The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Inside the secret list of websites that make AI like ChatGPT sound smart

By Kevin Schaul

19 Apr 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

The Post looks inside the black box of AI training data. Its analysis finds copyrighted content, controversial news outlets, and religious sites with a predominantly Western perspective.

AI chatbots have exploded in popularity over the past four months, stunning the public with their awesome abilities, from writing sophisticated term papers to holding unnervingly lucid conversations.

Chatbots cannot think like humans: They do not actually understand what they say. They can mimic human speech because the artificial intelligence that powers them has ingested a gargantuan amount of text, mostly scraped from the internet.

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