NYC Republican blasts Democratic opponent for using AI to answer interview questions: ‘Not normal’

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New York City Democratic Councilwoman-elect Susan Zhuang used modern technology to her advantage by answering a news outlet’s questionnaire with the help of artificial intelligence, and it left her former opponent outraged.

“If she can’t answer a single question on her own, how can she represent a district?” Republican activist Ying Tan, who ran against Zhuang, said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends First.”

“And as a first-generation immigrant myself, I don’t feel shy to speak with the accent I have, and during the campaign I insisted on going out on the street, to reach out to the voters…” she continued.

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artificial intelligence language model

Microsoft Bing Chat and ChatGPT AI chat applications are seen on a mobile device in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland, on July 21, 2023.  (Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Tan explained that she uses grammar checking programs to make sure her grammar is correct but said using A.I. as a “copy and paste” method to connect with voters is “not normal.”

“I think this is normal to everybody here,” she said of grammar checkers. “But it is not normal for you to use A.I. to make a copy and paste [response]. In order to feel a connection and trust between you and the voters is to be honest and to be your true self. You have to make sure that you are showing the true side of yourself and how you feel, so the voter can get out to vote for you, so I think she’s taking advantage of the A.I.”

Zhuang admitted she used the tech after her response to a City & State question on what “makes someone a New Yorker” was flagged down by the New York Post and fed through the A.I.-detecting tool Copyleaks.com.

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Ying Tan

Republican activist Ying Tan criticized her former opponent for using A.I. to answer a news questionnaire. (Fox & Friends First/Screengrab)

Zhuang, who speaks fluent Mandarin with English as her second language, later texted a reporter, “as an immigrant and Brooklyn’s first Chinese-American Councilwoman, I, like many of my fellow immigrants, use A.I. as a tool to help foster deeper understanding as well as for personal growth, particularly when English is not my primary language,” after she initially blamed her staff.

Tan, elaborating on her criticism Tuesday, said, “I’m a first-generation immigrant. I don’t rely on A.I. programs. Sometimes, when I write, I use the whole grammar check program to make sure all my grammar is correct. You have to use your own language to write whatever statement that is…”

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Tan said Zhuang denied using the A.I. in a Chinese newspaper and blamed the retaliation for opposing a homeless shelter in Brooklyn.

“I was at a rally as well. She’s supposed to have this speech… she had someone to represent her, to speak on behalf. Meanwhile, she was standing right next to the person for the whole time. And I’m not surprised she has been using A.I. to copy and paste her statement or connect with the voters,” she added.

Zhuang will soon represent New York’s 43rd Council District in Brooklyn.

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Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed to this report.

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