I’m sure some of you have heard of ChatGPT by now. For the uninitiated, ChatGPT is a conversational AI language model by OpenAI that can generate all sorts of text responses, from simple trivia answers, poems and lyrics, text adventures, source code and all sorts of other funky stuff. The cool thing about it is that it’s not just any old chatbot like Cleverbot. It actually remembers the flow of the conversation you had with it, so you can build upon what you’ve asked it before, without ending up going in circles. It’s fun to play around with to see what it can come up with.
Though be advised, if you want to have a go at it to ask for specific advice, it will be confidently wrong about stuff as well. It’s trained from publicly available information on the internet. It’s most interesting to ask it about stuff you personally have some expertise in, to see how accurate it is, so don’t go asking it for medical or legal advice.
Anyway, I got the idea to ask it to write me a story in the style of NAR submissions, and this was its response first response (text copy below the image, so people don’t have to struggle with the image on mobile devices):
It was a typical weekday afternoon at the coffee shop where I work. The place was packed with customers, all looking for their caffeine fix. One of the regulars, a man in his mid-40s, walked up to the counter and placed his order.
“I’ll have a venti black coffee, please,” he said.
I prepared the coffee and handed it over to him. He took a sip, and then looked at me with a confused expression on his face.
“There’s something wrong with this coffee,” he said. “It tastes funny.”
I apologized and offered to make him a new one, but he insisted that there was something wrong with the beans we were using.
“I’m sorry, sir, but we use the same beans every day,” I explained. “There’s nothing wrong with them.”
The man became increasingly agitated and began to raise his voice.
“Well, I’m telling you, there’s something wrong with these beans!” he exclaimed. “I demand to speak to the manager!”
I tried to calm him down, but he was having none of it. He continued to rant and rave, causing a scene in the shop. Eventually, the manager came over to see what was going on.
The man launched into a tirade about the “bad” beans, and the manager patiently listened and tried to explain that there was nothing wrong with them. Finally, after several minutes of back and forth, the man stormed out of the shop, still muttering about the beans.
I couldn’t believe the ridiculousness of the situation. It was just a cup of coffee, after all. But some people will find any excuse to make a scene, I guess.