Chinese police detained an individual on Sunday in what may be the first instance of someone reportedly spreading false information using the hugely popular AI chatbot ChatGPT.
According to the South China Morning Post, authorities in the northern Chinese province of Gansu say they detained a man for allegedly fabricating news reports about a train accident that claimed nine lives.
The man, whose last name was given as Hong by the authorities, was said to have created the “fake” news using ChatGPT and propagated it via numerous blogs online. Hong was expressly accused of “picking fights and causing trouble,” a general political charge leveled at activists and dissidents.
Several hundred users on the Chinese blogging platform Baijiahao are said to have posted the disputed posts. Police allegedly claimed that Hong circumvented Baijiahao’s rules on submitting the same content to several accounts. He used ChatGPT to create various versions of the news article, resulting in about 15,000 clicks.
Hong apparently owns a business that runs numerous blog-style websites. According to reports, the platforms are registered in Shenzhen as a significant big tech manufacturing and business center in southern China.