India’s religious AI chatbots are speaking in the voice of god — and condoning violence

Nadia Nooreyezdan at Rest of World:

In January 2023, when ChatGPT was setting new growth records, Bengaluru-based software engineer Sukuru Sai Vineet launched GitaGPT. The chatbot, powered by GPT-3 technology, provides answers based on the Bhagavad Gita, a 700-verse Hindu scripture. GitaGPT mimics the Hindu god Krishna’s tone — the search box reads, “What troubles you, my child?”

In the Bhagavad Gita, according to Vineet, Krishna plays a therapist of sorts for the character Arjuna. A religious AI bot works in a similar manner, Vineet told Rest of World, “except you’re not actually talking to Krishna. You’re talking to a bot that’s pretending to be him.”

At least five GitaGPTs have sprung up between January and March this year, with more on the way. Experts have warned that chatbots being allowed to play god might have unintended, and dangerous, consequences. Rest of World found that some of the answers generated by the Gita bots lack filters for casteism, misogyny, and even law. Three of these bots, for instance, say it is acceptable to kill another if it is one’s dharma or duty.

More here.