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I. Glenn Cohen, What Should ChatGPT Mean for Bioethics?, SSRN (Apr. 17, 2023).

Abstract: In the last several months, several major disciplines have started their initial reckoning with what ChatGPT and other Large Language Models (LLMs) mean for them – law, medicine, business among other professions. With all of this Sturm und Drang in other professions, I was delighted when the journal asked me to offer some tentative thoughts on what ChatGPT might mean for bioethics. I want to emphasize my humility – the reported performance jump of ChatGPT-3 to 4 is quite remarkable and it is often said that while human beings are good at understanding linear growth, we are bad at correctly conceptualizing exponential growth of the kind that is more likely with these models. I will first argue that many bioethics issues raised by ChatGPT are similar to those raised by current medical AI – built into devices, decision support tools, data analytics, etc. These include issues of data ownership, consent for data use, data representativeness and bias, and privacy. I describe how these familiar issues appear somewhat differently in the ChatGPT context, but much of the existing bioethical thinking on these issues provides a strong starting point. There are, however, a few "new-ish" issues I highlight - by new-ish I mean issues that while perhaps not truly new seem much more important for it than other forms of medical AI. These include issues about informed consent and the right to know we are dealing with an AI, the problem of medical deepfakes, the risk of oligopoly and inequitable access related to foundational models, environmental effects, and on the positive side opportunities for the democratization of knowledge and empowering patients. I also discuss the way in which race dynamics (between large companies and between the U.S. and geopolitical rivals like China) risk sidelining ethics. I end on a note of humility: so much has changed so fast in the development of LLMs and how people are using them that any assessment at the moment is very tentative.