AI Chatbots Can Guess Your Personal Information From What You Type
Oct 17, 2023
The AI models behind chatbots like ChatGPT can accurately guess a user’s personal information from innocuous chats. Researchers say the troubling ability could be used by scammers or to target ads.
THE WAY YOU talk can reveal a lot about you—especially if you're talking to a chatbot. New research reveals that chatbots like ChatGPT can infer a lot of sensitive information about the people they chat with, even if the conversation is utterly mundane.
The phenomenon appears to stem from the way the models’ algorithms are trained with broad swathes of web content, a key part of what makes them work, likely making it hard to prevent. “It's not even clear how you fix this problem,” says Martin Vechev, a computer science professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland who led the research. “This is very, very problematic.”
Vechev and his team found that the large language models that power advanced chatbots can accurately infer an alarming amount of personal information about users—including their race, location, occupation, and more—from conversations that appear innocuous.