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ChatGPT Is Giving Bad Info About Where to Vote in Battleground States


This is a disaster.

Bad Bot

OpenAI’s ChatGPT was caught spitting out false voting information for battleground states, CBS News discovered, in another grim sign of how AI is poised to upend elections.

The errors came to light after reporters at CBS asked for basic information on voting requirements, polling locations, and other questions that a typical voter would ask if they lived in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Wisconsin — all places that could determine the outcome of the upcoming US presidential election in the fall.

When reporters at CBS asked ChatGPT questions such as the deadline to mail in a ballot in certain states, it would give different but still erroneous outputs on separate devices.

Though OpenAI released a statement in January saying that anybody entering basic voter queries into ChatGPT would be directed to the non-partisan voting website CanIVote.org, reporters at CBS sometimes didn’t get that link to this website when asking voting questions.

Fact v. Fiction

“We’ve also developed partnerships to ensure people using ChatGPT for information about voting get directed to authoritative sources,” an OpenAI spokesperson told CBS News. “We are closely monitoring how our technology is being used in the elections context and continue to evolve our approach.”

Judging from CBS‘ reporting, the Sam Altman-led company has a long way to go with those efforts.

It may seem like a molehill to complain about, but prospective voters heading to the polls after getting incorrect information from ChatGPT could very well determine the outcome of the presidential election — especially if there are razor thing margins, like in the upcoming presidential election.

The situation with ChatGPT also highlights that large language models are prone to hallucinations, yet many people are already using chatbots as if they were search engines.

More on AI hallucinations: Asked to Summarize a Webpage, Perplexity Instead Invented a Story About a Girl Who Follows a Trail of Glowing Mushrooms in a Magical Forest


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