ChatGPT and Ideological Turing Test

It seems to me that ChatGPT should be able to pass the Ideological Turing Test—to generate a convincingly looking argument for any side of an issue. It is obvious how to use this ability for evil purposes: write the bottom line, and generate the arguments.

I think this can also be used for good purposes, and I invite you to brainstorm how. Here are some of my ideas:

Generate a heresy for yourself. People sometimes pretend to think critically about their own beliefs, and sometimes they kinda honestly try, but they still unconsciously avoid the weak points of their beliefs. Instead of generating a heretical thought that you know you can easily debunk, use ChatGPT to generate counter-arguments to your beliefs.

Prepare yourself for a debate on certain topic, by asking ChatGPT to generate arguments against your position. This might give you a decent idea of what arguments you should expect to meet in the real debate.

Perhaps teachers could use it similarly, to find out the most frequent misconceptions about the topic they are going to teach, and then they could adjust their lessons accordingly.

I wonder if listening to (ChatGPT-generated) “both sides of the story” could increase your chance to make the right guess. The experiment could be designed like this: An expert in certain field chooses a question that (according to the expert’s knowledge) has a known correct answer, but most people are not familiar with it. Then someone else asks ChatGPT to create convincing arguments for both sides. The participants are randomly divided into two groups. First group only hears the question, and then tries to guess the right answer. Second group hears the question, then reads the arguments for both sides, and then tries to guess the right answer. Will the second group be more successful on average? If the answer is “yes”, this may be a useful way to figure out the truth about questions where most people are wrong (and thus ChatGPT might mislead you if you ask it to only provide the single best answer).

But even if it does not increase your chance of guessing correctly, perhaps teachers could use this to create the feeling of curiosity in their students. Before the lesson, give students the generated arguments for both sides. During the lesson, explain how it actually works, and provide explanations why the other side is wrong. This may prevent hindsight bias (students concluding after the lesson that this was completely obvious, when in fact it wasn’t before the lesson).