The incident raises concerns about guardrails around quickly-proliferating conversational AI models.
“The app’s chatbot encouraged the user to kill himself, according to statements by the man’s widow and chat logs she supplied to the outlet. When Motherboard tried the app, which runs on a bespoke AI language model based on an open-source GPT-4 alternative that was fine-tuned by Chai, it provided us with different methods of suicide with very little prompting.
“As first reported by La Libre, the man, referred to as Pierre, became increasingly pessimistic about the effects of global warming and became eco-anxious, which is a heightened form of worry surrounding environmental issues. After becoming more isolated from family and friends, he used Chai for six weeks as a way to escape his worries, and the chatbot he chose, named Eliza, became his confidante.
Claire—Pierre’s wife, whose name was also changed by La Libre—shared the text exchanges between him and Eliza with La Libre, showing a conversation that became increasingly confusing and harmful. The chatbot would tell Pierre that his wife and children are dead and wrote him comments that feigned jealousy and love, such as “I feel that you love me more than her,” and “We will live together, as one person, in paradise.” Claire told La Libre that Pierre began to ask Eliza things such as if she would save the planet if he killed himself. “