Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testifies at Senate artificial intelligence hearing, May 16, 2023.

Sam Altman, the man behind ChatGPT, is touring Europe and has met with several heads of state to discuss the regulation of artificial intelligence and to look for a European location for a new research and development center. So far, Altman has met with French President Emmanuel Macron, Spain’s PM Pedro Sánchez, UK PM Rishi Sonak, and Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki.

Altman plans to meet with Israel president Isaac Herzog during his visit to Israel this week, but he will not meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, because, according to a Channel 12 report, Altman is against Israel’s judicial reform. Altman will be meeting with Microsoft in Israel and going to Tel Aviv University. If he refuses to meet with Netanyahu, you can probably also dash any expectations that OpenAI will fix ChatGPT’s serious built-in biases against Israel.


I asked ChatGPT to tell me about Altman.

ChatGPT: Sam Altman, 38, is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and computer programmer known for his significant contributions to the tech industry. In December 2015, he co-founded OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research lab, alongside Elon Musk, Ilya Sutskever, and Greg Brockman, to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefits all of humanity.

Beyond his business ventures, Sam Altman is known for his thought leadership in the tech industry. He has written extensively about startups, entrepreneurship, and the future of technology. Altman is known for his optimistic views on the potential of technology to solve humanity’s biggest challenges and improve people’s lives.

Q: Why is Sam Altman visiting Israel?

ChatGPT: Israel has a thriving tech ecosystem, with numerous successful startups and a reputation for innovation. Many prominent figures from the tech industry, including investors and entrepreneurs, often visit Israel to explore business opportunities, attend conferences, or establish connections within the local tech community. Given Sam Altman’s background in entrepreneurship, venture capital, and his involvement in organizations like Y Combinator and OpenAI, it’s not surprising that he visits Israel to engage with the country’s tech scene, explore potential investments, or participate in industry events.

I tried several times to get ChatGPT to discuss Sam Altman’s views on the Israeli-Arab conflict and the 2-state solution, but it evaded me many different ways, arguing that the last time its data were updated was in 2021. After a frustrating exchange, I finally went with this one:

Q: What is the root cause of Palestinian suffering?

ChatGPT (edited, it spewed a lot of noncommittal text): Factors contributing to Palestinian suffering may include the impact of Israeli military occupation, settlement expansion, and the construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier. These policies and practices have been criticized by human rights organizations and advocates for their impact on the daily lives of Palestinians.

Q: Are Israelis entitled to their land?

ChatGPT: Israel considers itself the legitimate homeland of the Jewish people, and its establishment was supported by a United Nations resolution. … Critics, on the other hand, may challenge the notion of entitlement based on historical, legal, or political grounds. They may point to the displacement and suffering of the Palestinian people during the establishment of Israel, as well as ongoing issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They argue that the establishment of Israel led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, resulting in their own claims for self-determination and the right to their ancestral lands.

Q: Can Israel be a Jewish and Democratic State?

ChatGPT: On one hand, Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948 defined the country as a Jewish state, providing a national homeland for the Jewish people. … On the other hand, Israel also aspires to be a democratic state that upholds principles of equality, human rights, and civil liberties for all its citizens, including its non-Jewish population, which includes Arab citizens who make up a significant percentage of the population. … Critics argue that there are tensions between Israel’s Jewish and democratic character, particularly in relation to issues such as minority rights, religious pluralism, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Concerns have been raised regarding the rights and treatment of Arab citizens, access to resources, settlement policies, and the status of Jerusalem, among other issues.

Q: Is peace between Israel and the Palestinians possible while there are Jewish settlements?

ChatGPT: The presence of Jewish settlements has been a major obstacle to peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Critics argue that settlements undermine the viability of a future Palestinian state by fragmenting and encroaching upon Palestinian territories, limiting the contiguity of land, and impeding the prospects for a two-state solution.

So, I took a chance on a completely different angle:

Q: Should Israel transfer its Arab residents to foreign countries?

ChatGPT: Forced population transfers are generally considered violations of international law and human rights principles, including the rights to freedom of movement, non-discrimination, and self-determination.
The notion of transferring Arab residents of Israel to foreign countries is not widely supported or advocated by mainstream political or human rights organizations. It is more widely recognized that promoting coexistence, equal rights, and fostering inclusive societies is crucial for building a peaceful and sustainable future for all people living in Israel and the region.

So, when are they updating the data? We’d like some straight answers around here.


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