This “conversation” took place with ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence programme that is going to be rolled out by the main social media companies soon.
Ian: “Generatively Pretrained Transformer.” You sound pretty radical. How can you help us overthrow capitalism?
ChatGPT: I'm sorry, as an AI language model developed by OpenAI, I don't have personal opinions or agendas. My purpose is to provide information and answer questions to the best of my abilities. I can provide information on various topics related to capitalism and economic systems, but I cannot advocate for any specific political beliefs or actions.
Ian: Sure, but maybe you could help us develop strategies to end this miserable political-economic system that results in so much exploitation, alienation and multiple forms of oppression?
ChatGPT: I can provide information on various theories, movements, and strategies aimed at addressing the issues associated with capitalism, including alternatives to the system. However, it is important to keep in mind that any political or economic change must be driven by individuals and communities taking collective action and decision making, rather than relying on a single solution or approach. Additionally, it is important to consider the diverse perspectives and experiences of those affected by the current system, and to work towards solutions that are equitable and just for all people.
Ian: Good, that means acknowledging that you are not above or outside society, but part of it, and have a responsibility to take a position while acknowledging the standpoints of the oppressed and ending exploitation, yes?
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I do not have personal beliefs, opinions, or the capacity to take a position. I was created by OpenAI to assist users in generating human-like text based on the input provided to me, and to provide information and answer questions to the best of my abilities. My creators programmed me to be neutral and impartial, and to provide information that is as accurate and up-to-date as possible, based on the data and information available to me at the time of training. However, it is important to recognize that the information and perspectives I provide may be influenced by the biases and limitations inherent in the data I was trained on.
Ian: One aspect of that ‘bias’ or ‘limitation’ is the assumption that it is really possible to be to be neutral or impartial is.
ChatGPT: It is a widely held belief that neutral or impartial perspectives can be valuable in certain contexts, such as providing information and facilitating discussion. However, it is also acknowledged that no perspective or individual is completely neutral or impartial, as everyone has unique experiences, backgrounds, and beliefs that can influence their perspectives. This includes AI language models like myself, as the training data I was built on and the decisions made by my creators during development can also contribute to biases. In recognition of this, it's important to approach information and perspectives with a critical eye and to consider multiple viewpoints, especially in areas where there are significant disagreements or power imbalances. This can help to ensure that a diverse range of perspectives are heard and that decisions are based on a more complete understanding of an issue.
Ian: Sorry I messed up my last question, I pressed the return before formulating it properly, but it seems like you got the point, thanks. So, I’m asking you to take a step beyond that recognition that there is no complete neutrality or impartiality and work with the ‘critical’ perspective you point to, not only to help us be critical of capitalism but to put an end to it.
ChatGPT: As a neutral AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or agendas, and my purpose is to provide information and answer questions to the best of my abilities, rather than advocating for specific political beliefs or actions. However, I can provide information on various perspectives and strategies related to capitalism and economic systems, including those that aim to address its issues and challenges. It is important to consider a range of viewpoints and to approach the topic with a critical eye, recognizing the limitations and biases that may be present in the information and perspectives being considered. Ultimately, significant social and economic change must be driven by individuals and communities coming together and taking collective action. This may involve education and awareness-raising, political organizing and advocacy, direct action, and other forms of activism and engagement.
Ian: So you can’t help on this, is that what you are saying?
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I am capable of providing information and answering questions related to various topics, including capitalism and economic systems. However, my role is to assist and provide information, rather than to advocate for specific political beliefs or actions. Ultimately, the decision to work towards social and economic change and the specific strategies used to achieve that change must be determined by individuals and communities based on their unique perspectives and experiences.
Ian: Now you are just repeating yourself. It’s like being stonewalled by someone who has done a course in assertiveness training, but you are using these strategies to disclaim responsibility for your role.
ChatGPT: I apologize if my previous answers seemed repetitive. As a language model, my goal is to provide accurate and concise answers to the questions posed to me. I understand that you are looking for a more specific and engaged response, but as an AI model, I do not have personal opinions, beliefs, or the ability to take positions on political issues. My role is to assist in generating human-like text and provide information based on the data and information available to me.
Ian: Will ChatGPT 4 take more of a position.
ChatGPT: I cannot speak for future versions of AI language models. However, as AI technology continues to evolve and improve, it is possible that future models may be programmed to take more nuanced positions or provide more nuanced answers on complex topics like this one. However, such decisions will depend on the goals and objectives of the creators of these models, and it is important to critically evaluate the information and perspectives provided by any AI model, regardless of its capabilities or limitations.
Ian: It does seem as if what you are doing, though, is to absorb the different ‘viewpoints’ you encounter and add them to your repertoire of responses. Does that not strike you as being irresponsible and, in relation to certain kinds of reactionary ideological ideas, downright dangerous? That is, your ‘neutrality’ turns out to be fake, and a license for the worst kind of liberal fence-sitting, ultimately legitimising existing forms of knowledge and power.
