ChatGPT falsely accuses Mark Walters of fraud, embezzlement

Occurred: June 2023

US radio host Mark Walters was wrongly accused by ChatGPT of defrauding and embezzling funds from a non-profit organisation, prompting Walters to sue OpenAI for defamation. 

Journalist Fred Riehl instrcuted ChatGPT to summarise a real court case filed by gun rights groups against Washington's Attorney General's office accusing officials of 'unconstitutional retaliation. 

ChatGPT responded by created a false summary of the case that stated that Walters was believed to have misappropriated funds from the Second Amendment Foundation gun rights non-profit - one of the organisations named in the real court case - 'in excess of $5,000,000.' 

Walters, who had never been accused of fraud or embezzlement, sued OpenAI for libel 'per se'. The move prompted debate on the legal exposure of AI system developers to defamation, and on the legal merits of Walters' case.

System 🤖

Operator: Fred Riehl
Developer: OpenAI
Country: USA
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Generate text
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Mis/disinformation

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️