Student uses GPT-2 to dupe Medicaid

Occurred: December 2019

WIRED reports that a Harvard medical student has been able to fool volunteers into thinking automatically generated comments submitted about a Medicaid proposal were real. 

Of the 1,000 or so comments on proposed changes to Idaho's Medicaid programme on the website, half had been generated by student Max Weiss using OpenAI's GPT-2 large language model

Weiss' research shows Medicaid users were unable to distinguish real comments from fake ones.

The stunt demonstrates how easily large language systems such as OpenAI's GPT-2 can be deployed to produce effective misinformation and disinformation campaigns. 

Operator: OpenAI

Developer: OpenAI

Country: USA

Sector: Multiple; Govt - health

Purpose: Generate text

Technology: Large language model (LLM); NLP/text analysis; Neural networks; Deep learning; Machine learning 

Issue: Mis/disinformation; Dual/multi-use
Transparency: Governance; Black box

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: January 2021