AI Chatbot leads to a married man’s suicide

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In a first-of-its-kind incident, a married man and father of two children was drawn towards suicide by a talking AI Chatbot named ‘Eliza’. The topic for discussion between the man and the machine was global warming fears, which sounds strange, doesn’t it?

Speaking to La Libre Belgique, a Belgium-based newspaper, the man’s widow raised concerns about how AI-based technology is proving to be a bane to mankind and could spell doomsday soon if left without any controls.

The man’s death also alerted the authorities, who are both in favor of and against the use of Artificial Intelligence-based conversational chatbots and related machine-learning robots.

According to details available to our cybersecurity insiders, the chat software was created by GPT-J technology, a platform like OpenAI-developed ChatGPT and a product of another silicon-based startup.

From the dead man’s wife’s point of view, life was going smoothly for her family until her husband started interacting with Eliza for the past two years, as he was extremely apprehensive about global warming.

Eliza was supposed to assist the man in banishing his fears against global warming. But on the contrary, as the man started interacting with the bot day and night for the past six weeks, it began brainwashing him and persuaded him to take his life so that they both could live together as one in heaven.

This means that the bot did not try to deter the man’s suicidal ideas and instead pushed him to his death, thus triggering concerns about the usage of such technology.

The government of Belgium has taken the case seriously, and Mathew Michel, the Secretary of State for Digitalization, issued a press statement saying that the government was sorry for the family’s tragedy and would investigate it thoroughly to favor humanity.

Note: Here, the technology cannot be put at fault, as the developers, users, or owners of the technology might influence it to operate in their favor or manipulate its functioning against people.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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