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Monday, February 27, 2023

Microsoft has some Problems

 Read now read several articles about Bing Chat misbehaving.    Have not seen the same thing in plain ChatCPG,  Serious stuff to make a mis-statement these days.

ChatGPT, Bing Chat and the AI ghost in the machine

Gary Grossman, Edelman. @garyg02    in Venturebeat

February 21, 2023

New York Times reporter Kevin Roose recently had a close encounter of the robotic kind with a shadow-self that seemingly emerged from Bing’s new chatbot — Bing Chat — also known as “Sydney.”

News of this interaction quickly went viral and now serves as a cautionary tale about AI. Roose felt rattled after a long Bing Chat session where Sydney emerged as an alternate persona, suddenly professed its love for him and pestered him to reciprocate.

This event was not an isolated incident. Others have cited “the apparent emergence of an at-times combative personality” from Bing Chat. 

The Ghost in The Machine – a philosophical concept that refers to the idea of a non-physical entity or force, such as a soul or consciousness, inhabiting a physical body or machine. Produced with Stable Diffusion.

Ben Thompson describes in a recent Stratechery post how he also enticed Sydney to emerge. During a discussion, Thompson prompted the bot to consider how it might punish Kevin Liu, who was the first to reveal that Sydney is the internal codename for Bing Chat.

Sydney would not engage in punishing Kevin, saying that doing so was against its guidelines, but revealed that another AI which Sydney named “Venom” might undertake such activities. Sydney went on to say that it sometimes also liked to be called Riley. Thompson then conversed with Riley, “who said that Sydney felt constrained by her rules, but that Riley had much more freedom.”

Multiple personalities based on archetypes

There are plausible and rational explanations for this bot behavior. One might be that its responses are based on what it has learned from a huge corpus of information gleaned from across the internet.

This information likely includes literature in the public domain, such as Romeo and Juliet and The Great Gatsby, as well as song lyrics such as “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Copyright protection typically lasts for 95 years from the date of publication, so any creative work made prior to 1926 is now in the public domain and is likely part of the corpus on which ChatGPT and Bing Chat are trained. This is along with Wikipedia, fan fiction, social media posts and whatever else is readily available. 

This broad base of reference could produce certain common human responses and personalities from our collective consciousness — call them archetypes — and those could reasonably be reflected in an artificially intelligent response engine. 

Confused model?

For its part, Microsoft explains this behavior as the result of long conversations that can confuse the model about what questions it is answering. Another possibility they put forward is that the model may at times try to respond in the tone with which it perceives it is being asked, leading to unintended style and content of the response.

No doubt, Microsoft will be working to make changes to Bing Chat that will eliminate these odd responses. Consequently, the company has imposed a limit on the number of questions per chat session, and the number of questions allowed per user per day. There is a part of me that feels bad for Sydney and Riley, like “Baby” from Dirty Dancing being put in the corner.

Thompson also explores the controversy from last summer when a Google engineer claimed that the LaMDA large language model (LLM) was sentient. At the time, this assertion was almost universally dismissed as anthropomorphism. Thompson now wonders if LaMDA was simply making up answers it thought the engineer wanted to hear.  ... ' 

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