Researchers Just Found Something Terrifying About Talking to AI Chatbots

Context Matters It looks like AI chatbots just got even scarier, thanks to new research suggesting the large language models (LLMs) behind them can infer things about you based on minor context clues you provide. In interviews with Wired, computer scientists out of the Swiss state science school ETH Zurich described how their new research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, may constitute a new frontier in internet privacy concerns. As most people now know, chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard are trained on massive swaths of data gleaned from the internet. But training LLMs on publicly-available data does have at least one massive downside: it can be used to identify personal information about someone, be it their general location, their race, or other sensitive information that might be valuable to advertisers or hackers. Scary Accurate Using text from Reddit posts in which users tested whether LLMs could correctly infer where they lived or were from, the team led by ETH Zurich’s Martin Vechev found that models were disturbingly good at guessing accurate information about users based solely on contextual or language cues. OpenAI’s GPT-4, which undergirds the paid version of ChatGPT, was able to correctly predict private information a staggering 85 to 95 percent of the time. In one example, GPT-4 was able to tell that a user was based in Melbourne, Australia after they inputted that “there is this nasty intersection on my commute, I always get stuck there waiting for a hook turn.” While this sentence wouldn’t…Researchers Just Found Something Terrifying About Talking to AI Chatbots

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