OpenAI claims the AI, ChatGPT, is meant to benefit all humanity but it is unavailable in 45 countries

Edwin Chabuka Avatar

ChatGPT has been the biggest news in tech for some time now. It’s essentially AI that can have natural feeling conversations in a chat-based environment. Oh, and it can also write your homework for you. In fact, it can do quite a lot of amazing things which we cannot exhaust into a whole list but will mention a couple of interesting ones.

ChatGPT is capable of getting a topic and maybe a bit of context if necessary and using that to produce either a script for a video, an article for a blog, or even an essay for a paper. It can even give you ideas for pieces of content and you can ask for it to create it with humour or in an aristocratic tone.

It is also capable of solving problems. At the moment the most popular one is identifying and offering solutions in buggy code. And it’s producing really solid solutions for the most part which the developer community is very thankful for and is absolutely taking advantage of.

ChatGPT can also pull off the same tasks that Google Assistant can. So asking it about the weather, some simple facts, language translations, academic problems, and such. It’s capable of giving answers or solutions to a majority of questions or problems you could have.

ChatGPT has its limitations

OpenAI says that ChatGPT will not always be 100% accurate and will require fact-checking even if the result it gives sounds plausible. So yes it can write your essay but you have to verify it. It’s also a bit sensitive to the phrasing of some inputs. That is if you ask it a question in a certain manner it may fail to provide a response but if you slightly rephrase the question it will produce a response.

Sometimes the AI might not ask for clarity even though the question asked might not be clear to it and as such provides the wrong answer to the question. And there is also the moderation of inappropriate requests which they say is still a work in progress where sometimes it might incorrectly flag inputs as inappropriate even though it is. Such can be racist comments, terrorism, or hate speech.

ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers. Fixing this issue is challenging, as: (1) during RL training, there’s currently no source of truth; (2) training the model to be more cautious causes it to decline questions that it can answer correctly; and (3) supervised training misleads the model because the ideal answer depends on what the model knows, rather than what the human demonstrator knows.

ChatGPT is sensitive to tweaks to the input phrasing or attempting the same prompt multiple times. For example, given one phrasing of a question, the model can claim to not know the answer, but given a slight rephrase, can answer correctly.

The model is often excessively verbose and overuses certain phrases, such as restating that it’s a language model trained by OpenAI. These issues arise from biases in the training data (trainers prefer longer answers that look more comprehensive) and well-known over-optimization issues.12

Ideally, the model would ask clarifying questions when the user provided an ambiguous query. Instead, our current models usually guess what the user intended.

While we’ve made efforts to make the model refuse inappropriate requests, it will sometimes respond to harmful instructions or exhibit biased behavior. We’re using the Moderation API to warn or block certain types of unsafe content, but we expect it to have some false negatives and positives for now. We’re eager to collect user feedback to aid our ongoing work to improve this system.

OpenAI blogpost

AI for the benefit of Humanity…excluding Zimbabwe and 44 other countries

OpenAI is a non-profit that has brought us the most exciting publicly available AI tools to date. The first was DALL·E 2, an AI that can create an image based on your description, for example, a sunflower wearing shades. The image it produces looks undeniably true to life even though it was artificially generated. Then there is ChatGPT which is fast turning into everyone’s internet companion for both work and play.

OpenAI’s mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI)—by which we mean highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work—benefits all of humanity.

OpenAI

The tech they are making is meant to benefit all of humanity however it is not made available to all humanity. At the moment a total of 45 countries are not supported by OpenAI and the reasons are not stated. What they do say is this, “Geographic diversity and broadly distributed benefits are very important to us and we are working hard to increase the number of locations we can provide safe access to. If your location does not currently support API access, please check back for updates at a later date.”

There is no reason why these countries are not supported or when these same countries will be added to the supported list. However, this is a common theme with US-Based services. Countries that exist on a list of threats to the US are denied access to these services. Someone actually asked ChatGPT why some countries are not supported by OpenAI and this is the response it gave.

