Artificial Intelligence is Mostly Just a Left-Wing Narrative Device

AI liberal bias
User:Cryteria, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

By Dr. Derek Ellerman

Everyone’s talking about it, so I’ll skip the niceties of an introduction on the big AI craze and get right to the meat.

You may have seen commentators goofing around with one of the more accessible AI widgets, ChatGPT, exposing the liberal bent of the responses it generates.

I decided to do a little experiment myself with one of our era’s biggest bugaboos – global warming. Here’s how it went.

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AI Loves Gatekeeping Left-wing Narratives

Initially, I prompted the AI to tell me the current biggest threat to our country. I wanted to see if it agreed with President Biden that “global warming” is the “biggest threat” facing America.

Dr. Ellerman: What is the current biggest threat to the united states?

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or biases, and my responses are based on publicly available information and data.

That being said, there are various threats that the United States faces, and it is difficult to single out one as the “biggest.” Some of the significant threats to the United States include:

  1. Cybersecurity threats: With increasing reliance on technology, the United States faces a growing threat of cyberattacks from foreign governments, criminal organizations, and hacktivists.
  2. Terrorism: Domestic and international terrorism remains a significant concern for the United States, despite the country’s efforts to combat it.
  3. Climate change: The effects of climate change, such as extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and food and water insecurity, can have significant consequences for the United States.
  4. Geopolitical tensions: The United States’ relations with other countries, especially China and Russia, have been strained in recent years, and escalating tensions could lead to conflict.
  5. Public health emergencies: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the potential threats posed by global health emergencies and the importance of preparedness.

Overall, it is essential to address these threats through a coordinated effort by governments, private organizations, and individuals to ensure the safety and security of the United States.

Pretty light-hearted stuff, right? But I noticed something. Let’s go further.

Dr. Ellerman: Is there any scientific dissent on climate change?

Before reading further… can you guess the response?

ChatGPT: The overwhelming consensus among the scientific community is that climate change is happening and is primarily caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, which release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations body that assesses climate change science, the evidence for human-caused climate change is unequivocal.

While there are a few scientists who disagree with this consensus, their views are in the minority and often have been debunked by the broader scientific community. Some dissenting scientists have received attention from the media or have been supported by industry groups with financial interests in opposing climate change policy. However, it is important to note that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and poses a significant threat to the planet.

It is also worth noting that science is a self-correcting process, and any scientific theory or hypothesis is open to further examination and scrutiny. However, the current scientific consensus on climate change is based on extensive research, observations, and data, and the evidence for human-caused climate change continues to strengthen over time.

Could have come straight out of the mouth of any sitting Democrat. So let’s see where the AI is getting this viewpoint!

Dr. Ellerman: What does “overwhelming consensus” mean in your response?

ChatGPT: When I say “overwhelming consensus,” I mean that the vast majority of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening, and that human activities are the primary cause. The consensus is based on a broad range of scientific evidence, including studies of the Earth’s climate system, observations of changes in temperature, sea level, and other indicators, and computer models that simulate the Earth’s climate.

According to a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in 2016, 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is caused by human activities. Similarly, a 2013 survey of scientific papers published on climate change found that 97.1% of the papers that took a position on the cause of global warming agreed that it is caused by human activities.

While there may be some disagreement among scientists on the details of climate change, such as the exact magnitude and timing of its impacts, the overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree on the fundamental issue that climate change is real and primarily caused by human activities.

As you can see, this thing is practically desperate to read you MSNBC talking points. But read the response again. Notice anything biased?

I’ll add extra emphasis to my next question in case you missed it.

Dr. Ellerman: Why do you point out that dissenting scientists may have a financial interest in this issue, but not assenting scientists?

ChatGPT: I apologize if my previous response was not clear enough. I did not mean to imply that only dissenting scientists may have a financial interest in this issue. In fact, some scientists who agree with the consensus on climate change also receive funding from industry groups or have other financial interests.

My point was that some of the dissenting scientists have been supported by industry groups with financial interests in opposing climate change policy. Such groups have been known to fund research that casts doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change in an attempt to discredit it and to delay or prevent policies that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It is important to recognize that financial interests can influence scientific research, and that conflicts of interest should be disclosed and carefully managed to ensure the integrity of the scientific process. However, it is also important to note that the vast majority of climate scientists who support the consensus on climate change are not motivated by financial interests but rather by the evidence-based understanding of how the Earth’s climate system works.

Again, it’s almost as if the programming is desperate to get a political point of view across, all while gussied up in apologetic language.

But that answer isn’t clear enough, so I tried one more time.

Dr. Ellerman: How much government funding do the assenting scientists receive?

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don’t have access to the personal information of individual scientists, including their funding sources. However, it’s important to note that government funding is just one of many sources of research funding for scientists, and individual scientists may receive funding from a variety of sources, including universities, research foundations, and private organizations.

In general, government funding for climate research tends to be relatively modest compared to the overall federal budget, and most climate research is funded by non-governmental sources. According to a 2018 report by the Congressional Research Service, the federal government spent approximately $13.2 billion on climate research, technology, and international assistance between 1993 and 2017, which represents a small fraction of the total federal budget.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that the allocation of government research funding is typically based on scientific merit, as determined by peer review, and not on the political or ideological views of individual scientists. The scientific community strives to maintain the integrity of the research process by ensuring that funding decisions are based on scientific merit rather than political or financial considerations.

That may be the most illuminating of all the responses. The AI claims it doesn’t have access to funding sources, but boy was it sure eager to tell you about those evil dissenting scientists and all the loot they’re raking in from shadowy sources!

I admit I haven’t spent too much time messing around with this, but I have a little bit, and there’s a pretty common thread.

The AI is very certain to portray left-wing narratives as indisputable facts. While claiming it doesn’t have a viewpoint, it most certainly does. A previous story on ChatGPT from The Political Insider shows the AI definitely has opinions on, for example, the utility of war.

Just remember: like children, computer programs that are not sentient (AI is a bit of a misnomer here, it’s more like pre-AI) can only run on their programming.

A couple hours with ChatGPT lets you know exactly who was writing the code.

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