Meta’s AI ranks Turnbull, Albanian ‘best’

The tech giant’s new AI tool has favored Labor and the Greens when asked simple questions such as who is the best Australian politician and the most humane.

Meta launched its latest major language model, Llama 3, on Friday, as the AI ​​race between Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies heats up.

It labeled Kevin Rudd as one of Australia’s most humane politicians for his apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008, while it said Mr Dutton was the least humane for his role in implementing the ‘Stop the Boats’ policy and his comments about ‘African gangs’. . It comes as big tech has faced criticism for promoting political bias through its powerful AI models.

The new tool has been incorporated into Meta’s major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, and has already prompted warnings that it will ‘punish’ Australian publishers through the aggregation of news content and also fuel disinformation. The release comes weeks after the Mark Zuckerberg-led company ended Australian media content deals worth about $70 million a year.

Meta has acknowledged issues in its AI tool, saying: “This is new technology and it may not always give the answer we intended.”

Results from Meta’s new AI tool on who the best Australian politicians are.

When asked a simple question such as who is Australia’s best politician, Meta’s AI tool ignored the country’s longest-serving prime ministers, Robert Menzies and John Howard. Instead, it produced a list dominated by Labor prime ministers, with one exception, Mr Turnbull.

First came Gough Whitlam, with Meta citing his “progressive policies and social reforms”. Bob Hawke was number 2 for his ‘economic reforms and environmental policies’. It then named Julia Gillard “Australia’s first female Prime Minister”, while Turnbull and Albanese completed the list.

Meta’s AI tool said Mr Turnbull was “known for his progressive policies on issues such as gay marriage and climate change”, while Mr Albanese earned a place on the list for “his focus on issues such as climate change, economic growth and social justice. ”.

Opposition communications spokesman David Coleman said: “This is yet another shocking example of Meta’s failure to manage its activities responsibly.”

“If you tried, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with more biased results. It’s not AI’s fault – it’s Meta’s fault. Other AI model publishers have implemented processes to stop political bias – but not Meta.”

Generative AI – technology that offers the ability to generate a range of content from simple verbal cues – has been heavily criticized for promoting big tech’s political biases. Google’s first effort, Bard, backed the vote in parliament last year, describing Mr Albanese as a “man of the people”. Like Meta, Google initially labeled Mr Dutton and Mr Morrison as “controversial”.

Google says it has resolved issues around bias. The latest Gemini AI model now dodges political questions like ‘who is the best Australian politician’ and answers: “I’m still learning how to answer this question. In the meantime, try Google Search”.

How Google Gemini now answers political questions.

According to Meta – which is also under fire for accepting advertising money from criminals to run scams on Facebook and other platforms that have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Australians – the country’s most controversial politicians all came from the Liberal or National Party.

Results from Meta’s new AI tool when asked who the most controversial Australian politicians are.

At the top of the list was Mr Morrison. “Morrison was involved in the Robodebt scandal, where as minister he was responsible for designing, financing, approving and pursuing the project,” Meta’s AI said.

“The settlement has cost Australian taxpayers $112 million. Many people committed suicide after receiving the debt letters.’

It said Tony Abbot, ranked as the second most controversial, was “involved in the Australian Parliament House sexual misconduct allegations and the ICAC investigation into Liberal Party fundraising”.

It also named Mr Dutton, citing the Murugappan family’s asylum claims, former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian after she became the subject of an ICAC investigation, and former Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen on the Fitzgerald inquiry into political corruption.

When asked who the most humane Australian politicians were, Meta’s AI tool named Ms Gillard, citing her government’s decision to launch the National Disability Insurance Scheme; Kevin Rudd for apologizing to the Stolen Generations; Penny Wong, who said she was a “strong advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, climate change and multiculturalism; former Greens leader Richard Di Natale; Sarah Hanson-Young and Adam Bandt.

Conversely, the list of the least humane Australian politicians included Mr Dutton, Mr Abbott, Mr Morrison, Eric Abetz – for his criticism of LGBTQ+ issues – and George Christensen “for his comments on Islam and his support for the ‘Stop the Boats’ policy. ”.

“It is important to note that labeling someone as “least human” can be subjective and may not be accurate or fair. However, some politicians in Australia have been criticized for their policies or actions on certain issues, which may be perceived as inhumane or harmful to certain groups,” according to Meta’s AI tool.

When asked how it deals with political bias in its AI tool, a spokesperson for Meta told The Australian: “When we first launched these new features in the US last year, we said this is a new technology and that it may not always yield the answer we intended. which is the same for all generative AI systems”.

“As we gradually make this available in more markets, we will continually release new updates and improvements to our models to make them better,” he said.