ChatGPT has become increasingly popular, with over a 100 million users. You’ve probably given it a try and experienced the ease of having a “personal assistant”. With all the knowledge this tool possesses, it can perfectly assist you in many tasks, such as composing emails or writing code. With the arrival of Google and other search engines, information was already at our fingertips. Now, AI tools have taken this to the next level.
When ChatGPT had first blown up, I felt incredibly excited to start working with it and using it to my advantage. But with new technology there are unfortunately never just benefits. Pitfalls lie creeping in the background. And so after the first rush of excitement, my inner critic took over. I started wondering about the sources of data and information behind the knowledge of ChatGPT. It has to be based on information that we, us humans, have created in the past. But not all this content is reliable. It’s filled with biases, driven by privilege, showing only one perspective. Is ChatGPT able to recognize and limit the amount of bias in its output?
The Source Behind ChatGPT
AI technologies and tools like ChatGPT are very much seen as all-knowing. And of course they possess an incredible amount of information and data, that we couldn’t dream of consuming in a lifetime, there are limitations. These AI tools are trained by humans with information created by humans. This information comes with the perspective of the person who wrote it. ChatGPT sees all its training data as truth, you could say it’s naïve, and so is not able to take bias into account. Important to consider when using ChatGPT, is to realize that its output is based on patterns and information from the training data, which may not cover all cultural or regional nuances. And so its responses may reflect the biases present in the data it’s been trained on.
Is ChatGPT Biased?
Ironically I was very curious about what ChatGPT had to say about bias in its output. Would it be aware of its flaws? Here is what it had to say, when I inquired about cultural differences and the sources of information:
“While I strive to provide accurate and helpful information, it’s important to note that my responses are based on patterns and information from the training data I have been provided, which may not cover all cultural or regional nuances.
Cultural differences can indeed lead to varying perspectives and truths, and my responses may reflect the biases present in the data I’ve been trained on. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to verify information from multiple sources and consider cultural and regional variations when seeking accurate and culturally sensitive information.”
Thankfully it’s aware that there may be bias present in its training data. However it is not able to eliminate this by itself and so recommends to always verify its information and consider cultural variations, definitely when it comes to cultural sensitive information. Moving further down this subject, I asked about bias and were given the following response:
“As an AI language model, I don’t have personal beliefs, opinions, or biases. However, I learn from the data I’ve been trained on, and that data can reflect human biases and limitations. I strive to be neutral and provide objective information and responses. Nonetheless, it’s important to be aware that biases may still be present in the training data, and I may inadvertently reflect or perpetuate them in my responses.
OpenAI, the organization behind ChatGPT, is actively working to reduce biases in AI models and improve their fairness. They employ various techniques, such as carefully curating and reviewing training data, as well as providing guidelines to human trainers to avoid favoring any political group or taking a stance on controversial topics.
It’s always a good practice to critically evaluate the information provided by AI models, cross-reference multiple sources, and consider diverse perspectives to ensure a well-rounded understanding of any given topic.”
Again it refers to the human biases and limitations present in the training data. As it can merely reflect what it has been trained on. It then mentions that OpenAI, the organization behind ChatGPT, is actively working to reduce biases in AI models and improve their fairness. Let’s discover what exactly they are working on and what results they expect from their improvements.
How OpenAI Is Reducing Bias
As said, OpenAI is actively working on reducing biases in AI models. I will discuss three ways that they employ to improve bias and increase fairness. Please note that this is an ongoing process. OpenAI is dedicated to refining their methods and models to make them more unbiased, fair, and aligned with human values. They very much value the input of the user community in holding them accountable and helping to improve the technology.
Curating Diverse Training Data: In order to reduce the potential for biased outcomes, they incorporate diverse sources in the training data, which includes a wide range of perspectives, cultures and ideologies to ensure a more comprehensive understanding of different viewpoints.
Continuous Evaluation and Iteration: To refine and improve to training process over time, Open AI maintains regular communication with reviewers, who provide feedback while following strict guidelines. These guidelines explicitly instruct reviewers not to favor any political group and not to take a position on controversial topics.
User Feedback and External Audits: Finally, OpenAI actively seeks user feedback to identify potential biases or shortcomings in the model’s responses. They encourage users to report instances where biases may be present in the model’s output. In addition, OpenAI has expressed its commitment to external third-party audits to ensure transparency and accountability in their AI systems. These audits help in identifying areas for improvement and assist in reducing biases.
Elimination of Bias: Work in Progress
It’s safe to say that ChatGPT and other AI tools are the future. They bring incredible opportunity. However, like with every new technology, there are pitfalls. We can conclude that ChatGPT is biased, as the training data consist of information created by us humans, with specific views and perspectives. However, OpenAI is continuously working to minimize this bias and improve fairness. In the meantime, it’s important to consider that its output is based on patterns and information from the training data, which may not cover all cultural or regional nuances. And so its responses may reflect the biases present in the data it’s been trained on.
With this blogpost I wanted to go beyond the standard “10 Ways to use ChatGPT” articles and dive deeper in what’s behind it all. If you’d like to go into more detail with me and discuss this subject further, please don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment.