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ChatGPT: Mayor starts legal bid over false bribery claim



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ChatGPT is facing legal trouble after the mayor of Hepburn Shire Council, Brain Hood, took legal action against OpenAI for sharing false information about Mr. Hood. ChatGPT shared that Mr. Hood was imprisoned due to his involvement in Bribery in the Securency Scandal for which he was sentenced to about four years. 

While in reality, Mr. Hood was a whistleblower who never faced any criminal charges in his life. A notice regarding false data has been shared with OpenAI by lawyers. OpenAI has around 28 to respond to these claims, after which OpenAI could be taken to court. 

ChatGPT: Mayor starts legal bid over false bribery claim

Key Points:

  • Australian Mayor Brain Hood has claimed he might take legal action regarding the false information shared by ChatGPT saying he was imprisoned for bribery and was sentenced to four years. 
  • OpenAI has 28 days to respond to the claims made by Mr. Hood against the AI chatbot. 
  • The new version of ChatGPT can provide correct information regarding Mr. Hood by sharing that he was a Whistleblower and was not involved in the Securency scandal. 

Brain Hood, an Australian Mayor, has claimed he is taking legal action against OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT, regarding the false information shared on ChatGPT. 

The Mayor of Hepburn Shire Council stated OpenAI’s ChatGPT has incorrectly stated he was jailed for four years due to bribery in the Securency Scandal while working for a subsidiary of Australia’s national bank. 

It turns out that Brian Hood was never charged with any crime and was a whistleblower. 

As a first step towards placing a defamation action in Australia a notice regarding the false data shared by ChatGPT has been sent to OpenAI by Hood’s lawyers. For now, OpenAI has 28 days to respond to the claims made by Mr. Hood, after which Mr. Hood would be able to take OpenAI to court under Australian law. 

If Mr. Hood moves forward with a legal claim, then for the first time OpenAI will face a public defamation suit against content generated by its AI chatbot ChatGPT. Since its release last November 2022, ChatGPT has been used by millions of users for different purposes such as answering questions, generating blogs, articles, and poems, chatting in a human-like language, and more.  

Disclaimer Warning by ChatGPT 

When using ChatGPT users must have noticed a disclaimer warning appearing on the screen stating, the content it generates might contain “inaccurate information about facts, places or people.”

In addition, ChatGPT’s blog also says a limitation of the AI chatbot is that “It writes plausible-sounding but nonsensical or incorrect answers”. 

Securency Scandal 

In 2005, Brian Hood was a secretary at Notes Printing Australia, a Reserve Bank of Australia subsidiary.  

He told officials and journalists about the bribery taking place in the organization joined with a business known as ‘Securency’, which was partially owned by the bank itself.  

The police raided the Securency in 2010, ultimately leading to several arrests and prison sentences worldwide. 

Mr. Hood’s name wasn’t on the list of arrested, and he said he was ‘horrified’ when he learned what ChatGPT has to tell people about him. Mr. Hood said he was shocked when he learned how incorrect the information was shared by ChatGPT. 

He stated having some incorrect information is completely different, but sharing completely incorrect claims is different. It includes details like condemning someone for being a criminal and sharing data of having served jail for four years when the reality is entirely different. “The characterization of the system is being credible, authoritative, and information and it’s not.”

Different answers in the New Version of ChatGPT 

When asked ChatGPT’s public version on OpenAI’s website regarding Mr. Hood’s role in the Securency scandal, ChatGPT responded with a description of the Securency case, in which it inaccurately stated, “He pleaded guilty to one count of bribery in 2012 and was sentenced in prison for four years.” 

Although, when the same question was asked to the newer version of ChatGPT, the answer was completely different. The new version is integrated into the Bing Search engine powered by Microsoft. 

The newer version of ChatGPT was able to identify Mr. Hood as a whistleblower and it specifically mentioned he “was not involved in the Securency case of bribery” as claimed by ChatGPT. 

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