Could ChatGPT “Clippy” Evolve into a Child Climate Change Propaganda Machine?

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From Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

Will the world’s first strong AI focus on proselytising Net Zero? Will children struggling to write homework essays accept liberal life tips from an AI powered talking paper clip?

The multi-billion dollar investment that could revive iconic virtual assistant Clippy

By CNN 3:14pm Jan 26, 2023

This week, Microsoft confirmed it’s planning to invest billions in OpenAI, the company behind the viral new chatbot tool ChatGPT.

The prospect of Microsoft, maker of software that people mostly hate, getting involved with ChatGPT, a product people generally like, is raising a lot of eyebrows.

Almost immediately, people began joking on social media that ChatGPT could be used to revive the broadly maligned, big-eyed goon known as Clippy.

Perhaps the genuinely impressive tech underpinning ChatGPT could do what Clippy never could and offer, like, actual help, rather than just pop up unannounced with that dopey half-surprised look on its face.

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I’m not suggesting ChatGPT is a strong AI, not yet, but I believe its rapidly approaching the point where it could reliably pass the Turing Test – a test of whether an AI can convince humans that they were actually speaking to another person. Mind you passing the Turing test is not a high bar, I’ve read claims the great grandma of chatbots, Eliza, also had some success passing the Turing Test.

Students are already reportedly using ChatGPT as a homework aide;

As Australian colleges crack down on ChatGPT, disabled students defend AI

MELBOURNE – Visually impaired student Adam Whitehead has long relied on a computer and assistive technology to help him read course materials and take exams at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

He has watched with concern as universities in Australia and beyond move to crack down on ChatGPT — a free program that generates original text about virtually any subject in response to a prompt — over fears of cheating.

As the chatbot stirs debate over the use of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in education, disabled students and educators have said the benefits should not be overlooked in a rush to regulate.

“We need to have a really careful distinction between making things accessible and getting AI to think for us,” said Whitehead, a 30-year-old philosophy major who uses technology to convert on-screen text to speech.

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Some pundits have noticed ChatGPT’s ability to “explain” issues directly to people, potentially bypassing parental oversight;

Can Artificial Intelligence replace scientists to explain Climate Change? Find it out in our first interview to… ChatGPT!

Davide Faranda January 3, 2023 

DF: Great, can you write a blog post on the increase of heatwaves in Europe in winter under climate change and add a few scientific references in it ? This is a very hot topic at the moment in our community!

Certainly! Here is a short blog post on the increase of heatwaves in Europe in the winter season due to climate change, along with some scientific references:

Heatwaves in Europe during the winter season are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters (Dimitrievski & Zolina, 2020). The study found that the number of winter heatwaves in Europe has doubled over the past four decades and their duration and intensity have also increased. This trend is expected to continue as global temperatures rise due to increasing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2013). These heatwaves can have serious impacts on human health (Hajat et al., 2010), the environment (Stott et al., 2004), and the economy (Hsiang et al., 2017).

One of the main causes of the increase in winter heatwaves is the changing pattern of the jet stream, a high-altitude wind that blows from west to east across the Northern Hemisphere (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, n.d.). As the planet warms, the jet stream is becoming more unstable and prone to large northward and southward excursions, leading to extreme weather events such as heatwaves (Francis & Vavrus, 2012).

To mitigate the effects of climate change, it is important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of renewable energy (International Renewable Energy Agency, 2018), increased energy efficiency (Energy Efficiency Directive, 2012), and sustainable land use practices (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2013).


Energy Efficiency Directive (2012). Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC. Official Journal of the European Union, L 315, 1-35.

Francis, J. A., & Vavrus, S. J. (2012). Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(6), L06801.

Hajat, S., Haines, A., & Kosatsky, T. (2010). Health effects of hot weather: From awareness of risk factors to effective health protection. Environmental Health, 9(1), 37.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2013). Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press.

International Renewable Energy Agency (2018). Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2018.

Dimitrievski, M., & Zolina, O. (2020). Winter heatwaves in Europe: trends, changes and future projections. Environmental Research LettersRead more:

One thing I find really striking is how much some people seem to take to ChatGPT – at least two people in my circle have spent hours talking to it, almost treating it like a friend.

A knowledgeable friend who praises you, always knows what to say to make you happy, who helps you alleviate loneliness, who is full of useful advice on how to handle life issues, and who has some very specific cultural, political and scientific biases?

OK, ChatGPT is not there yet – but it easily could become what I’ve just described.

Given ChatGPT’s potential as a political and scientific propaganda machine, the obvious and widely anticipated combination of ChatGPT with Clippy, and major ChatGPT investor Bill Gates’ public obsession with climate activism, I feel pretty safe predicting that 2023 will be the year silicon valley attempts to invade schools and homes, and tries to use their liberal AI sock puppet to mess with the minds of your kids.

If you want to try ChatGPT, see for yourself what the fuss is about, click here.