The ChatGPT outbreak hints at our increasing, perhaps, at times, blind dependence on technology. Given the AI chatbot had millions of users only a month after its launch, a swift reliance on a ‘limited technology’ can harbour misinformation. Even CEO Sam Altman called it a cool but “horrible product” in a February interview podcast with New York Times.
Speaking of errors from ChatGPT, an enquiry about Australian Mayor Brian Hood had the chatbot accusing him of a crime he had helped to expose.
Hood, now a mayor of Hepburn Shire near Melbourne in Australia, was a whistleblower in an International bribery scandal related to Australia’s National Reserve Bank. He had alerted the authorities about foreign bribes by the agents of Securency International Pty Ltd to win currency printing contracts. He wasn’t charged with any crime.
However, according to ChatGPT, he was convicted and pleaded guilty to charges related to bribery and corruption; he was even sentenced to prison for over two years.
Naturally, Hood was shocked to learn about the distorted tale, light years away from reality. Now, he intends to file a defamation suit against OpenAI, the parent company behind ChatGPT, for telling lies about him. He’s represented by a Sydney-based law firm Golden Legal.
“To be accused of being a criminal — a white-collar criminal — and to have spent time in jail when that’s 180 degrees wrong is extremely damaging to your reputation,” Hood said in an interview reported Washington Times.
“There needs to be proper control and regulation over so-called artificial intelligence, because people are relying on them” he added.
“It would potentially be a landmark moment in the sense that it’s applying this defamation law to a new area of artificial intelligence and publication in the IT space”, James Naughton, a partner at Golden Legal told Reuters.
Apparently, his lawyers sent a letter of concern to OpenAI in March end. The company has 28 days to rectify the error or face a potential lawsuit. If Hood decides to pursue this, it might become the world’s first defamation lawsuit against ChatGPT.