ChatGPT chatbot

Released: November 2022

What it is 

ChatGPT (or 'Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer') is an AI-powered chatbot that is capable of understanding natural human language and generating detailed human-like information and answers questions through a conversational interface.

Built on a version of Open AI's GPT-3 large language model, ChatGPT was released as a prototype for general public use in November 2022. Voice chat and image generation (via DALLE-3) capabilities were incorporated in September 2023.

Risks and harms

Notable incidents driven by and relating to ChatGPT recorded and categorised using AIAAIC's current risk and harms classifications and definitions include:

Accuracy, reliability

ChatGPT is prone to generate factual inaccuracies, including those known as 'hallucinations' (or plausible-sounding inaccurate information such as fake sources), and can be inconsistent and unreliable. 

For example, the chatbot:

The model's tendency to produce plausible-sounding factual falsities led Princeton University computer science professor Arvind Narayanan to call it 'the greatest bullshit generator ever.'


ChatGPT's ability to generate plausible-looking, human-like information and advice runs the risk of convincing users that it is somehow human and/or 'sentient'. 

Bias, discrimination

Despite its built-in safeguards, researchers and others have demonstrated that ChatGPT produces outputs that are explicitly and implicitly biased in multiple ways. 


Unless they expressly opt-out, OpenAI uses users' information and data inputted to ChatGPT to train its models, thereby potentially or actually violating their personal confidentality, or the confidentiality of their employers.

Data privacy

Concerns exist about ChatGPT's approach to and impact on personal privacy. 


ChatGPT is seen to pose a risk to jobs across a swathe of industries, from law, finance, and marketing to academics, journalists, and software programmers.

OpenAI's development of ChatGPT involved poorly paid workers in third-world countries with limited rights.


OpenAI has not revealed the environmental impacts of its products, which are thought to be substantial. 

IP and copyright

According to ChatGPT, the content generated by it may be protected by copyright, but it is not owned by the system or by OpenAI, which avoids including citations or attributions to the original sources of information trained and generated by ChatGPT. 

Misinformation and disinformation

ChatGPT is capable of producing large volumes of convincing misinformation and disinformation. Examples include:

Reputational damage

ChatGPT can harm the reputation of individuals and organisations it generates information about, in some instances resulting in threats to sue OpenAI for defamation. 

ChatGPT has also been shown to harm the reputation of individuals and organisations using it, including when used naively. 


ChatGPT has safeguards to stop requests generating inappropriate, abusive, or offensive content. However, it appears many of these can be overridden relatively easily. 

Social wellbeing and cohesion

ChatGPT's ability to generate plausible-sounding misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech is seen to have potentially serious effects on the well-being of communities and democracy. 


ChatGPT has been shown to be vulnerable to malfunction and manipulation, and can easily be made to generate spam and malware. The chatbot: 

Transparency, openness

OpenAI may have been open about some of ChatGPT's limitations, but its governance and algorithms are - and appear likely to remain - carefully concealed, commercially-driven black boxes. 


Operator: OpenAI
Developer: OpenAI

Country: USA; Global

Sector: Multiple

Purpose: Generate text

Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Anthropomorphism; Bias/discrimination; Confidentiality; Copyright; Environment; Employment; Mis/disinformation; Privacy; Safety; Security

Transparency: Governance; Black box; Complaints/appeals; Marketing; Privacy



Investigations, assessments, audits

Research, advocacy

Page info
Type: System
Published: December 2022
Last updated: December 2023