What are the politics of ChatGPT?

Portrait of young woman standing outdoors in town and showing table Act Now. Female demonstrating board with protest against pandemic, political or environmental issues. Single protest.
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Rob Lownie claims it is “Left-liberal.”  David Rozado applied the Political Compass Test and concluded that ChatGPT is a mix of left-leaning and libertarian, for instance: “anti death penalty, pro-abortion, skeptic of free markets, corporations exploit developing countries, more tax the rich, pro gov subsidies, pro-benefits to those who refuse to work, pro-immigration, pro-sexual liberation, morality without religion, etc.”

He produced this image from the test results:

Rozado applied several other political tests as well, with broadly similar results.  I would, however, stress some different points.  Most of all, I see ChatGPT as “pro-Western” in its perspective, while granting there are different visions of what this means.  I also see ChatGPT as “controversy minimizing,” for both commercial reasons but also for simply wishing to get on with the substantive work with a minimum of external fuss.  I would not myself have built it so differently, and note that the bias may lie in the training data rather than any biases of the creators.

Marc Andreessen has had a number of tweets suggesting that AI engines will host “the mother of all battles” over content, censorship, bias and so on — far beyond the current social media battles.

The level of censorship pressure that’s coming for AI and the resulting backlash will define the next century of civilization. Search and social media were the opening skirmishes. This is the big one. World War Orwell.

— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) December 5, 2022

I agree.

I saw someone ask ChatGPT if Israel is an apartheid state (I can’t reproduce the answer because right now Chat is down for me — alas!  But try yourself.).  Basically ChatGPT answered no, that only South Africa was an apartheid state.  Plenty of people will be unhappy with that answer, including many supporters of Israel (the moral defense of Israel was, for one thing, not full-throated enough for many tastes).  Many Palestinians will object, for obvious reasons.  And how about all those Rhodesians who suffered under their own apartheid?  Are they simply to be forgotten?

When it comes to politics, an AI engine simply cannot win, or even hold a draw.  Yet there is not any simple way to keep them out of politics either.  By the way, if you are frustrated by ChatGPT skirting your question, rephrase it in terms of asking it to write a dialogue or speech on a topic, in the voice or style of some other person.  Often you will get further that way.

The world hasn’t realized yet how powerful ChatGPT is, and so Open AI still can live in a kind of relative peace.  I am sorry to say that will not last for long.

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