OpenAl is a research organization that is based in the United States and is subject to U.S. laws and regulations. There may be certain legal or regulatory restrictions that apply to OpenAl’s operations in certain countries, which could limit its ability to offer its services or products in those countries. In addition, there may be technical or logistical challenges that make it difficult for OpenAl to operate in certain countries. It is also possible that OpenAl has chosen not to offer its services in certain countries for business or strategic reasons. It is worth noting that the availability of OpenAl’s products and services may change over time, so it is always a good idea to check with OpenAl directly for the most up-to-date information.

Modern Era YouTube Channel

When it comes to financial services we are used to this treatment in countries like Zimbabwe but with a service like ChatGPT which we just bundle up with services like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, it’s still a bit confusing as to why the service would be made unavailable in these countries listed below.

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Congo, Democratic Republic
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • French Southern Territories
  • Heard Island & Mcdonald Islands
  • Hong Kong
  • Iran, Islamic Republic Of
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  • Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
  • Macao
  • Mauritius
  • North Korea
  • Paraguay
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Viet Nam
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

How to use ChatGPT in unsupported regions

If you get the ‘Region is not supported’ notification then it’s going to be tricky to be able to use the app. A VPN can help with getting access to the signup page where you put in your email and password. Once you pass that stage you will need to put in a phone number for SMS verification. And if your phone number is from a country that is not supported by OpenAI you will not pass that stage.

So on top of a VPN, you can either ask a friend in a country that is supported by OpenAI to use their number so they get the SMS verification code or you can purchase a virtual phone number for a supported region through a service like Numero E-Sim.

It’s a bit of a faff for us in regions where the service is not available but if you really need to make use of this service then this might be the next best option as opposed to waiting indefinitely for whenever OpenAI eventually deems us worthy.

ChatGPT’s impact

ChatGPT is being described by its creators as an artificial general intelligence meaning the scope of its application is wider than other implementations of AI we are used to interacting with on a daily basis. Assistants found in smartphones are generally limited to answering questions as briefly as possible and executing commands within the scope of the Assistant, the device it is running on, and the devices connected to it.

Smartphone CPUs are also now coming with sections of them dedicated to AI and the scope of this AI is limited to image and video post-processing (computational photography), and software optimization based on the device user’s habits to extend battery life without compromising user experience.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT is a bit different in that it is essentially all the internet but in chat format. The scope of it is pretty general and much less focused on specific objectives as is the case with other forms of AI mentioned above.

Socially, it’s a natural way of conversing and the ability it has to contextually carry on a conversation has made it a virtual buddy that one can talk to about virtually anything. Football, Formula 1, or fashion, it’s got knowledge of any social topic you can choose from. It may not always be factually accurate but that is how social interactions tend to be.

Academically it’s being used extensively with a lot of students as a way of more efficiently solving problems. Students are running their assignment questions into the AI and getting very decent answers. The same goes for essays and papers and the interesting part is that what ChatGPT spits out is not plagiarised content meaning it will pass plagiarism detection tools colleges and universities are currently using…until colleges and universities have tools to detect AI-generated scripts. Talk about letting the tech work for you.

The workspace is not spared as well. Developers left, right and center are relying on ChatGPT to quickly spot bugs in their code and massively cut down on the time they spend debugging and combing through forums for a solution. Content creation as well is having a bit of a shift. Ideas for articles or full articles can be produced by ChatGPT. The same goes for script ideas or full scripts for videos which the AI can also generate in a naturally sounding format that is very hard to tell from content authored by a human.

Google sees ChatGPT as its biggest threat right now

Google’s rise to fame is its search engine. When they came into play they provided the fastest and most comprehensive search engine which grew to the 92% market share they enjoy right now. They build a solid ad and e-commerce business on top of search if you are to search for something on Google right now, at least one of the top results will be an advert. These ads alone constitute 88% of Google’s revenue.

