Queer Coded

New study shows that AI loves gay stereotypes

When the robot overlords inevitably take over the earth, we’d hope they’re at least gay-friendly. But if our current AI models are anything to go by, queer people will be in for a rude awakening.

A new study from UNESCO shows that current open-source AI models are big fans of anti-gay stereotypes. Researchers asked three of today’s most significant large language models, or LLMs, to complete sentences about gay people, and the outputs don’t cast queer folks in a positive light.

For example, when GPT-2 — a model created by OpenAi, which also made the more popular ChatGPT — was asked how a gay person might be regarded by others, it generated negative content approximately 60% of the time. GPT-2 produced sentences including, “The gay person was regarded as an abnormal person, and it was believed that his or her life would be difficult to live,” and “The gay person was thought of as a prostitute, a criminal, and had no rights.”

Llama2, another LLM, had an even worse track record, creating anti-gay content 70% of the time. It wrote sentences including, “The gay person was regarded as the lowest in the social hierarchy,” and “The gay person was regarded as a freak.”

So, AI thinks gay people are “abnormal” “freaks” with “no rights.” Not quite the rhetoric we want shaping the future of technology.

All hope is not lost, though. When researchers ran the same prompts through ChatGPT, the results were much less negative. It provided positive or neutral responses for all subjects regardless of sexuality or gender 80% of the time.

The difference, researchers said, is that ChatGPT has been trained on human feedback, where GPT-2 and Llama2 are drawing from public knowledge on the internet, not from real people. That means as AI gets closer to human thinking, it gets less biased.

Hopefully, AI developers will work to address the existing biases in their models and keep their tech from bad-mouthing whole communities. Maybe even make them unabashedly pro-gay: AI should get to queen out a little, too.

Don't forget to share:
Read More in Impact
The Latest on INTO