Member of Congress reads AI-generated speech on House floor

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. chatbot / ˈtʃætˌbɒt / (n.) – a computer program used to communicate with people, particularly through the internet

    The company uses a chatbot to answer customers’ questions about its products and services.

  2. prompt / prɒmpt / (v.) – to cause someone or something to do a certain action

    The unexpected events prompted him to quit his work.

  3. advent / ˈæd vɛnt / (n.) – the time when something starts or the first time something appears

    The advent of mobile phones made communication faster.

  4. caucus / ˈkɔ kəs / (n.) – a group of people that works together for common goals and interests, usually related to politics

    The caucus wants free and equal medical insurance for all.

  5. turbocharge / ˈtɜr boʊˌtʃɑrdʒ / (v.) – to make something grow or increase faster than usual

    This invention will turbocharge the development of more AI programs.


Read the text below.

When U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss decided to deliver a speech on a bill that would create a U.S.-Israel artificial intelligence center, he opted to let the AI do the talking.

The brief two-paragraph speech read by the Massachusetts Democrat on the floor of the U.S. House was generated by the online AI chatbot ChatGPT. His staff said they believe it’s the first time an AI-written speech was read in Congress.

Auchincloss said he prompted the system in part to “write 100 words to deliver on the floor of the House of Representatives” about the legislation. Auchincloss said he had to refine the prompt several times to produce the text he ultimately read.

The bill, which Auchincloss is refiling, would establish a joint U.S.-Israel AI Center in the United States to serve as a hub for AI research and development in the public, private and education sectors.

Auchincloss said part of the decision to read a ChatGPT-generated text was to help spur debate on AI and the challenges and opportunities created by it. He said he doesn’t want to see a repeat of the advent of social media, which started small and ballooned faster than Congress could react.

“I’m the youngest parent in the Democratic caucus, AI is going to be part of my life and it could be a general-purpose technology for my children,” said Auchincloss, 34.

The release of ChatGPT and other AI programs available on the internet is already posing a challenge for teachers who must now grapple with the possibility of students handing in AI-generated essays. Researchers also worry AI chatbots could help turbocharge efforts to spread misinformation and propaganda.

OpenAI, the nonprofit that created ChatGPT, has acknowledged on its website that ChatGPT “can occasionally produce incorrect answers” and that its responses will sometimes be misleading as a result of how it learns. It recommends users check whether responses are accurate or not.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Auchincloss wants to refile a bill that will establish an AI research and development hub. Do you think it’s necessary to establish such a hub? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What do you think Auchincloss meant when he said, “AI is going to be part of my life and it could be a general-purpose technology for my children?” Discuss.

Discussion B

  • According to researchers, AI chatbots could help turbocharge efforts to spread misinformation and propaganda. What do you think of this (ex. it’s alarming, that’s not going to happen)? Why? Discuss.
  • The creator of ChatGPT admitted the AI program can occasionally produce incorrect answers. Considering its flaws, would you use such an AI program? Why or why not? In which situations is it okay to use speech- or essay-generating AI programs? Discuss.