ChatGPT writes Hangzhou traffic disinformation

Occurred: February 2023

A Hangzhou, China, resident has used ChatGPT to generate a rumour that the city government would lift its number plate driving restrictions on March 1, causing mass confusion and a police investigation. 

The fake press release, which resembled an announcement from Hangzhou city government, reportedly included three reasons for why the city is ending its policy, including that it had caused a 'public inconvenience.' 

Its creator reputedly considered it amusing and shared it on a WeChat/Weixin group, from which it quickly spread across the city.

A day later, a local radio station reported that the fake release had been made by a Hangzhou resident, who has since apologised.

ChatGPT has been taken up enthusiastically by the Chinese people, despite the fact that OpenAI decided not to launch in China and the Chinese government has cracked down on the chatbot.

System 🤖

Operator: Unclear/unknown
Developer: OpenAI

Country: China

Sector: Multiple; Govt - transport

Purpose: Provide information, communicate

Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning
Issue: Mis/disinformation

Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: February 2023
Last updated: November 2023