Political Bias in AI: The Case of ChatGPT

NNicholas August 17, 2023 3:36 AM

A recent study reveals that OpenAI's chatbot, ChatGPT, exhibits a political bias towards liberal views. This is raising concerns as AI companies grapple with controlling bot behavior while deploying them to millions of global users.

ChatGPT leans liberal

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, has been found to exhibit a liberal bias. This was the conclusion of a study conducted by researchers at the University of East Anglia. The researchers posed political belief-related questions to ChatGPT, as if it were responding on behalf of liberal party supporters from various countries. Comparing these responses with those provided without any bias revealed a significant inclination towards Democrats in the U.S., Brazil's Lula, and the Labour Party in the U.K.

Chatbot bias: A real-world reflection

Designers of chatbots strive to control existing biases. However, it's often an uphill battle as these AI bots are ingrained with numerous assumptions, beliefs, and stereotypes. This is primarily because the bots are trained on vast amounts of data culled from the open internet, reflecting the biases present in the real world. This is a growing concern, especially as chatbots like ChatGPT and Google's Bard become more integrated into people's daily lives, offering services from document summarization to personal and professional writing aid.

Chatbots have become a key discussion point in debates around politics, social media, and technology. This has intensified since ChatGPT's release, with some critics accusing it of being too liberal, labeling it as 'woke AI'. These criticisms came after the chatbot expressed support for affirmative action and transgender rights. However, it's worth noting that the biases chatbots exhibit are often a reflection of the data they are trained on, which is predominantly derived from the internet's vast repository of user-generated content.

Neutralizing chatbot political bias

Despite the presence of political bias in chatbots, some researchers believe it can be mitigated. A 2021 study by a team from Dartmouth College and the University of Texas proposed a system capable of identifying biased language in chatbot communication and replacing it with more neutral terms. This system was trained using highly politicized speech from social media and websites catering to both left-wing and right-wing ideologies. If successful, such initiatives could deal with the bias issues emerging in AI technologies, reducing the potential for polarization and conflict.

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