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Business News/ Technology / News/  Killer AI? Belgian man commits suicide after week-long chats with AI bot
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Killer AI? Belgian man commits suicide after week-long chats with AI bot

Wife of the deceased said that Eliza has become his confidante and was ‘like a drug he used to withdraw in the morning and at night that he couldn't live without.’

As per the report, the man became extremely concerned about the environment about two years ago. (HT_PRINT)Premium
As per the report, the man became extremely concerned about the environment about two years ago. (HT_PRINT)

A Belgian man reportedly took his own life after talking to an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot. According to a report by Belgian news outlet La Libre (via Belga News Agency), Pierre talked to AI bot ELIZA for six weeks on climate change. However, the conversation turned "became increasingly confusing and harmful", prompting him to commit suicide. 

“My husband would still be here if it hadn’t been for these conversations with the chatbot," the man’s wife told La Libre (name changed). 

As per the report, the man became extremely concerned about the environment about two years ago. 

He then started talking with ELIZA, a chatbot that uses GPT-J, an open-source artificial intelligence language model created by EleutherAI. Wife of the deceased said that Eliza has become his confidante and was ‘like a drug he used to withdraw in the morning and at night that he couldn't live without.’

After six weeks of intense and lengthy chats, the victim committed suicide. The report says that Pierre proposed the idea of killing himself if the ELIZA, the AI bot, took care of the planet to save humanity.

While it is not yet clear whether Pierre suffered from mental health complications before commiting suicide, the report notes that he had isolated himself from friends and family before killing himself.

The family, according to the report, met with Mathieu Michel, Secretary of State for Digitalisation in control of Administrative Simplification, Privacy, and Building Regulation, last week. 

“I am particularly moved by the tragedy of this family." “What has occurred is a serious precedent that must be taken very seriously," he stated on Tuesday.

Emphasizing that such instances demonstrates the importance of “clearly defining responsibilities", he said that with the rise of ChatGPT, the general public has become more aware of the potential of artificial intelligence in our lives than ever before.

Michel states that it is critical to determine the nature of the responsibilities that contribute to such an occurrence. “Of course, we have yet to learn to live with algorithms," he said, “but the use of any technology should never lead content publishers to shirk their own responsibilities."

 

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Published: 31 Mar 2023, 05:34 PM IST
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