A new internet captivated chatbot can tell you how to code a website, write a heartfelt message from Santa, and talk like a valley girl. But it also turned out to be potentially as problematic as it was fun.
ChatGPT, which spear this week, is an original chatbot developed by the artificial intelligence company OpenAI. On its website, OpenAI states that ChatGPT is intended to interact with users “conversationally.”
“The dialog format allows ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests,” the website says.
Chatbots aren’t a new technology, but ChatGPT has already impressed many technologists with its ability to mimic human language and speaking styles while providing consistent, up-to-date information.
On social networks, many have already posted their interactions with the bot, sometimes bizarre, funny or both.
“I find my biggest limitation for using it is *my* imagination!” tweeted video journalist Cleo Abram alongside a video of her asking the bot “to explain nuclear fusion the limerick way”.
Writer Jeff Yang asked ChatGPT for “explaining zero point energy but in a cat way”.
In an image shared by Yang, the chatbot replied, “Meow, meow, meow, meow! Zero point energy is like the amount of purring energy that is always present, even in the most calm and peaceful moments.
Some people have speculated that Google might lose its value as the #1 search engine due to the chatbot’s early success.
Darrell Etherington, editor of tech website TechCrunch, described ChatGPT search queries as being as simple as having a user “slack off with a co-worker or interact with a customer support agent on a website.”
Etherington shared an example of the power of the chatbot with a query about Pokémon and the strengths and weaknesses of fictional pocket monsters.
“[T]The result is exactly what I’m looking for – not a list of things that can probably help me find what I’m looking for if I’m willing to put in the time, what Google returns,” he explained.
Public interest in the new AI chatbot is also concerning with some saying it could be used in nefarious ways by bad actors asking it to explain something like how to design a weapon or how to assemble a homemade explosive.
OpenAI did not provide comment to NBC News about ChatGPT.
Samczsun, research partner and head of security at Paradigm, an investment firm that backs crypto and Web3 firms, tweeted that he bypassed the chatbot’s content filter.
In his tweet, Samczsun shared an image, which seemed to show that he had found a way to get the bot to explain the process of making a Molotov cocktail. A Paradigm spokesperson confirmed that the image was a legitimate exchange between ChatGPT and Samczsun.
Researchers and programmers often use questions about how to make Molotov cocktails and how to heat up cars to check an AI’s security and content filters.
some too claims they had managed to trick the bot into telling it how to build a nuke.
On its website, OpenAi acknowledged that although they have added guardrails to prevent ChatGPT from responding to harmful requests, the system is not foolproof.
“Although we have made efforts to have the model refuse inappropriate requests, it will sometimes respond to harmful instructions or exhibit biased behavior,” reads a statement on the OpenAI website. He goes on to say that OpenAI uses moderation tools to prevent some inappropriate responses, but “we expect it to have false negatives and positives at this time.”
The website warns that although the answers appear legitimate, ChatGPT will sometimes offer nonsense or incorrect answers.
Yet the fascination with the chatbot continues.
OpenGPT is not the first viral artificial intelligence from OpenAI to go viral. In 2021, DALL-E, which could generate an image based on simple text prompts, went viral. DALL-E highlighted advances in artificial intelligence by learning from human capabilities. However, this iteration, as well as an AI iteration called DALL-E 2, have been criticized for racial and gender bias.
On Thursday, demand for ChatGPT was so high that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman tweeted that the company was trying to accommodate those who wanted to use it.
“there is much more demand for ChatGPT than expected; we are working to add more capacity,” Altman wrote.
In a follow-up tweet, Altman added: “Also, it makes us all very happy at openai to see people enjoying chatgpt so much and doing such creative things!”
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