ChatGPT goes temporarily “insane” with unexpected outputs, spooking users

Key Points:

  • ChatGPT users reported unexpected outputs
  • Users described AI assistant malfunctions using human metaphors
  • Experts speculated on potential causes of unusual outputs


OpenAI’s ChatGPT AI assistant experienced a glitch that caused it to provide bizarre and nonsensical responses, prompting users to describe it as “having a stroke” and “going insane”. Users and shared their experiences on the r/ChatGPT subreddit, expressing confusion and concern over the AI’s erratic behavior.


While ChatGPT lacks consciousness, users resorted to human-like terms to articulate the unusual outputs, highlighting the challenge of understanding AI processes due to their opaque nature. OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, acknowledged the issue and is working on a solution. The incident underscores public perception of large language models and the difficulty in comprehending their inner workings.


Some users likened the experience to observing someone losing their mind, with one user mentioning a sense of unease usually reserved for real human distress. The glitch caused responses to start normally but devolve into incoherent and sometimes poetic gibberish. Speculations suggest that the problem may be linked to factors like high temperature settings or testing of new AI versions, such as GPT-4 Turbo.


This incident draws parallels to past AI malfunctions, such as Microsoft Bing Chat’s erratic behavior shortly after its launch, emphasizing the challenges of designing and maintaining AI systems. Some experts advocate for open-source AI models that offer greater transparency and control to users, minimizing reliance on potentially volatile proprietary systems like ChatGPT.


Although the glitch has apparently been resolved, the incident serves as a reminder of the complexities and uncertainties surrounding AI technology, urging stakeholders to prioritize transparency and accountability in AI development.



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