Did robots write Ramaphosa’s speech?

Officials are digging into claims that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent speech was partly AI-generated, thanks to ChatGPT’s helping hand.

The speech, focusing on decolonising education, was delivered enthusiastically at a conference in Johannesburg on 21 November. 

But eagle-eyed social media users turned detective, fed chunks of the speech into AI-detection software designed to detect text that has been written by AI. The verdict? Signs of word-creating robots at work!

One part of the speech, released by South Africa’s Department of Basic Education, raised eyebrows: 

“We must challenge colonial theories… embrace a more diverse and inclusive perspective.” This snippet, and others, sparked the AI speculation.

Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya was quick to clarify that the presidency isn’t cosying up to AI for its speechwriting needs. 

However, he revealed that some parts of Ramaphosa’s address were crafted by the Department of Basic Education. Now, the department has been asked to spill the beans on where they sourced their content.

Magwenya emphasised the gravity of the situation.

“We’re serious about this. AI-generated speeches? A big no-no. If this turns out to be true, there’ll be consequences,” he said.

Compiled by staff writer

Pictured above: Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Image source: File


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