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AI in Politics: South Africa Probes Allegations of Chatbot-Authoring Presidential Speech

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Israel Ojoko
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AI in Politics: South Africa Probes Allegations of Chatbot-Authoring Presidential Speech

South Africa is now the epicenter of a controversy that has triggered curiosity and concern worldwide. The South African government is conducting an investigation into claims that parts of President Cyril Ramaphosa's recent speech were not penned by him or his official speechwriters, but instead were generated by the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, ChatGPT.

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The Controversy Unfolds

Allegations surfaced on various online platforms suggesting that portions of the president's address didn't originate from his office. The South African presidency has firmly rejected these claims, maintaining the authenticity and originality of the speech. They have declared that the involvement of AI in crafting official speeches is an unacceptable practice, promising severe action if these reports are substantiated.

Speech Content Under Scrutiny

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The speech that sparked this controversy had President Cyril Ramaphosa urging African nations to safeguard the rights of women and girls, advocating for stronger policies against gender-based violence (GBV), and emphasizing the need for male involvement in combating GBV. This content is now under the lens, scrutinized for its authenticity.

Broader Implications

In the midst of this investigation, another controversy is brewing in South Africa. The National Freedom Party (NFP) has called for a formal inquiry into the alleged involvement of 28 banks in manipulating the rand from 2007 to 2023. This plea has cast a shadow on the South African Reserve Bank, which has been criticized for its silence regarding these recent revelations. The demand for a more extensive investigation into these allegations is growing stronger.

This dual controversy has ignited a debate about the role of AI in political communications and the larger implications for authenticity in public addresses. It has also cast light on the issue of transparency and accountability in financial institutions. As the world watches, the outcomes of these investigations could set precedents for future political and financial conduct.

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