ChatGPT misidentifies Japan's PM

Kerem Gülen
May 15, 2023

OpenAI's renowned language model, ChatGPT, demonstrates its remarkable capabilities but falls short in accurately recognizing the individual leading the world's third-largest economy. During a recent interaction with OpenAI's highly praised chatbot, Taro Kono, Japan's digital minister, revealed that he was mistakenly identified as Fumio Kishida, Japan's prime minister—the very person he had competed against and lost to in a leadership election held in 2021.

“I asked ChatGPT who Kono Taro is and he came back with the wrong answer, so you need to be careful.” The prime minister of Japan, Kono told Bloomberg.

While OpenAI's website acknowledges that ChatGPT has the potential to occasionally produce inaccurate information, Taro Kono, Japan's digital minister, raised this concern as his administration initiates a comprehensive evaluation of the benefits and drawbacks of artificial intelligence. The matter of AI regulation is anticipated to be a key topic of discussion during the upcoming Group of Seven meeting scheduled to take place in Hiroshima later this week.

Japan is watching AI technologies closely

According to statements made by Japan's digital minister to Bloomberg, Japan is “more eager to try new AI technologies.” The government is actively engaged in discussions with multiple companies operating in the sector, focusing on the potential applications and utilization of AI within various domains.

Kono's remarks come approximately a month after Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, paid a visit to Tokyo for business-related discussions. While ChatGPT, the AI tool, may have experienced confusion regarding Kono's identity, it is presumed that Altman was well aware of the person he was conversing with during his meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Image source: Unsplash

Altman shared that OpenAI is contemplating the establishment of an office in Tokyo with the aim of collaborating with the exceptional talent available in Japan. The objective is to create significant advancements for the benefit of the Japanese population and further enhance the capabilities of OpenAI's models.

In contrast to the occasional perception of politicians being disconnected from technology, Taro Kono appears to be a fitting choice for his role as Japan's digital minister. He has demonstrated a commitment to modernizing the technology employed by government departments, while simultaneously establishing himself as a social media-savvy figure who effectively engages with voters.

With an impressive following of 2.6 million on the platform, Kono's social media presence surpasses that of the Japanese prime minister by almost fourfold. Furthermore, Kono, who pursued studies in the United States during the 1980s, maintains an English-language Twitter account that boasts a substantial following of over 75,000 users.


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