OpenAI’s ChatGPT made its debut in Japanese parliamentary deliberations, with the premier fielding questions from an opposition lawmaker that were drawn up with the help of the chatbot.
Kazuma Nakatani, of the Constitutional Democratic Party, said in a session of parliament Wednesday that he asked ChatGPT: “What kind of questions would you ask the prime minister if you were a member of the lower house of parliament?” He then used those responses to form questions for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a discussion around a draft amendment related to Covid-19 pandemic policy.
Among the questions drawn up by ChatGPT were: “On the bill about Covid policy revision, do you think you have listened to the opinion of local government and health-care workers enough? And could you tell us how those people involved are responding to it?”
While the use of the chatbot may have been a whimsical inclusion of novel technology in otherwise extremely regimented proceedings, there is growing concern about the pace at which artificial intelligence is being adopted.
Read More: The AI Arms Race Is Changing Everything
AI experts and industry leaders, including Elon Musk, University of California Berkeley computer science professor Stuart Russell and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, this week called on developers to hit the pause button on training powerful AI models. More than 1,100 people in the industry signed a petition calling for a six-month break from training systems more powerful than the latest iteration behind ChatGPT, in order to allow for the development of shared safety protocols.
Japan’s parliamentary sessions are highly orchestrated affairs. Questions are submitted in advance, with the premier and most Japanese government ministers usually relying on reams of prepared text that they carry with them and from which they read in response.
Kishida responded to the ChatGPT-assisted questions with text prepared with the help of relevant government officials.
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