These use cases show how language models can already simplify complicated bureaucratic processes.
Again and again there are reports of enthusiastic users who, thanks to ChatGPT, are able to do things that people without AI regularly fail to do. In extreme cases, it can even save a life, as in the case of a dog owner who saved his dog with a GPT-4 diagnosis.
But language models seem to be an effective tool not only against disease, but also against the world’s rampant bureaucracy. Joshua Browder, founder and CEO of the legal startup DoNotPay, attracted attention with a viral tweet: thanks to a simple request that included only his name, city of residence in California, and date of birth, GPT-4 had earned him about $210.
I asked the new ChatGPT browsing extension to find me some money. Within a minute, I had $210 on the way to my bank account from the California Government. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/mxfd8yOHAP
— Joshua Browder (@jbrowder1) April 2, 2023
To do this, he used GPT-4’s browser extension, which, like all extensions, is currently in closed testing. “Can you find me some money?” he asked the chatbot, which seemed to handle the task with flying colors.
Captcha was the last hurdle
Even the first attempt was successful, as ChatGPT had the idea to visit the California State Controller’s website. This site collects unclaimed refunds from companies whose owners could not be contacted.
GPT-4 navigated Browder through the site step-by-step until he was able to initiate two payouts from Nissan and JPMorgan. Only a captcha prevented the AI from completing the task alone.
Judging by the response to the tweet, which has been viewed more than five million times, Browder is not the only one enjoying an unexpected windfall. Others are also reporting unclaimed amounts ranging from two to $1,000.
ChatGPT saves on parking tickets
There are other recent stories of how ChatGPT can help overcome bureaucratic challenges. A British student who was ordered to pay £60 for a parking ticket turned to ChatGPT.
The AI helped her draft a letter appealing the payment because she had parked on her own street, for which she had a parking permit. In the end, the ticket was waived for her.
Certainly, ChatGPT will not be able to provide a satisfactory answer in every case without human help, but models or plugins for ChatGPT that specialize in bureaucratic and legal use cases could further strengthen the use of such language models for these purposes. OpenAI probably sees it the same way: In a GPT-4 demo, the company showed how the model answered questions about a tax return.