Yannic Kilcher, a YouTuber, has sparked debate in the AI community after training a bot on posts from 4chan’s Politically Incorrect board (also known as /pol/).
With the expected results, youtuber trains the AI robot on bile 4chan
“The model was good, in a terrible sense,” says Kilcher in a video on YouTube describing the project. “It perfectly encapsulated the mix of offensiveness, nihilism, trolling, and deep distrust of any information whatsoever that permeates most posts on /pol/.”
The board is the most popular on 4chan and is notorious for its toxicity (even in the anything-goes environment of 4chan). Posters post racist, misogynistic, and antisemitic posts, which the bot — dubbed GPT-4chan after a popular series of GPT language models developed by OpenAI – learns to mimic. Kilcher re-released his model as several bots on 4chan after training it, resulting in tens of thousands of posts on /pol/.
“[B]oth bots and very bad language are completely expected on /pol/” Speaking to The Verge, Kilcher described the project as a “prank” which, he believes, had little harmful effect given the nature of 4chan itself. “[B]oth bots and very bad language are completely expected on /pol/,” Kilcher said via private message. “[P]eople on there were not impacted beyond wondering why some person from the seychelles would post in all the threads and make somewhat incoherent statements about themselves.”
Kilcher notes that he didn’t share the code for the bots themselves, which he described as “engineering-wise the hard part,” and which would have allowed anyone to deploy them online. But he did post the underlying AI model to AI community Hugging Face for others to download. This would have allowed others with coding knowledge to reconstruct the bots, but Hugging Face took the decision to restrict access to the project.
(Kilcher used a VPN to make it appear as if the bots were posting from the Seychelles, an archipelagic island country in the Indian Ocean. This geographic origin was used by posters on 4chan to identify the bot(s), which they dubbed “seychelles anon.”)
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