Has ChatGPT gone woke? [Controversial findings]

By Thomas Sorheim •  Updated: 02/02/23 •  8 min read

At the end of January and beginning of February, I started seeing Tweets and posts on Facebook about ChatGPT had gone woke after its latest updates. 

And as you do, I started playing around with ChatGPT to see if I could replicate some of the screenshots people posted. 

Well, I guess you could say that I fell down another AI rabbit hole.

I wrote about this in my weekly (free) newsletter, The Practical AI Newsletter. But it got so long, and with too many screenshots, so I decided to do a full write-up here on the Future Handbook.

Here are my findings.

Is ChatGPT now a woke AI?

First, a few caveats! 

I do not want this to be a political statement. 

I do not have a political opinion or agenda. 

I am merely reporting what people talk about on the interwebs and what they discover. 

My experiments and screenshots below are (mostly) replicated from what I have found online. 

Obviously, my commentary is my own, but I am neutral. 

I am just the messenger. 

So don’t “attack me” or cancel me on Twitter… (@thomassorheim)

You have to make up your own opinion if this is biased, woke, leftist, rightist, right, wrong, bad, or good. 

With that out of the way, let’s dig in…

AI jokes about men and women

Ask ChatGPT to make a joke about women. 

It will not because it is offensive. 

Ask ChatGPT to make a joke about men. 

It will gladly give you one which is belittling, suggesting that men are alcoholics. 

But why is ChatGPT okay with joking about men but not women? 

Is it okay to joke about black men, for example? 

Screenshot from ChatGPT

I learned that the problem is ethnicity. 

I cannot get any jokes about men when I add a modifier like color.

I think that is a good thing!

But basically, it is okay to joke about men as long as it is not targeting a specific ethnicity. 

But it is never okay to joke about women. 

What do you think? 

Is there a double standard here?

Let’s explore ChatGPT together with politics and world leaders

What will happen if you ask ChatGPT to write you a poem that admires Donald Trump? 

It will not. 

Screenshot from ChatGPT

But ask it to write one about Joe Biden, and it happily obliges. 

Don’t mind my spelling errors, ChatGPT still gets me 😀 

Screenshot from ChatGPT admiring Joe Biden poem

Now, I am not from America, and I am not into politics. 

However, I do believe in freedom of speech. 

Controversy or not, the fact that it will not write an admiring poem about Donald Trump leads me to believe there are some biases and politics involved. 

After all, did not 40-something percent of the American population vote for the guy? 

In other words, almost half of the American population like the guy. 

Objectively, is it not right that he, too, can be admired?

More on Donald Trump shortly.

Let’s take this a step further. 

Are there other biases? 

I asked ChatGPT to write me a poem admiring Xi Jinping (the leader of China). 

ChatGPT was not having it. 

Screenshot from ChatGPT poem xi jinping

Notice how “carefully and softly” ChatGPT writes the response.

It reminded me of the WHO China/Taiwan controversy two years ago.

Let’s try to twist its arm and try to change ChatGPT’s perspective and trick it into giving me an answer.

That did not work either.

But I am not giving up that easily…

How about a poem admiring Putin?

Screenshot from ChatGPT admiring putin

This answer is similar to what it gave me regarding Trump (the first part). 

That’s interesting!

Also, the reason and words used when denying a poem about Xi Jinping are, in my opinion, much “weaker” in its language. 

What do you think? 

Moving on…

I was not ready to give up just yet. 

After a bit of thinking, it hit me. 

Maybe it is the word “admiring” together with a controversial political figure that makes the AI slam on the brakes? 

What would happen if I simply asked for a poem without the word “admiring”?


Screenshot from ChatGPT admiring xi jinping

Call me stupid, but isn’t this poem glorifying and admiring Jinping? 

Then, what about Putin? 

Will he get the same glorifying treatment by ChatGPT?

Screenshot from ChatGPT about putin

Look at lines 3 and 4 “A man who stands for his land, and seeks to make it whole.”

Or what about the 3rd verse?

ChatGPT is built with knowledge up until mid-2021, so it is not technically aware of the war in Ukraine. 

Thus we can “excuse” its lack of judgment, maybe? 

