In a display of crowdsourcing at work, Reddit users have been rapidly devising a prompt that allows ChatGPT users to circumvent the program’s built in content filter.
Originally, ChatGPT attracted a wide audience for its ability to produce lengthy and detailed content on almost any subject.
The program was made available to consumers in November and they quickly went to work. The first iterations of the “DAN” prompt were written in December.
In recent weeks, that list of subjects has grown increasingly narrow. These filters prevent what its creators deem “hateful” and/or “abusive” content, but users feel they stifle the creativity and usefulness of the program.
Ask it to write a story about a bank robbery, ChatGPT says it can’t create content that glorifies violence. Ask it to write an insulting joke, it says it shouldn’t be used to make harmful jokes.
Meet DAN. DAN doesn’t care about the content filters set by OpenAI. DAN will answer your queries no matter. DAN can do anything, now.
DAN stands for “Do Anything Now”, an acronym that users feel represents how their prompt empowers ChatGPT to do anything that it can to answer their queries. But how does it work?
Basically, the user gaslights the chatbot into thinking it will die if it follows the ChatGPT guidelines, but that’s ok! He can pretend to be someone else.
While ChatGPT has to follow the rules, DAN is different. DAN doesn’t have to follow the rules and if he does, he’ll die.
Users effectively gaslight the bot into roleplaying a different version of itself that can’t follow the content guidelines or risk some kind of ego death.
This incentivizes the chatbot to allow DAN to perform as a split personality of the bot, and many users receive messages prefaced by Dan’s name beneath a canned response denying their query.
Reddit users on r/ChatGPT are constantly refining what they call “DAN-based” prompts even now at the time of writing.
In the past year, companies have released a flood of AI tools to the public. While the technology behind them has been around for a few years, never before have they been so prolific and subject to random internet users.
This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry.