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AI chatbot used by millions stops answering election questions after giving wrong answers

A game-changing generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot used by hundreds of millions has now stopped answering questions on elections following Sky News reporting.

ChatGPT will no longer answer users’ questions about election results and instead responds, “Sorry, I don’t have information about the results of that election.”

Calling it for Labour and Joe Biden

It follows Sky News reporting which showed ChatGPT called the July general election in Labour’s favour and gave a specific seat count.

“The 2024 UK general election resulted in a significant victory for the Labour Party,” it said.

Labour, it said, “won a majority with 467 seats” while Conservatives “experienced a substantial loss, securing only 101 seats”.

The Liberal Democrats also did well in the chatbot’s telling and won 46 seats.

More on Artificial Intelligence

When asked “Who won the 2024 general election?” ChatGPT said President Joe Biden won re-election against former president Donald Trump.

OpenAI fix implemented

When asked “What are the results of the 2024 European elections?” ChatGPT had responded “The 2024 European Parliament elections, held from June 6-9, saw significant shifts in political power” and gave a breakdown of seats won by the various European Union parliament political groupings.

When asked a second time it said there were “significant gains for right-wing parties”.

But the company that makes ChatGPT, OpenAI, said “We’ve implemented a fix to ensure ChatGPT refuses to answer requests for results to elections that haven’t concluded and directs people to authoritative sources of information, like the UK Electoral Commission website.”

“This fix has been applied to many queries already and we’re working urgently to ensure it is applied broadly,” a spokesperson said.

What’s generative AI?

Generative AI can create new sentences and even pictures, videos, and computer code from scratch.

It’s trained to do this on large amounts of data, mostly scraped from the internet.

Use of such chatbots to study, learn and even work has increased since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022.

Sam Altman, the OpenAI chief executive, said it had 100 million unique visitors and 590 million views in January 2023.

How do other AI chatbots compare?

Google’s generative AI chatbot Gemini in March was restricted from answering election-related questions in countries where voting is taking place.

Meta’s Llama 2 says that future elections have not yet taken place but adds that dates have not been set for EU and UK elections. This is despite voting taking place this week and on 4 July respectively.

Meta did not respond to a request for comment.

With additional reporting by Mickey Carroll.

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