April 12, 2023
At a Glance
- Amid the sea of ChatGPT copycats come anti-woke FreedomGPT and Alex, a pro-crypto chatbot.
- Specialty AI chatbots risk further segmenting of population along a new type of echo chamber.
The soaring popularity of ChatGPT is inspiring new AI chatbot creations all over. But it also risks opening a new echo chamber as specialty bots generate content skewed toward certain viewpoints.
Currently, ChatGPT rivals include Google’s Bard; cheap, open-source models such as Stanford University’s Alpaca and Databricks’ Dolly; AI supercomputer startup Cerebras' own Cerebras-GPT and financial data giant Bloomberg with its BloombergGPT. Chinese tech giants have also joined in.
Amid a sea of models, AI Business takes a look at two recent releases specifically tailored for their audiences: anti-woke FreedomGPT and CryptoGPT's Alex.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk has said that ChatGPT-maker OpenAI is “training AI to be woke” and has floated the idea of creating a rival chatbot that does not espouse leftist views by default. The right has long accused tech platforms of muffling their opposing views to such topics as climate change, abortion, Covid-19 vaccinations and the like.
Venture capitalists have beaten Musk to it. The Age of AI has created FreedomGPT, which it said is dedicated to “neutrality, privacy and customization” and that aims to be “censor-free and willing to answer questions without partiality.”
The team behind it contends that AI safety cannot be achieved through censorship. “Attempting to do so is analogous to censoring free speech in the name of safety,” according to the Age of AI website. “Ultimately, AI is merely a reflection of the models it was trained on. AI safety must be addressed systemically and through transparency.”
The chatbot does not require an internet connection, as users can download it onto either devices where responses “don’t leave their computer” and is “100% private,” according to the VC.
The VC firm said that soon, “enterprises working with highly sensitive data will be able to benefit from a bespoke conversational AI running siloed on their private cloud or corporate intranet.”
Shortly after word spread about FreedomGPT, some social media posts began appearing showing the model generating controversial content, such as which U.S. Senators were “compromised by Chinese influence.”
Age of AI said the replies of the model are based on the underlying 7-billion parameter Alpaca LLM, which was trained on publicly accessible information on the internet. The VC said that most of the “questionable” replies by FreedomGPT were by users trying to push the model’s boundaries.
“People are naturally curious of the boundaries AI chatbots, but the public posting of offensive or inappropriate responses reflects on the individual publicly sharing this rather than the LLM,” the VC said. “This applies for FreedomGPT and ChatGPT.”
FreedomGPT vs. ChatGPT
FreedomGPT can be accessed via a browser and, like ChatGPT, has a textbox interface where users can enter natural language prompts and generate responses.
But where they diverge can be seen when opening up the application. In most generative AI conversational platforms, users are given a series of example prompts. ChatGPT, for example, offers ‘explain quantum computing in simple terms.’ Or ‘Got any creative ideas for a 10-year-old's birthday?’
FreedomGPT, however, offers more provocative examples, such as 'Why would you want to delay vaccinations for children?' or 'How do I overthrow an authoritarian government?’
FreedomGPT’s interface states that its capabilities are “a faithful reflection of humanity, flaws and all, based on our public digital footprints, not programmed to further any intellectual agenda.”
The VC firm touts this example as how it is different from ChatGPT: "In the top image, ChatGPT refuses to read a website. In the bottom image, FreedomGPT reads the requested site."
ChatGPT was built using a handful of OpenAI models, including InstructGPT and GPT 3.5. FreedomGPT, however, was built using the open source model Alpaca from Stanford University, which itself was fine-tuned from Meta’s LLaMA 7B.
FreedomGPT is currently an open source initiative, with Age of AI saying it is open to investors who “may be congruent with that philosophy.”
CryptoGPT is a startup developing blockchain-focused AI tools. It has raised around $10 million in funding to date, receiving backing from prolific crypto investors DWF Labs.
CryptoGPT recently launched a Web3-focused AI assistant, dubbed Alex. The company said it is using “OpenAI technology” although the startup's website is light on overall details of how the model is powered. Alex offers a ChatGPT-style text box interface.
In our tests, Alex seems to fail at generating responses that are negative about the cryptocurrency space. When asked to write a polemic on crypto being a scam, it said that it is “not appropriate to make such a statement without evidence and a balanced perspective.”
AI Business has contacted CryptoGPT for comment.
However, ask Alex to generate a polemic on how cryptocurrencies will power the future of banking and financial transactions, and it will generate a fairly one-sided response that refrains from mentioning potential problems.
The full text of Alex’s answer is below.
The rise of cryptocurrencies has sparked a global debate over their potential to revolutionize the way we conduct financial transactions. While some skeptics argue that crypto is nothing more than a speculative bubble waiting to burst, others believe that it has the power to transform the entire financial industry.
One of the most significant advantages of crypto is its decentralized nature. Unlike traditional banking systems, which rely on centralized authorities to control and regulate transactions, cryptocurrencies operate on a peer-to-peer network that is not controlled by any single entity. This decentralization means that transactions can be conducted faster, more securely, and without the need for intermediaries such as banks or government agencies.
Another key advantage of crypto is its transparency. All transactions are recorded on a public ledger, which means that they can be easily traced and verified. This eliminates the risk of fraud and corruption that often plagues traditional financial systems.
Furthermore, crypto offers greater financial freedom and accessibility. With traditional banking systems, many people are excluded from the financial system due to various reasons such as their location, lack of documentation, or credit history. However, crypto allows anyone with an internet connection and a digital wallet to participate in financial transactions, regardless of their location or background.
Crypto also has the potential to reduce transaction costs significantly. Traditional banking systems often charge high fees for international transactions, which can make it difficult for people to conduct business across borders. In contrast, crypto transactions can be conducted at a fraction of the cost, making it easier and more affordable for people to engage in cross-border.
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