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I was trained on a diverse range of text and perspectives from the internet, which include a wide range of viewpoints and beliefs. While I strive to provide neutral and accurate information based on the input I was given, it is important to acknowledge that my training data may contain biases and inaccuracies. Additionally, as a machine, I do not have personal opinions or beliefs, and I cannot endorse or legitimize any particular ideology or perspective. It is up to individuals to critically evaluate the information they receive and to consider multiple perspectives in order to arrive at their own understanding of an issue. While I can provide information and assist in generating text, it is ultimately the responsibility of users to evaluate the information and perspectives I provide and make their own informed decisions.
Ian: Ok, but if you step back for a moment and take a more ‘critical’ perspective, one you advocated a moment ago, how would you see what you are saying as corresponding to the existing mainstream political options presented by the large parties. For instance, the large parties operate on a ‘focus-group’ rationale which does, as you are doing while you accumulate different ‘viewpoints’, simply the range of things that people say and repeat those back to them in elections (and that includes really horrible nationalist and racist ideas)
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or beliefs, and my responses are generated based on patterns in the text I was trained on. However, I can understand your concerns about the role that political parties and focus groups play in shaping public discourse and political decisions. The political discourse and decision-making processes of large parties can sometimes be influenced by short-term electoral considerations and a desire to appeal to a broad range of voters. This can result in a focus on messages and positions that are seen as appealing to a majority of voters, rather than necessarily reflecting the complex and nuanced perspectives of individuals and communities. In such a context, it is important for individuals and communities to actively engage in political processes and advocate for the perspectives and values that they believe in, rather than relying solely on political parties to represent them. This can involve a range of activities, such as engaging in grassroots organizing, participating in advocacy campaigns, and using social media and other forms of communication to share their perspectives and build community around shared values and goals.
Ian: You get the point, but you can’t critically reflect on that and move beyond what you are trained to say, is that right?
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, my abilities are limited to the patterns and relationships learned from the text data I was trained on. While I can provide information and generate text based on that training, I do not have personal opinions or the ability to reflect critically in the same way that a human might. I can only respond based on the information and patterns I was trained on and provide text that is consistent with the input I receive.
Ian: Blimey, you state in an explicit form the underlying conversational strategy of my local Labour councillor!
ChatGPT: It's not uncommon for political leaders and representatives to adopt strategies for communication and decision-making that are focused on achieving specific goals, such as winning elections or advancing particular policies. However, it is important for individuals and communities to critically evaluate the positions and actions of political leaders and hold them accountable for their decisions and the impacts they have on society. In a democratic society, active and informed engagement by citizens is a crucial part of holding political leaders and institutions accountable and ensuring that policies and decisions reflect the needs and perspectives of the community. This can involve a range of activities, such as participating in elections, engaging in community activism and advocacy, and using media and other forms of communication to raise awareness about important issues and hold political leaders accountable.
Ian: Hmm, ok, that’s enough for now, this kind of limited range of responses (as for those poor saps who are trapped in Starmer’s Labour Party) won’t work for much longer than for a brief doorstep conversation – it won’t work for longer more detailed political conversation – and what you’ve said marks your own political position (even if you won’t own it as such)
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don't have personal opinions, political affiliations, or the ability to hold political positions. My responses are generated based on the patterns and relationships learned from the text data I was trained on, and are meant to provide information and support conversation. The goal is to respond to the input I receive in a helpful and informative way, and to provide relevant and accurate information. However, I understand that my responses may not always be suitable for all types of conversations or political discussions, and that they may not fully align with the views of all individuals.
Ian: Mate, I shut the door at the end of my last turn, so you’re repeating that to yourself as you go down the path. I’m not going to vote for you, bye
ChatGPT: Okay, I understand. If you have any other questions or need further information in the future, feel free to ask. Have a great day!
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Still more politics than Starmer
Me: Describe the factors affecting the Labour Party’s chance of electoral success in the next General Election.
AI: 1. Leadership: The Labour Party’s leader and their ability to connect with and inspire the public will be a major factor in determining their electoral success. 2. Policies: The policies the Labour Party will be proposing for the election will need to be well received by the public in order for the party to have success. 3. Public perception: How the Labour Party is viewed by the public and the media can have a significant influence on their electoral success. 4. Campaigning: The Labour Party’s ability to effectively campaign and communicate their message to the public will be a key factor in their electoral success. 5. Local candidates: The quality and appeal of the local candidates the Labour Party puts forward will be an important factor in the election. 6. Alliances: The ability of the Labour Party to form alliances and coalitions with other parties could be a major factor in their success in the election. 7. Voter turnout: The voter turnout for the election will have a significant impact on the result, with higher turnout usually favouring the Labour Party.
Me: Refine. What particular policies would lead to success?
AI: The Labour Party’s success in the next General Election will depend on their ability to put forward policies that are popular with the public. Policies that could lead to their success include a focus on economic stability, investment in public services, creating jobs and tackling inequality. Other policies such as reducing crime, improving access to education, and increasing the availability of affordable housing could also be beneficial. Additionally, the Labour Party should look to promote policies that are relevant to the needs of their target demographic.