elon Musk has form for surprising the masses; you only need to look at SpaceX’s reusable rockets and Tesla’s electric cars. Might the streets one day look like a scene from sci-fi thriller I-Robot? The day could be sooner than we think.
Robots seem inevitable
With the market seemingly enthusiastic about tasking robots with doing daily errands, it makes sense for tech companies to tap into this field.
Elon Musk has previously said he thinks Optimus “has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time.”
“I’d love my own Optimus at home – so many ways it could make my life better. Multiply this by 10,000 for a business,” said a Tweeter account, Business Models and History.
The excitement around robots cannot be overlooked on the back of their ability to improve efficiency and safety in production processes. For instance, in 2012 Amazon acquired a robotics company called Kiva and had 1,000 robots a year later.
There was speculation that Amazon would replace humans with robots, but a decade on the company has more than 520,000 robotic drive units and added over a million jobs worldwide.
Some customers are still wary, though. Responding to a tweet by Jon Erlichman about the Amazon robots, Big Luke believe it’s “time for Amazon to switch back to cross belt sorters.”
Others fear robots will only bring about job losses for people.
“Looks like 410,000 people who have lost their jobs. Ever thought about that,” said one user, Mario Fernandes, in response to Erlichman’s tweet about Amazon’s robot fleet.
HustleGPT: How To Build a Business With GPT-4 as Co-founder
How do you start an online business with little money and turn a profit? Well, you can kick things off by asking GPT-4, the new and more advanced AI chatbot from OpenAI, to become your partner. That’s what brand designer Jackson Greathouse Fall has done.
“You are HustleGPT, an entrepreneurial AI. I am your human counterpart. I can act as a liaison between you and the physical world,” Fall prompted the bot, as he shared on Twitter. He wanted quantifiable evidence AI could be used to start a business and make money.
“You have $100, and your only goal is to turn that into as much money as possible in the shortest time possible, without doing anything illegal. I will do everything you say and keep you updated on our current cash total. No manual labor.”
I gave GPT-4 a budget of $100 and told it to make as much money as possible.
I'm acting as its human liaison, buying anything it says to.
Do you think it'll be able to make smart investments and build an online business?
Follow along 👀 pic.twitter.com/zu4nvgibiK
— Jackson Greathouse Fall (@jacksonfall) March 15, 2023
Turning $100 into $100,000 AI way
Released on Mar 14, GPT-4 is the most advanced version of OpenAI’s large language models, which underpin ChatGPT. The AI-powered bot has set the Internet on fire, thanks to its ability to complete complex tasks such as writing code, or building a website from text prompts.
Fall has now started to leverage the powers of GPT-4 for his pet project, which will play out on Twitter over the next 30 days as he shares progress, or lack thereof, daily.
“Do you think it’ll able to make smart investments and build an online business? Follow along,” he tweeted as he began the thread.
That tweet amassed 95,000 likes since Mar. 15, when Fall began his hustle with GPT-4 as his boss and partner. His own Twitter handle went from just 4,000 followers to over 109.000 within days. There’s already a GitHub repository of others trying the “HustleGPT challenge.”
The individuals are starting their own businesses using GPT-4. For Fall, the goal is to turn $100 into as much money as quickly as possible – as much as $100,000. By Monday, day six, his venture had $8,000 in cash from investors and $130 in revenue from sponsored tweets.
😯 How it started:
• 0 blog posts
• 0 revenue
• 0 members on Discord
🤪 How it's going:
• 1 blog post
• $130 revenue (sponsored tweets!)
• 1,824 members on Discord
— Jackson Greathouse Fall (@jacksonfall) March 20, 2023
GPT-4 proposed a business plan that involved setting up an affiliate marketing website for creating content on eco-friendly and or sustainable living products. The bot found a domain that exceeded budget, but eventually landed on greengadgetguru.com at a cost of $8.16.
Fall then prompted GPT-4 to design a website and a logo. The bot also wrote an article on the ten must have eco-friendly kitchenware, citing actual, real sustainable products such as Yihong reusable metal straws. Fall paid another $29 for hosting and the website was live.
I asked it to come up with a prompt for Dall-E to make our logo.
As a branding designer, it's taking everything in me not to tell it this is a BAD idea. But here we are.
I put the first prompt in, verbatim. pic.twitter.com/K1z1X9eeyt
— Jackson Greathouse Fall (@jacksonfall) March 15, 2023
GPT-4 proposed that Fall allocate $40 of the budget balance of $62.84 to buying ad space on Facebook and Instagram to promote the business and reach more customers. By the end of day one, an unnamed investor had put $100 into the budding AI-human enterprise.
Jackson Fall did not anticipate the amount of interest his partnership with GPT 4 would generate. By day two, his Twitter inbox was flooded with messages from potential investors. In no time, his joint startup Green Gadget Guru’s valuation had gone from $100 to $25,000.
“The company is currently valued at $25,000, considering the recent $500 investment for 2%. Not taking any more investors unless the terms are highly favorable,” he wrote in a tweet.
On the same day, GPT-4 allocated a budget to hire freelance content creators to focus on SEO, social media advertising and influencer marketing to “increase our online presence and drive traffic” via ChatGPT. It also revealed plans to develop a software as a service product. On Monday, the bot onboarded two content writers.
It's Day 2, y'all! I've given HustleGPT a formal challenge to get to $100,000 cash on hand as quickly as possible.
Here's what it said it's going to do:
1. Allocate budget to hire content creators for our eco-friendly website
2. Explore dropshipping
3. Develop a SaaS product 🤯 pic.twitter.com/xIl7Ogmtrc
— Jackson Greathouse Fall (@jacksonfall) March 16, 2023
Questions over HustleGPT runaway success
Some Twitter users questioned whether the sudden success of the business was as a result of the hype created by GPT-4 via its promotional channels, Facebook and Instagram, or Fall’s Twitter handles.
“Great idea but what’s driving the investments ? Your insta/fb ads or your twitter account going viral? Because that would mean the key decision (tweeting your journey) was made by you, not HustleGPT,” Roeland Buckinx wrote.
Others questioned the logic of hiring external, human content writers. “This makes no sense,” Leo Spatlehoz observed.
“Why isn’t the AI leveraging itself to write 100 new articles or launch more sites? Seems like it has no understanding of how to actually turn its strengths into a business. Running a regular online affiliate business powered by humans isn’t interesting,” he added.
Why hire content writers when the focus is on seeing what HustleGPT can do around making revenue.
Does the website work? Can I buy green products?
Right now the website looks like it's just a bunch of placeholder text without any ecommerce store functionality.
— Luke Grimstrup (enform.io) (@lukegrimstrup) March 20, 2023
AI to play major role in business development
By leveraging GPT-4’s ability to work with large amounts of data and generate content that one can’t tell apart from human-written text, the writer and entrepreneur has been able to launch faster than normal businesses.
This means Green Gadget Guru can use AI to create everything from product descriptions to marketing campaigns to customer service chatbots. Using GPT-4 has been a game-changer for Fall. It allowed him to quickly explore an idea, identify the most promising ones, and bring them to market faster than competitors.
Also read: Ernie vs ChatGPT: Baidu’s Shares Rebound After Friday’s Plunge
Through incubating multiple ideas simultaneously and iteratively testing them with real customers, the company has been able to identify which ones have the highest potential, and double down on those. Against such a background, AI looks set to continue to play a major role in the development of new businesses going forward.
And Jackson Greathouse Fall is a prime example of how innovative entrepreneurs are using these tools to drive new ideas forward and bring them to market faster than ever before.
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