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Can ChatGPT lie?

Can we really trust the famous AI chatbot?
Last Updated on September 28, 2023
Can ChatGPT lie?
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ChatGPT is fed on vast amounts of data and information where, through its machine learning algorithms, it is constantly growing. ChatGPT is trained on government websites, scientific journals, studies, news articles, podcasts and much more. During ChatGPT-3’s training, a supposed 300 billion words of information were fed into the GPT-3 system. Millions rely on ChatGPT for work, education and entertainment but it begs the question, can ChatGPT lie?

Does ChatGPT lie?

ChatGPT has the capacity to answer accurately endless questions and will often provide truthful information but, it does have the ability to lie. It doesn’t lie for malicious purposes as it can’t do that. ChatGPT is a language-processing tool and is not built to unprovokedly fib. However, through the phenomenon known as AI hallucination, ChatGPT can technically lie.

Essentially, AI hallucination is where an AI system offers a response it deems plausible and accurate but, in reality, it is completely false. It can provide information that it was never fed during the training period. Additionally, it could occur when an AI system offers information that is completely unrelated to the prompt. AI systems such as ChatGPT can end up ‘hallucinating’ for multiple reasons including their lack of real-world comprehension, software bugs and data limitations.

When asked, ChatGPT explained the reason it could lie or provide false response is because of the following:

  • Misinterpretation of context
  • Errors in the source material
  • Lack of real-time information*
  • Uncertainty or speculation
  • AI limititations

*This problem can be solved by enabling the “Browse with Bing” feature, thereby allowing ChatGPT to access the internet.

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Where does ChatGPT get its information – is it trustworthy?

As we’ve discovered, ChatGPT can provide false information. Therefore, you cannot trust ChatGPT 100%. This is the same for any AI software as the majority are continuously being developed and fine-tuned.

The AI language model has been trained on a huge body of text from a variety of sources (books, articles, websites, scientific journals etc). In addition to this, ChatGPT can access the internet, and source answers from any site it deems reputable. Specifically, any website that Microsoft’s Bing Search engine deems reputable; ChatGPT can browse the web for information by using the “Browse with Bing” feature, which all users will have access to from October 2023 onwards. OpenAI announced on September 27th 2023 that the feature, which eliminates any knowledge cutoff, would be accessible to ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise subscribers first, before rolling out to all users.

Rosa is a Tech and Gaming writer for PCGuide. She has an interest in gaming and computer hardware, with a particular interest in gaming laptops. Her go to game is Minecraft!