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Advanced Version of Chatbot can Analyze Images; Concerns Expressed About Facial Recognition Features“

“An advanced version of ChatGPT can analyze images and is already helping the blind. But its ability to put a name on a face is one reason the public doesn’t have access to it.” So states an article in The New York Times expressing “OpenAI Worries About What Its Chatbot Will Say About People’s Faces.” Until recently, ChatGPT, an artificial-intelligence-powered tool from OpenAI, has been used to write term papers, computer code, fairy tales, and more. It can also analyze images, describing their contents, answering questions about the visuals, and “even recognizing faces.” The intention is that, in time, an individual could, for example, upload a photo of a car’s malfunctioning engine or an unusual rash, with ChatGBT recommending a fix. A select group of people have access to an advanced version that analyzes images. Jonathan Mosen, an employment agency chief executive who is blind, used this feature to detect which dispensers in a hotel room contained shampoo, conditioner, or shower gel. This went beyond the capabilities of image analysis software he previously used. “’It told me the capacity of each bottle…’” as well as “’the tiles in the shower,’” Mosen noted. “’It described all of this in a way that a blind person needs to hear it.’” ChatGPT made it possible to ask follow up questions as well, such as requesting additional details within an image. Most users have only conversed with the bot in words.  Mosen gained “early access to the visual analysis” via Be My Eyes, a start up that connects users with vision loss to sighted volunteers and “provides accessible customer service to corporate customers.” Be My Eyes and OpenAI worked together to test the chatbot’s “’sight.’” Recently the app stopped providing information about people’s faces, obscured “for privacy reasons.” OpenAI’s concerns are that its potential use for facial recognition “would push the boundaries of what was generally considered acceptable practice by U.S. technology companies.” The tool might say things about people’s faces, such as determining their gender or emotional state. OpenAI is working to address these and other concerns prior to making image analysis widely available, seeking input from Be My Eyes users and other members of the public. Read more in the article entitled “OpenAI Worries About What Its Chatbot Will Say About People’s Faces.”