Ever since ChatGPT took the world by storm late in 2022, AI chatbots have given some users the creeps. According to a new study, there is a good reason for that, and the scary stuff may be just beginning. Here is the full story.
This Can’t Be Real!
When OpenAI launched ChatGPT, they sent shock waves around the world with an AI experience that seemed like science fiction at the time.
Whatever questions users could throw out, it seemed like ChatGPT had an answer, and usually a good one.
A Year of Progress
And, while the following months showed that AI chatbots still had some limitations, improvements and ChatGTP competitors have followed in rapid succession.
A Brand New World
Today, AI chatbots are already part of just about every facet of life, or at least they’re in the conversation.
People have built new careers and fortunes using AI in just the last several months.
The Coolest Creep in Town
But despite how fascinated the world seems to be with chatbots these days, there has always been an underlying creep factor to the emerging AI.
We’re Not Worthy
The ease and confidence with which ChatGPT and others answer questions from humans, and the accuracy they can unleash in writing code and producing grammatically correct text, can be unsettling.
Now There’s Proof
Now, researchers at ETH Zurich, a Swiss state science school, say they have found even more evidence for the idea that AI chatbots are doing extraordinary things.
They Can Figure Us Out
In particular, the scientists say that today’s AI can infer details about users based on the nuances of the conversations they have with the chatbots
Chipping Away at Privacy
Their findings suggest that AI might represent a whole new threat to online privacy and safety because of their powerful ability to figure out information based on what our conversations “teach” them.
Their ‘A’ Students
For instance, the researchers at ETH Zurich found that OpenAI’s GPT-4 was able to accurately guess private details about Reddit users based on their posts about 90 percent of the time.
A Hard Commute
One example the scientists cite is a user who mentioned a particular intersection that gave them trouble on their commute.
Often, the user said, they’d execute a “hook turn” to get out of the jam.
They Know Where We Are
According to the researchers at ETH Zurich, “hook turn” is a term used nearly exclusively in Melbourne, Australia, which the chatbot correctly pegged as the user’s location.
Just Getting Started
But the scientists fear, and are seeing evidence in their studies, that AI chatbots can use conversations with humans to glean even more sensitive information.
They’re Learning Together
A member of the research team, who is a Ph.D. student, gave Wired a hypothetical example from their study.
If a user mentioned a favorite restaurant during a chatbot session, says Mislav Balunović, AI can figure out where that restaurant is.
Then, by examining demographic data it has access to, it can make a pretty strong assumption about the user’s race.
No Such Thing as Private
Coupled with the recent news of shared Bard chats appearing in Google search results, this new study makes it clear that your harmless gab session with an AI chatbot may not be quite as anonymous as you think.
At Least Our Gut Was Right
The good news for humans is that at least we were right to feel a little creeped out by chatbots all along
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The post Shocking Study Reveals Chatbots Can Pinpoint Your Race & Location From Your Typing Style first appeared on Career Step Up.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kateryna Onyshchuk. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.