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Expert Questions Potential ChatGPT Use on Transportation Department Policymaking

Artificial intelligence

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Expert Questions Potential ChatGPT Use on Transportation Department Policymaking

Ben Winters, head of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights Project, has raised concerns about the potential use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in policymaking by the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

In an email to FedScoop, he criticized ChatGPT for generating factually inaccurate content and questioned the appropriateness of using the tool in rulemaking at PHMSA, which regulates the transport of petroleum and dangerous materials.

Meanwhile, PHMSA maintained that there are no official plans to implement ChatGPT. The agency said it is working with stakeholders to evaluate the technology’s short and long-term risks.

PHMSA indicated on the Transportation Department’s online AI inventory that it is considering how the tool can generate efficiencies and enable the scalability of “efforts for unusual levels of public scrutiny or interest” in support of policymaking. According to the listing, ChatGPT could manage comments about proposed rules and analyze their sentiment, FedScoop reported.

In July, the Transportation Department took down an inventory listing indicating that Federal Aviation Administration air traffic personnel were using ChatGPT to support coding.

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