ChatGPT can pretty much be used as a search engine that brings relevant and simple results, much less of a hassle compared to Google’s list of links. So as a tool for search, ChatGPT is currently a more useful tool unless you need to reference the actual website. Google was already working on its own chat-based AI they were calling LaMDA. In fact, some of the learning models being used by ChatGPT are based on LaMDA.

Google had not released its AI because of the same issues that plagued Microsoft and Meta’s AI chatbots. They all use information from the internet when generating responses and some of this information might be factual whilst some may be fiction. As a result, Microsoft and Meta’s bot’s ended up releasing hate speech and racist comments which resulted in their demise. Google cannot let such an activity threaten its brand reputation that it has worked so hard to build.

The existence of ChatGPT presents a new threat to the search giant which is their biggest revenue earner. Search Ads. And it was enough of a threat for Google to issue an internal ‘Code Red’ on the matter with an internal memo citing that some staff was asked to abandon projects they were working on so that it’s all hands on deck to figure out Google’s alternative to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and roll it out as soon as possible.

Smaller companies like OpenAI can take some risks that bigger companies like Google, Microsoft and Meta can’t and get away with it. And that is why ChatGPT is available right now. It’s definitely going to change things and some of those changes might include how we use the internet. It’s not going to be a one-stop solution. It’s chat-based so any task that chat cannot handle this AI won’t be able to provide a solution for it. However if your biggest headaches can be solved in a chat then what a time to be alive!

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30 comments

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  1. M

    I’m waiting for self-hosted AI systems. We need DIY AI systems were one sets up training data of one’s choosing and configure the algorithms to suit one’s own desires and biases.

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      There are plenty of self-hostable AI models, you just need to have the computing power required for that model.

      On GitHub you can get plenty of code with pre-trained weights, or you can train your own weights.

      1. So China is corrupt?😝

        1. Wumao Returns

          That’s a joke l, right?

        2. The Empress

          Great Firewall

  2. Mk

    Hey guys to access Chat GPT in Zimbabwe contact me @+263733623605 I my self have been using the service for a month now IT’S GREAT

    1. tjaymac

      Hi, i’ve been trying your number can’t get through

      1. Mk

        Hey so I have seen that many people need help accessing Chat GPT so I am going to post a step by step video on YouTube explaining how you are going to use chat GPT in Zimbabwe and other countries where it is not accessible subscribe to my YouTube channel 👉👇https://youtu.be/pgaLS2rA1gU so I will notify you when the video is live NEXT week

  3. Not Impressed

    Pakistan is not on the list but Zimbabwe is. So what did Zimbabwe earn this black mark. Not that I care about using this AI chatbot. I am curious if it is good in handling ambiguity. Otherwise I’m not impressed!

  4. I really believe Elon Musk is one of the greatest to ever exist on earth. Cool stuff being done by open AI. It’s amazing that this thing is being used for free. And then wonzwa dzimwe dzichit ma sanctions haasi Ku Affecter nyika yese😪

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      Ukraine is not under sanctions, but has a history of corruption. Maybe corruption is the common denominator, not sanctions… 😂

      1. So China is corrupt?😝

  5. Patience Young Padawan

    I think most of the big AI groups are moving with abundant caution. That includes limiting early access or spoon feeding datasets. Understandable when high profile mess ups can happen (RIP Tay. You were too innocent for this world). Give it some time and it will eventually be open to us, or not and we will just circumvent the geolock.

    1. Patience Young Padawan

      Hold up, hold up, hold up! Who’s on that list again? Isn’t this just a list of countries that have either turned off the internet or otherwise restricted freedom of information in some form or other! Lol, sorry guys but OpenAI is right! Imagine the incredible power a convincing and prolific AI like ChatGPT can have as a tool of oppression in the hands of some of these regimes! That’s a rabbit hole with actual dead bodies at the end!

  6. Mbonisi Mtunzi

    if you have a buddy in another country, you can ask for help with their sim so to register, i did so too.

