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A College Student Used GPT-3 to Write Fake Blog Posts That Ended Up at the Top of Hacker News

Accepted submission by Anonymous Coward at 2020-08-17 05:00:52
Digital Liberty []

College student Liam Porr used the language-generating AI tool GPT-3 to produce a fake blog post that recently landed in the No. 1 spot on Hacker News, MIT Technology Review reported []. Porr was trying to demonstrate that the content produced by GPT-3 could fool people into believing it was written by a human. And, he told MIT Technology Review, “it was super easy, actually, which was the scary part.”

So to set the stage in case you’re not familiar with GPT-3: It’s the latest version of a series of AI autocomplete tools designed by San Francisco-based OpenAI, and has been in development for several years. At its most basic, GPT-3 (which stands for “generative pre-trained transformer”) auto-completes your text based on prompts from a human writer.

[...] OpenAI decided to give access to GPT-3’s API [] to researchers in a private beta, rather than releasing it into the wild at first. Porr, who is a computer science student at the University of California, Berkeley, was able to find a PhD student who already had access to the API, who agreed to work with him on the experiment. Porr wrote a script that gave GPT-3 a blog post headline and intro. It generated a few versions of the post, and Porr chose one for the blog, copy-pasted from GPT-3’s version with very little editing.

The post went viral in a matter of a few hours, Porr said, and the blog had more than 26,000 visitors. He wrote that only one person [] reached out to ask if the post was AI-generated, although several commenters did guess GPT-3 was the author.

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