Simon Willison’s Weblog


An Iowa school district is using ChatGPT to decide which books to ban. I’m quoted in this piece by Benj Edwards about an Iowa school district that responded to a law requiring books be removed from school libraries that include “descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act” by asking ChatGPT “Does [book] contain a description or depiction of a sex act?”.

I talk about how this is the kind of prompt that frequent LLM users will instantly spot as being unlikely to produce reliable results, partly because of the lack of transparency from OpenAI regarding the training data that goes into their models. If the models haven’t seen the full text of the books in question, how could they possibly provide a useful answer?