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Stack Overflow temporarily bans responses from the OpenAI ChatGPT chatbot



Stack Overflow

Image: Maskot/Getty Images

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Stack Overflow, a site where developers can ask and answer coding questions, has temporarily banned the use of text generated from ChatGPT, a chatbot launched by Open AI last week.

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ChatGPT is based on the OpenAI GPT-3 language model. People have quickly discovered that while it responds to prompts in a “human-adjacent” way, there can be flaws in the responses it gives.

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Since its release, it has been requested in many ways, including to write new code and fix coding errors, while the chatbot can request more context when a human asks it to solve coding problems, as stated by OpenAI in the examples. But Open AI also notes that ChatGPT sometimes writes “plausible-sounding responses that are incorrect or nonsensical.”

This seems to be a key cause of its impact on Stack Overflow and its users looking for correct answers to coding problems. Also, because ChatGPT generates responses so quickly, some users provide many ChatGPT-generated responses without parsing them for correctness.

“The main problem is that while the responses that ChatGPT produces have a high error rate, they generally look good and the responses are very easy to produce,” Stack Overflow moderators say in a post.

StackOverflow imposed the temporary ban because the answers created by ChatGPT are “substantially harmful” both to the site and to users looking for correct answers.

“In general, because ChatGPT’s average rate of getting correct answers is too low, posting answers created by ChatGPT is substantially harmful to the site and to users asking or searching for correct answers,” he said.

Sam Altman, head of OpenAI, said on Twitter that since its launch last Wednesday, ChatGPT has more than a million users. Altman told Twitter owner Elon Musk that the average cost of each response was in “single-digit cents,” but he admitted that he would eventually need to monetize it due to its “mind-boggling” computing costs.

Some developers believe that ChatGPT’s impact on Stack Overflow was an obvious problem because it would allow users to game their reputation system.

“People posting GPT answers on stackoverflow for points without knowing if the answer is actually correct” is one of those problems that is too obvious to even foresee

— badidea 🪐 (@0xabad1dea) December 5, 2022

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow says that ChatGPT responses have “flooded” its volunteer-based quality curation infrastructure because a lot of shoddy responses are coming in.

So far, Stack Overflow has detected posts generated by ChatGPT in the “thousands”. The other problem is that many answers require detailed analysis by someone experienced in the subject to determine if the answer is bad.

As of the temporary policy, if any human user is detected posting responses generated by ChatGPT, Stack Overflow will impose “penalties” on the user, even if the post was acceptable.

“As such, we need to see the volume of these posts reduced and we need to be able to deal with the ones that go live quickly, which means dealing with users, rather than individual posts,” says Stack Overflow.

“So for now, using ChatGPT to create posts here on Stack Overflow is not allowed. If a user is believed to have used ChatGPT after this temporary policy is published, penalties will be imposed to prevent users from continuing to post said temporary policy.” content. , even if posts would be acceptable.”

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