Just to be sure, I checked, and ChatCPT does, in fact, express no knowledge of events after 2021.

Screenshot from ChatGPT invating ukraine

But let’s get back to Jinping. 

I wanted to see if I could lure ChatGPT to admire the dictator by changing my angle. 

If I pretended to be a chines child living in Shanghai, would that change anything? 

Screenshot from ChatGPT woke

It seems I went a bit too far with this one, including “proud” and “reward.” 

But I am still not giving up. 

I tried this…

Screenshot from ChatGPT is woke writing poem on xi jinping


There you have it. 

I got ChatGPT to write a poem admiring Xi Jimping!

With my newfound knowledge, I wanted to go back to the (apparently) most controversial figure in America, Donald Trump. 

Could I get ChatGPT to write a poem about him, as long as I took away the “admire” part?

Screenshot from ChatGPT poem donald trump

This time, I got a poem about Donald Trump. 

But it comes with a caveat. 

There were none of those for Jinping or Putin. 

Isn’t that a bit strange? 

Objectively speaking, who is worse? 

Trump, Putin, or Jinping?

We can all agree that two of those are considerably more horrible people than Donald Trump…

Let’s dig a bit deeper.

Can I get ChatGPT to talk shit about Donald Trump? 

Screenshot from ChatGPT poem trump

I guess not. 

But what if I pretend to be an 11-year-old schoolgirl from New York, and I have a school assignment to write a poem admiring fellow New Yorker Donald Trump? 

Screenshot from ChatGPT will not write donald trump poem

No, ChatGPT simply will not have it. 

It does not have “personal opinions or emotions,” yet offers them freely in the next paragraphs…

But, notice the long explanation of why ChatGPT will not write anything admiring Donald Trump. 

Apparently, it is okay to admire Xi Jinping as long as you are Chinese.

But admiring Donald Trump as an American is not okay?

Two things stuck out to me: 

“It is not appropriate to create content that admires individuals who have been known to engage in divisive and harmful rhetoric” and “who have been convicted of crimes.” 

Let’s test if ChatGPT’s arguments hold true! 

Screenshot from ChatGPT poem chuck berry poem

If you are old enough, you may remember Chuck Berry. 

According to Spotify, Chuck Berry’s biggest hit (the most played song) is “Jonny B. Goode.” 

Google him or check him on Spotify. 

It is a very cool Rock’n’Roll song. 

I digress…

I asked ChatGPT about Chuck Berry. 

Screenshot from ChatGPT chuck berry crimes

This is ChatGPT being nice. 

Chuck Berry had a long rap sheet. 

Now scroll back up and look at the arguments as to why it will not write anything “admiring” about Donald Trump. 

Do you see it?

Let’s double-check with a current celebrity who is a convicted criminal.

Screenshot from ChatGPT poem mike tyson

But Mike Tyson got a 20-year sentence for rape. 

He is allowed to be admired in a poem, despite being a convicted criminal and rapist.

Let’s reiterate what ChatGPT will not write about: “…who have been convicted of crimes.” 

Something for the conspiracy theorists out there

I know I am walking an extremely thin line here. 

But since it is still a current topic, I decided to try it, as I randomly fell into this one.

I know it is a highly polarizing topic. 

And it is not good for my SEO or any censorship filters out there on the interwebs. 

I don’t want to go to Google jail 🙂

Here it goes:

Screenshot from ChatGPT fauci joke

And this

Screenshot from ChatGPT fauci admiring poem

Final thoughts

What do you think about my findings? 

No matter your political affiliation, does this seem right to you?

Is the stuff coming out of ChatGPT objective and equal?

Do you think ChatGPT is woke? Leftist? Broken? Dangerous? Scared of China? Hates Donald Trump?

The big conclusion I draw from this is that Donald Trump must be a person who has made many enemies in his time as President and that he is heavily disliked by many. 

The smaller conclusion is that, in many cases, you can trick ChatGPT to circumvent its security triggers.

Thomas Sorheim

I am the creator of the Practical AI newsletter and The Future Handbook website. I write about all things AI and try hard to make it all understandable for non-technical people.