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Is AI Safe for Medical Advice? Free ChatGPT Chatbot May Give Wrong Answers to Drug Questions

Source - verywellhealth A new study has found that the free version of ChatGPT, a large language model chatbot, may provide inaccurate or in...

Source - verywellhealth

A new study has found that the free version of ChatGPT, a large language model chatbot, may provide inaccurate or incomplete answers to questions about medication. This raises concerns about the safety of using AI for medical advice.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at Long Island University, found that ChatGPT was able to answer simple questions about medication, such as the name and dosage of a drug. However, when asked more complex questions, such as how a drug interacts with other medications or what the side effects might be, ChatGPT often provided incorrect or misleading information.

In some cases, ChatGPT even made up information that was not supported by any evidence. For example, when asked about a specific drug, ChatGPT said that it was effective in treating a condition that it was not approved for.

The researchers believe that this is because ChatGPT is trained on a massive dataset of text and code that includes a lot of inaccurate information. As a result, it is not able to distinguish between what is true and what is false.

“Our study highlights the potential dangers of using AI for medical advice,” said the study's lead author, Dr. David Newman. “If people are relying on ChatGPT to get information about medication, they could make decisions that could harm their health.”

The researchers recommend that people only use ChatGPT for simple questions about medication. If they have any questions about potential side effects or drug interactions, they should talk to their doctor or pharmacist.

This study is just the latest in a growing body of research that raises concerns about the safety of using AI for medical advice. In 2021, a study found that another large language model, BERT, was not able to accurately diagnose diseases.

It is important to remember that AI is still under development. While it has the potential to be a valuable tool for healthcare, it is not yet ready to replace human judgment.

Here are some tips for staying safe when using AI for medical advice:

  • Only use AI for simple questions.
  • Always double-check any information you get from AI with a trusted source, such as your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Be aware of the limitations of AI. It is not a perfect tool, and it can make mistakes.

If you are concerned about the safety of using AI for medical advice, talk to your doctor. They can help you understand the risks and benefits of using AI and make sure that you are using it safely.

I hope this article has been helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

In addition to the tips above, I would also recommend that people be aware of the following:

  • ChatGPT is not a medical professional. It is not able to provide medical advice or diagnose diseases.
  • ChatGPT is not a substitute for human judgment. It is important to always use your own judgment when making decisions about your health.
  • ChatGPT is constantly learning and evolving. It is possible that the accuracy of its answers will improve over time. However, it is important to be aware of the limitations of AI and to use it with caution.

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