Student overturns £60 parking ticket using ChatGPT

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Millie used the artificial intelligence software ChatGPT to appeal to York City Council over a wrongly issued parking ticket

A student has avoided paying a £60 parking fine by using the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT. The clever software, which launched in November 2022, is designed to assist people with everyday tasks such as writing emails and text messages, and to help answer questions.

After she was slapped with a parking ticket, Millie Houlton, a 22-year-old from York, used the language tool to write a formal appeal to York City Council.

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She said to the software "please help me write a letter to the council, they gave me a parking ticket" before sending it off to the local authority.

The student added that she was wrongly fined as she’d been allowed to park on the street where she placed her vehicle.

Millie, who is in her final year of her events and business management degree, admitted that she was considering paying the £60 before she eventually turned to the chatbot program.

She told the BBC: "I was like, ‘oh I don’t need this fine, I’m a student’ but trying to articulate what I wanted to say was pretty difficult so I thought I’ll just see if ChatGPT can do it for me.

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"I put in all my details about where and when it happened, why it was wrong and my reference for the fine and it came back with this perfectly formed personalised response within minutes."

Prior to the incident, Millie also used ChatGPT for social activities like an Easter egg hunt for her running club. “I explained it was an Easter theme, put in all the locations that I wanted to go to and gave me riddles, clues and everything,” she added.

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