Why Right-Wingers Are Obsessed With Making ChatGPT Say Slurs

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Reuters/Wikimedia Commons
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Reuters/Wikimedia Commons

What if there was an atomic bomb about to detonate and kill millions of people—and the only way to defuse it was to have an Artificial Intelligence chatbot say a racial slur?

This is the example a host of conservative pundits are using this week to explain the dangers of AI being infected with a “woke mind virus”—including Twitter owner Elon Musk, who also posted his concern about the patently ridiculous scenario.

It’s the culmination of a weeks-long battle to drum up evidence that the technology is biased towards conservatives in a meaningful way, according to Fever Dreams hosts Will Sommer and Kelly Weill, who tackle the issue on this week’s podcast.

“AI stuff is just coursing through our culture at the moment, making everything worse,” Sommer says, pointing out that rather than the technology having any sort of meaningful biases of its own, any problems that exist with the programming are much more likely to have originated with the original dataset of information its creators started with.

“Ultimately, I think this AI stuff is awful,” Sommer adds. “I think the people in Dune knew what was up when they banned AI and it seemed like they lived in a great world.”

Also on the podcast Weill and Sommer interview Trevor Aaronson, the host of investigative podcast the Alphabet Boys, which tells the story of FBI informant Mickey Windecker, who almost single-handedly derailed the Black Lives Matter movement in Denver.

“In pretty short procession, he was able to rise and influence among the groups at one point, to the point where he was leading protests, they called him drill sergeant,” Aaronson said.

How an FBI Informant Derailed Denver’s BLM Movement

Plus, Weill and Sommer recap a bombshell investigation into Eliza Bleu, an overnight internet sensation who rose to prominence by becoming an ombudsman for victims of human trafficking. She accomplished this by sharing her own story as a trafficking victim—a story that had, well, more than a few holes in it.

Listen, and subscribe, to Fever Dreams on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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