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Another US presidential candidate's chatbot has been shut down

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In January, OpenAI announced its new policies for how its generative AI tools could be used, and more importantly could not be used, by people involved in the 2024 elections. One of them was that no political or lobbying campaigns could use its services. Now it looks like the campaign for one US Presidential candidate tried to circumvent those policies and created a chatbot that might have used OpenAI's ChatGPT model via third parties.

Wired reports that the campaign involved in the long-shot effort to elect Robert F. Kennedy Jr to be the US president via a third-party ticket created a chatbot to help explain his views. The campaign made this move by using Microsoft's Azure OpenAI Services to access a third-party chatbot called LiveChatAI.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Kennedy campaign said the chatbot was used as an "interactive FAQ for our supporters." The spokesperson said the campaign felt it was "a terrific help in sourcing the information they need on the fly."

While neither Azure OpenAI Services nor LiveChatAI have any policies restricting them from being used by election campaigns, LiveChatAI's own website says that it is "fueled by OpenAI technology". In an email, LiveChatAI's cofounder Emre Elbeyoglu stated that its service also uses other large language models like Llama and Mistral. He added that the company was "unable to confirm or deny" any info about any of its client's use of its services because of "our commitment to client confidentiality".

Microsoft also confirmed in a statement that the use of Azure OpenAI Services by the Kennedy presidential campaign did not violate its policies and that it was not subject to OpenAI's policies over the use of its generative AI tools.

However, Wired now reports that the chatbot on the official campaign site of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been shut down as of today. There have been no comments about this development from the campaign, nor any so far from Microsoft, OpenAI, and LiveChatAI.

In January, OpenAI banned the use of its tools by a developer called Delphi after it was revealed that it used ChatGPT to create a chatbot that simulated chatting with US House of Representatives member Dean Phillips. Phillips is currently running for US President in the Democratic Party, in a very long-shot campaign against current President Joe Biden.

In February, Microsoft joined a large number of tech companies, including OpenAI, in signing an agreement that pledged those businesses to commitments for defeating deepfake AI election efforts.

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