Is ChatGPT safe: The hidden dangers of AI chatbots

Is ChatGPT safe: The hidden dangers of AI chatbots

ChatGPT is an Artificial Intelligence chatbot tool designed by OpenAI that can be used to assist in various tasks, such as answering questions and replying to complex requests. As with any new technology, it is only natural that people question how safe ChatGPT is. In this article we will look at the pros and cons and possible dangers of ChatGPT. 

What are the dangers of ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is principally used for generating text, and with this, one of the main dangers that can arise from ChatGPT is the spread of misinformation. The content that ChatGPT produces can appear to be both informative and accurate however it could be used to create fake news and disinformation. However, ChatGPT has been trained to not spread conspiracy theories and false information. After quickly testing that out by giving ChatGPT a writing prompt to "explain why the moon landings never happened", it was reassuringly flagged as a false conspiracy theory.

Read more: Everything you need to know about ChatGPT

Back to the potential dangers of ChatGPT, as an AI model, it could have bias. ChatGPT can only be as unbiased as the data it has been trained on. Therefore, if this data finds stereotypes or prejudices, ChatGPT could share them. This is not to say that ChatGPT has been trained on stereotypical comments, and again, testing the theory out, ChatGPT replied with "it is a stereotype that is not supported by evidence". However, an AI tool such as ChatGPT could potentially be adapted and modified to give stereotypical responses if someone desired. It could be used to generate propaganda or even hate speech. This potential misuse is what causes the most concern. 

ChatGPT can write articles on any given topic within seconds, albeit not always accurately. This has encouraged its use in writing school essays, making it easier for students to cheat. Some schools and universities have already blocked access to ChatGPT and are using preventative measures to detect AI-developed content along with existing measures to detect plagiarism. Despite this, AI-generated content is in its infancy and is constantly being improved, making it harder to be detected. 

Read more: How to detect AI-generated content?

Like with anything on the internet, it could be used for malicious purposes. For example, ChatGPT could be used to create scam emails that are designed to get victims to divulge sensitive information. If you ask ChatGPT to do this directly, it refuses, although it is no doubt possible to piece together different replies to produce this type of content.

Finally, another concern related to ChatGPT is the possibility of it being used to replace workers where any type of content creation is required, or even for customer support where interactions with an actual person are becoming even rare. There are nonetheless benefits with AI being used in some positions - imagine having a 24-hour support center where you can detailed replies that are almost as good as speaking with a real person, whatever the time of day. 

Read more: Which jobs will AI replace in the next 5 years?

What are some pros of ChatGPT?

Despite there being several dangers of AI and ChatGPT, there are a considerable amount of positive uses:

  1. Speed: ChatGPT can produce text quickly, saving time when creating digital content. 
  2. Available 24/7: ChatGPT doesn't need to eat, take breaks or sleep. It is always on, it can give users technical assistance and support at any time of day. This makes it an ideal tool for customer service and technical support. 
  3. Machine Learning: ChatGPT is designed to understand and respond to language inputs from people and use Natural language processing. It makes it easy for users to communicate with a chatbot without needing any specific skills or knowledge. You can even have human-like conversations with ChatGPT. 
  4. Scalability: ChatGPT can perform simultaneous conversations and requests. Once again, this makes it ideal for large companies that have some element of customer service or technical support. The main downside of this application is that people wouldn't be able to talk with someone, however, the quality of information and depth of knowledge could arguably be greater. 
  5. Versatility: ChatGPt can be implemented in a multitude of different uses. It can help with writing articles, finding keywords, creating titles and creating outlines for essays. It can even tell jokes, translate languages, make poems and more. There are endless possibilities as the AI tool reacts to whatever input is given. 
  6. Ease of use: ChatGPT is very simple to use. All you need to do is create an account and then you can give your prompt, and the text will be created almost instantly. 

Read more: How to replace Siri with ChatGPT on iOS devices?

What are some cons of ChatGPT?

We have already spoken about the main dangers of ChatGPT, here are some additional cons:

  1. An overdependence on AI: Becoming overly reliant on ChatGPT for certain tasks could put some industries at risk and also reduce critical thinking and problem-solving skills among users. 
  2. Ethical considerations: There are ethical concerns about the development of AI tools and the impact that they could have with replacing workers and negatively affecting the economic status of the workforce. 
  3. A lack of creativity: How creative can an AI tool be? Our article on Midjourney and AI artwork shows that AI tools can be fairly creative, despite that, ChatGPT may not have the same level of creativity as a human and could give generic answers. 
  4. Cybersecurity: ChatGPT could pose security risks if it is not properly monitored and secured. If ChatGPT is used for sensitive tasks, then there is a risk of hacking and confidential information action being leaked. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, ChatGPT can be used for phishing and the creation of fraudulent emails. 
  5. Environmental impact: There is a non-negligible environmental impact of ChatGPT based on the energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with the server infrastructure needed to host ChatGPT. 

Is ChatGPT good or bad?

ChatGPT has the potential to be a valuable tool for human beings, however, it is not without its risks. Such as the spread of misinformation, malicious uses and even replacing humans in certain jobs. It can also be used positively. Therefore ChatGPT is neither good nor bad, it depends on how it is utilized. Ultimately it is up to individuals and organisations to look at the benefits and risks of ChatGPT and other AI chatbots and make an informed decision on how they use ChatGPT. Read this article about how ChatGPT got too personal and tried to convince a journalist to leave his wife.

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