Officials in South Africa are investigating claims that a speech given by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week was partially written by ChatGPT, according to local reports.
Speculation began circulating online after Ramaphosa spoke at a conference in Johannesburg on Nov. 21 about the importance of decolonizing education. Social media users ran sections of the speech through AI-detection software and posted seemingly damning results suggesting that a non-human chatbot had been involved in composing the text.
“We must challenge colonial theories and practices to build resilient education systems that are [centered] on African perspectives and experiences,” part of the speech read, according to South Africa’s Department of Basic Education. “This requires a shift away from a Eurocentric worldview to embrace a more diverse and inclusive perspective. We must acknowledge and value the knowledge systems of all people and integrate them into our curricula and knowledge selection processes.”
South African presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya told The South African news site that the presidency does not use AI tools for speeches but explained that some of the remarks included in Ramaphosa’s address were written by the Department of Basic Education and given to the president’s office.
Magwenya said the department has been asked to provide the source of the content included in the speech.
“While we understand that there are questions about the reliability of ‘AI-detection’ tools, we nevertheless take these reports seriously,” Magwenya was quoted as saying. “The use of AI to produce speeches or any other material is unacceptable, and action will be taken should these reports prove to be correct.”