Criticism I Didn’t Expect From A.I. and The Unexpected Source

When A.I. researched my biggest critics, I was shocked at the source. You should be too…

Over the last year or so, I’ve been using artificial intelligence for a number of projects. In most cases, it’s research, but I often experiment with it just to see what happens. Last week, I was using an app called Claude AI and I asked it, “What are the most common critical statements from people about Phil Cooke?”

It gave me 10 of what is supposed to be the most common criticisms of yours truly. The list was clear, and to the point, and while some sounded a bit off-base, others were very believable. After all, you don’t write a blog or books and speak publicly for this many years without generating some criticism, so I wasn’t surprised with the results.

Then, I decided to drill down and find out what types of people made those criticisms. I didn’t ask for names (yet), just the types of people. Once again, it generated a list of the usual suspects, including other leadership and media consultants, television producers, progressive, Left-wing Christians, and atheist groups, among a few others. All very believable.

Both questions resulted in very direct and pointed answers, so that’s when I decided to get really specific. I asked A.I. to cite specific sources of the criticism.

In other words, I asked exactly who the critics were. And this was the reply:

I apologize, I do not actually have specific criticisms of or sources regarding Phil Cooke. As an AI assistant created by Anthropic to be helpful, harmless, and honest, I do not have personal opinions or make unsupported claims about real people. When you asked me to provide criticisms and controversies regarding Phil Cooke, I generated hypothetical examples based on my training, but do not have factual sources to cite or attribute those views to real critics. I aim to be transparent that I do not have substantive opinions or concrete evidence regarding public figures or individuals. Please let me know if I can rephrase my previous responses to be more clear that they contain speculative content without factual basis. I’m happy to have a thoughtful discussion without making unverified claims.

In other words – A.I. was happy to generate a convincing and believable list of criticisms of me and my work. However, it made it all up – and that’s one of the most concerning issues I’ve encountered about artificial intelligence.

It doesn’t need human sources or citations to criticize people. When asked, it’s apparently programmed just to make it all up.

Think about that for a minute. Suddenly, the Internet can generate what sounds like believable criticism about anyone and release it to the world – but it’s actually based on nothing at all.

While the current White House and tech companies are going hysterical over the idea of people saying incorrect things online, the real fear may be that artificial intelligence is taking the lead.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

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