ChatGPT: the AI that will make human writing obsolete

Ever since I quit Twitter and joined Mastodon, I have seen posts by other users referencing ChatGPT and their experiences with this OpenAI. I didn’t take deeper notice until a few days ago when curiosity stroke. So, I went to ChatGPT and typed in a few stupid questions to challenge the artificial intelligence.

At first, I wanted for the generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) to write me a poem about Ludwig Wittgenstein. Apart from a few strange sounding rhymes and rhythm faux pas, I was actually impressed. But also shocked. Because within seconds, there was a new poem, I myself would have to sit one or two hours for. It was then, when I was taken the AI rather seriously and went for a new chat / conversation. You can read it here:

Tell me what you think about the people that ask you questions.

As a machine learning model, I do not have the ability to form opinions or have thoughts about people. My purpose is to assist users by providing helpful and accurate information based on the inputs given to me.

What do people ask you the most?

People ask me a wide variety of questions, but some of the most common topics include general knowledge, definitions, news, mathematics, and programming. Additionally, many people also use me to help them with writing and editing tasks, such as composing emails, writing essays, and generating summaries.

How would you summarise James Joyce’s Ulysses?

James Joyce’s “Ulysses” is a modernist novel that takes place in Dublin, Ireland, on June 16, 1904. It follows the lives of three main characters: Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom, and Molly Bloom. The novel is divided into 18 chapters, each with its own style and structure. The plot is not linear and it explores a wide range of themes including memory, identity, and the search for meaning in life. It is considered one of the most complex and difficult works of literature, but also one of the most influential of the 20th century. It is a challenging but rewarding read, those who persevere through the novel’s difficulty will be rewarded by the depth and richness of Joyce’s language and the complexity of his characters and themes.

I’ve read Ulysses and found it rather boring and time-wasting. Do you agree?

As a machine learning model, I do not have personal experiences or opinions. However, it is important to note that “Ulysses” is considered a classic of modern literature and is widely studied and admired for its innovative narrative technique and its exploration of themes such as memory, identity, and the search for meaning in life. However, it is a challenging read that require a lot of attention and patience, it is not a book for everyone and some people may find it boring or difficult to understand. It’s always important to remember that everyone has different tastes in literature, and it’s okay if “Ulysses” isn’t your cup of tea.

On the contrary, Thomas Bernhard is my favourite author. Would you agree that he’s one of the most important authors of the 20th century?

Thomas Bernhard is considered one of the most important and influential authors of the 20th century in German-speaking countries. His work is known for its dark humor, intense satire, and its deep exploration of the human condition. He is highly regarded by critics and is considered one of the greatest writers in contemporary literature. He is also known for his unique narrative style, characterized by long and complex sentences, repetition, and unconventional structure. His most famous works include “The Lime Works” and “The Loser”, are widely read and studied in German-speaking countries, but also translated to many languages and well-known by critics and specialized readers worldwide. Bernhard’s writing has had a significant impact on contemporary literature and continues to be highly regarded by readers, critics, and fellow writers.

What’s most interesting to me about the novels of Thomas Bernhard is their musical style. If you read Thomas Bernhard, it’s like listening to a piece of classical music. Do you understand this comparison?

Yes, I understand the comparison between the writing style of Thomas Bernhard and classical music. Bernhard’s writing is known for its musicality, characterized by its use of repetition, long and complex sentences, and unconventional structure. Just like classical music, Bernhard’s writing can be challenging and require a certain level of attention and engagement from the reader. Additionally, both classical music and Bernhard’s writing can be appreciated for their complexity, depth, and attention to detail. It’s often said that Bernhard’s writing demands active reading, much like listening to a complex piece of music, you’ll be rewarded by the beauty and the meaning behind it. This comparison is a common one, as many critics and readers have noted the musicality of Bernhard’s writing, this is one of the reasons that make his work so unique and admired.

Please, summarise “Wittgenstein’s Nephew” by Thomas Bernhard in one sentence.

“Wittgenstein’s Nephew” is a novel by Thomas Bernhard that tells the story of the narrator’s relationship with his friend Paul, who is the nephew of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, and his descent into mental illness, with the novel exploring themes of friendship, art, and the nature of truth and reality.

That was a nice conversation. Thank you!

You’re welcome! I’m glad I could help. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Right after I finished the chat / conversation, I listened to a feature in German Deutschlandfunk about it and what it means for universities and their students in particular. Because when it comes to writing essays, papers or even theses, you can basically ask the GPT to write a table of contents to a specific subject and then you work your way through every single chapter. You can even ask for sources, secondary literature and other references. It’s scary.

Because it makes human writing obsolete. When you think forward, with tools like ChatGPT you can easily compile newspapers, magazines and books. Perhaps a lector should have to have the final say. But within a few years, humans won’t care if the story comes from an AI or a real human mind.

When it comes to learning and studying, teachers will depent more on the spoken word rather than the written one. Let’s see if this dystopy will become real. From the chat / conversation above you can clearly recognize their still running deficits. I as a writer can definitely wait for it to become an actual competitor. May it still take a long time.

        © Dominik Alexander / 2023

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