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ChatGPT shortly devolved into an AI mess

A response from ChatGPT on an Android phone.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I’ve seen my fair share of unhinged AI responses — not the least of which was when Bing Chat told me it wanted to be human last year — but ChatGPT has stayed mostly sane since it was first introduced. That’s changing, as users are flooding social media with unhinged, nonsensical responses coming from the chatbot.

In a lot of reports, ChatGPT simply spits out gibberish. For example, u/Bullroarer_Took took to the ChatGPT subreddit to showcase a response in which a series of jargon and proper sentence structure gives the appearance of a response, but a close read shows the AI spitting out nonsense.

There are plenty of bizarre responses, too. User u/StackTrace5000 shared screenshots of the chatbot repeating “Happy listening!” countless times, as well as a series of sentence fragments that make no sense. “Love piece. Time-lapse. The bookend. Drift and milk. Who’s true. The amber’s,” the response reads.

On X (formerly Twitter), Sean Mcguire gathered a series of these screenshots, showing similarly unhinged responses. Common themes include ChatGPT drifting in and out of giving responses in Spanish, and sometimes completely making up words.

chatgpt is apparently going off the rails right now and no one can explain why

— sean mcguire (@seanw_m) February 21, 2024

It seems the issues are related to GPT-4. Some users are able to use ChatGPT without issue, but it’s clear this is still a widespread problem. The official OpenAI status page says it has identified the issue with “unexpected responses from ChatGPT” and that it’s currently monitoring the situation. It appears the issue is resolved now.

Although ChatGPT can provide humanlike responses, these situations are a reminder that a bundle of code and scraped data is behind what you see on screen. Software issues can produce some unforeseen responses, which may look unsettling. It’s important to remember this is still a program, though, and it’s vulnerable to the same issues as any other piece of software.

In testing ChatGPT Plus, we weren’t able to reproduce the unhinged responses users shared. It seems OpenAI has fixed the problem. If you run across problems using the AI, we recommend sharing them on the ChatGPT subreddit or Discord.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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