So, I asked ChatGPT about “The Voice”…

I’ve been dismayed by the vitriolic exchanges across social media platforms on the issue of “The Voice Referendum”. So, I turned to ChatGPT to see if the artificial intelligence response was any more edifying.

Now let me say, in the absence of having much detail about how it would work, that my understanding of the proposal is that Australians will be asked to vote on whether they approve changes to the Constitution that would allow the federal government to make laws for how an elected body (“The Voice”) should be established to make representations and recommendations to government on matters affecting Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders; and authorising government to take those representations and recommendations into account when setting policy or making laws.

Rather than asking ChatGPT directly about The Voice – particularly as its information source cuts off at September 2021 – I thought it better to ask it about the pros and cons of authorised lobby groups. The question I therefore formulated was:

Should governments give approved lobbyist status to selected groups?


I’d be interested to hear how you might have framed the question differently. But here’s the unabridged response I got:

As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or beliefs. However, I can provide some information and perspectives on the topic of approved lobbyist status for selected groups.

Lobbying is a legitimate activity that allows individuals and organizations to communicate with government officials to express their views and influence public policy. However, lobbying can also be a controversial and divisive issue, particularly when it involves the influence of special interests on government decision-making.

Some argue that giving approved lobbyist status to selected groups can help level the playing field and ensure that a wide range of voices are heard in the policymaking process. By officially recognizing certain organizations as legitimate representatives of specific interests, governments can provide these groups with greater access to decision-makers and resources to help them advocate for their causes.

On the other hand, critics argue that giving approved lobbyist status to selected groups can create an uneven playing field and give undue influence to powerful interests. By officially recognizing certain organizations as legitimate representatives, governments may be seen as endorsing their positions and granting them a privileged status that is not available to other groups. This can lead to perceptions of unfairness and undermine the legitimacy of the policymaking process.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to give approved lobbyist status to selected groups is a complex and nuanced one that will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific context and goals of the policymaking process. Governments should carefully consider the potential benefits and risks of such a policy before making a decision.

ChatGPT. “Should governments give approved lobbyist status to selected groups.” Response posted on GitHub, 27 February 2023. Accessed 27 February 2023.

That seems to be not such a bad framing of the issues, and it allows me to look at the debate from two perspectives. What I’ll be thinking about in the run up to the referendum is whether it is helpful and just to “level the playing field” by allowing The Voice to be raised in this way.

OK, so the response might be “artificial”. But it seems to restore an element of humanity, and now I’m wondering if ChatGPT can be used as a tool for gaining intelligence from public discussion, whilst eliminating a lot of the diatribe. I’d love to know what you think about that.

Andrew C. Wood

3 thoughts on “So, I asked ChatGPT about “The Voice”…

  1. ChatGPT is an interesting AI platform and I like the way it allows you to ask questions and get responses from people. It’s great for gaining intelligence and understanding from public discussion.


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