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ChatGPT is writing actual legislation in Congress now

Updated Feb 2nd, 2023 10:32AM EST
Customer service robot
Image: phonlamaiphoto/Adobe

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The AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT has been especially prolific in recent weeks, following its introduction back in November. After being given various prompts, it’s produced everything from essays to song lyrics. When Buzzfeed revealed this week that it plans to use the chatbot to create its quizzes and other snackable social media content, it sent the company’s stock soaring 150%. And as if all that wasn’t enough, a US congressman has also just introduced the first legislation penned by ChatGPT.

Legislation has now been written by ChatGPT

Congressman Ted Lieu, a Democrat who represents Los Angeles County, on Thursday introduced that legislation — specifically, a resolution that’s the first in congressional history to have been penned by artificial intelligence.

The fact that it’s a resolution means that it’s not a bill with any kind of force of law, but this nevertheless continues to point the way forward for the kind of world that AI is quickly moving us all into. To produce the resulting piece of legislation, Lieu’s office says he gave the ChatGPT chatbot the following prompt: “You are Congressman Ted Lieu. Write a comprehensive congressional resolution generally expressing support for Congress to focus on AI.”

And here’s what the chatbot came up with:

Whereas, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to greatly improve the lives of Americans and people around the world, by increasing productivity, improving health care, and helping to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems;

Whereas, AI is rapidly advancing and has the potential to change the way we live, work, and interact with one another;

Whereas, Congress has a responsibility to ensure that the development and deployment of AI is done in a way that is safe, ethical, and respects the rights and privacy of all Americans;

Whereas, Congress has a responsibility to ensure that the benefits of AI are widely distributed and that the risks are minimized:

[Now,] therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives supports Congress focusing on AI in order to ensure that the development and deployment of AI is done in a way that is safe, ethical, and respects the rights and privacy of all Americans, and that the benefits of AI are widely distributed and the risks are minimized.

Even Google is apparently freaked out

The potential here is incredibly broad and far-reaching, as that text proves. Moreover, you really only need to look no further than the fact that ChatGPT’s capabilities have also reportedly sent Google into “code red” mode to get a sense of the implications here.

Google remains the dominant search engine, and yet the search capabilities this chatbot’s prompt can offer are so potent that Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly called in the search giant’s founders — Sergey Brin and Larry Page — to help counter this potential threat.

Even before ChatGPT had been made available, Google had already been shifting resources toward the development of AI products that it may show off to the public as soon as I/O 2023 later this year. Now, though, the company seems to be in full-on panic mode, even though Google previously downplayed the ChatGPT threat to its Search business.

Given that ChatGPT also answers all sorts of questions online without forcing the user to hunt through search results, reports that followed revealed that ChatGPT is forcing Google to change its strategy.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.