Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, shocked hi-tech professionals at a major cybersecurity convention in Tel Aviv on Wednesday when he revealed that the opening part of his speech was written by artificial intelligence software.
In a recorded video greeting for Cybertech Global Tel Aviv 2023, Mr Herzog said: “I am truly proud to be the president of a country that is home to such a vibrant and innovative hi-tech industry.
“Over the past few decades, Israel has consistently been at the forefront of technological advancement, and our achievements in the fields of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data are truly impressive.
“From the development of cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies to the establishment of successful startups, Israeli hi-tech companies have made a significant impact on the global stage.”
The Israeli president then revealed to a stunned audience of thousands of hi-tech entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv that this opening section was written by a “special helper”: OpenAI’s ChatGPT artificial intelligence bot, which has taken the world by storm and is already shaking up major industries.
Israel has a growing reputation as a cybersecurity and hi-tech superpower, and the Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv is known as a global tech hub producing a disproportionate number of start-ups and unicorns – so it’s no surprise that Israel’s president is the first world leader, as far as can be established, to admit to using artificial intelligence to help write a speech.
Mr Herzog’s speech, it is understood, was recorded two days before US Representative Jake Auchincloss, a Democratic congressman, read a two-paragraph speech generated by the ChatGPT AI bot on the floor of the House of Representatives – a first for the US Congress.
The rapid introduction of artificial intelligence has reignited concerns worldwide about robots taking people’s jobs, but Isaac Herzog, Israel’s president since July 2021, emphasized in his speech that AI is not about to replace human beings any time soon.
“Lines of code will never replace sequences of DNA; hardware and software can never replace human-ware,” said Herzog, urging the estimated nearly 20,000 attendees at Cybertech Global Tel Aviv 2023 that the “ultimate challenge” in this “great new age of discovery” is to “set our sights on the horizon, but on our fellow humans as well.”
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Politicians often like to end speeches with inspirational quotes, and President Herzog was no exception – revealing that he asked the ChatGPT bot to come up with its own “inspirational quote,” which the Office of the President of Israel confirms was generated with a prompt to write an “inspirational quote about the role of humanity in a world of superhuman technology.”
“Let us not forget that our humanity is what makes us truly special,” President Herzog told the cyber conference in Tel Aviv.
“It is not the machines that will shape our destiny, but rather our hearts, minds, and determination to create a brighter tomorrow for all of humanity.”