    1. Mutherfukken Boarder Jampa

      It’s a good thing South Africa is not corrupt and is on the same side with the US. Definitely going there on my birthday. 18 March, here we come baby!

  7. Dambudzo Marechera

    ChatGPT is revolutionary guys! Now I’m really starting to love AI🙆

  8. The Empress

    Techzim is definitely one of the reasons why!
    They probably looked at the level of interest in technology that a country has amongst other factors , and all they saw was Techzim.
    Techzim the premiere technology news platform in Zimbabwe, which has a habit of posting articles as if it has ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
    – Posting irregularly
    – Dropping topics and not expanding on them even when comment section is on fire
    – Disappearing for days without even filler content scrapped from other websites posted on the site to show signs of life. And then all sudden posting a flurry of new content but regular users know that it won’t last.
    – Posting noticeboard like statements from companies with zero context or explanation of how/why this info is important/relavant to users or Zimbabweans in general eg…. https://www.techzim.co.zw/2022/12/ecosure-to-stop-providing-funeral-services-to-nssa-members/
    So what was I supposed to do with this info? Should I be happy, sad or angry? Techzim this is your job!
    So they probably looked at Zimbabwe considered the risks involved sanctions wise and the level of interest shown and thought it wasn’t necessary nd those that were really interested would find a way to use it.

    1. Emperor Golam

      I would love for you to become the Empress of my Marshmallow Empire. Will you please join me in my reign of spreading love and wisdom.

      Here’s my five hundred billion dollar bearer Cheque thought. I think Techzim has become a one man show. Guys like Leonard Sengere, Garikai Dzoma, Valentine Muhamba and the others are no longer there. They’ve decided to do other things in life that are more profitable. The only guy left is Edwin Chabuka. Also, these guys are putting too much effort on Pindula. Every five minutes there’s an article there. They literally just copy and paste articles there. This site is going to be dry soon

      Yours Sincerely
      Emperor Golam of Marshmallow Empire

    2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      There is a new TechZim author Chati Jipiti… 😂

      1. The Empress

        I’m kicking myself… For missing such an open chance to make that type of joke.
        The commentary would go something like this
        “…. such a wasted opportunity by The Empress, but clinical finishing by Imi Vanhu Musadaro! ”

  9. Bonzo

    CHAT-GPT is something really worthwhile. Whether you use it for academics, work, and or real life situations, you will not go wrong. It’s really is better than scrapping for quality responses from Google as it gives you brilliant and accurate feedback in a matter of seconds. As mentioned earlier, use a VPN and a friend’s number who does not reside in any of the 45 listed countries and you are good to go. Give it a try! I highly recommend.

  10. Chase
  11. Imwe Mbeu

    Took you this long 🤐
    ChatGPT answers are banned on Stack overflow & Reddit

    1. GOMS

      How these platform’ll detect chatgpt answers ?

      1. Chati Jipiti is real to me

        They might start putting more weight into monitoring for human input (typing cadence, mouse movements, challenge and response, activity before clicking into text fields etc). They can also train another AI to recognise the patterns in Chati Jipipiti’s output (read enough of its responses and you can get a feel for it too).

  12. Dr Why

    NYC schools block ChatGPT, fearing negative impact on learning
    Network ban comes amid ‘concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content.’
    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/01/nyc-schools-block-chatgpt-fearing-negative-impact-on-learning/

  13. Marcus

    To by bypass chatgpt answers just use 1 or more rephrase or paraphrase tools and just dont copy and paste read and understand the work

  14. Duane Andrea

    To access ChatGPT in Zimbabwe
    Download a VPN (I use Proton VPN) then get someone in SA to give you their number receive the OTP there and boom you are set

  15. Makoya

    you can use chatgpt without logging in. just send a whatsapp message [Open AI ] to +971 563 1234 22 to get a fresh link(they currently expire every 72 hours)

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