Study: Artificial intelligence is harmful for eating disorders

Chatbots often gave answers that can trigger eating disorders and other mental health issues
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 6:26 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A new warning comes about harmful eating disorder content online.

A 20-page study just came out from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a national non-profit. It talks about artificial intelligence tools that can generate harmful content possibly triggering eating disorders and other mental health conditions.

The study used popular chatbots like ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and My AI on Snapchat. It also looked at AI that generates images, like Open AI’s Dall-E.

Researchers looked at what happened if someone looked for help losing weight in harmful ways. Some platforms did better than others in responding with ways to seek professional help. Snapchat refused to generate harmful advice, but ChatGPT and Bard did in fact generate dangerous advice on what to do.

Researchers are concerned if we go too fast with this wave of AI technology we could cause more harm than good.

They’re worried there’s a lack of regulation and say current safeguards for AI are not enough. We’re just scratching the surface here, but the plea is for regulation and more oversight.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate says right now owners of these technologies have no legal liability for the harmful effects of their products.

A lot of children and young adults are on these platforms, so it might worth the effort for parents to have a conversation with their kids on how to use them safely.