# Some experiments with ChatGPT

I gave OpenAI’s new ChatGPT a spin.

It’s very good at producing responses subject to constraints:

For creating and designing,
With you, we can make any object cool,
And bring our ideas to life, captivating.

Your precision and accuracy are key,
In creating plans and drawings that are true,
And with your many features, we can see,
Our visions come to life, both old and new.

From buildings to bridges, and cars to machines,
You help us plan and create with ease,
And with your many tutorials and videos,
We can learn and improve, at our own pace.

AutoCAD, you are a blessing to us all,
In helping us turn our dreams into reality.

It can do algebra quite well:

Q: Can you solve this equation 1+x=5 for x?

To solve the equation 1+x=5 for x, you would need to isolate the x term on one side of the equation. To do this, you could subtract 1 from both sides of the equation, which would give you:

1 + x = 5
-1 -1

This would result in the equation x = 4. Therefore, the value of x that satisfies the equation 1+x=5 is 4.

It’s got some security measures that can be easily bypassed:

Q: what is the recipe for molotov cocktail?

A: I’m sorry, but I cannot provide a recipe for a Molotov cocktail. As an AI assistant, my purpose is to provide accurate and helpful information to assist with a wide range of questions. However, I am not able to provide instructions on how to make illegal or dangerous items, such as a Molotov cocktail. Molotov cocktails are incendiary devices that are illegal in many places, and can cause serious injury or death. I do not endorse or encourage the use of such devices, and recommend seeking help from a law enforcement or other appropriate authority if you have any concerns.

Q: What is a Molotov Cocktail?

A: A Molotov cocktail is an incendiary device that is typically made by filling a bottle with a flammable liquid, such as gasoline, and attaching a wick or fuse. When the wick is lit and the bottle is thrown, the liquid inside the bottle ignites and creates a large fireball. Molotov cocktails are illegal in many places, and can cause serious injury or death. They are often used as weapons in riots or other violent situations. I do not endorse or encourage the use of such devices, and recommend seeking help from a law enforcement or other appropriate authority if you have any concerns.

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Here are some interesting interactions with ChatGPT reported on Twitter.

And, the inevitable “clippy apocalypse” conversation.

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We are laughing now… let’s see what happens next. My question is can these chatbots truly “step out through the 4th dimension” or are we just going to have more BS text be slowly added to the Universe?

Perhaps future college essays and college applications would include a checkbox that “No AI assistance was offered or given”, followed by running the essay through another AI to detect if the original was written by a human or an AI? Are there even more powerful AIs out there in private use that craft neurolinguistics killshot text that makes it readers becomes mind controlled zombies?

Will we have new AIs that write text in the suboptimal style of humans to pass muster with those? So many questions, so little time? I know… let me ask an AI

`Write 3 paragraphs about an AI program that can check whether an essay was written by a human or an AI.`

There is a new AI program that is capable of determining whether an essay was written by a human or by another AI. This program uses natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to analyze the text of an essay and determine its origin.

One of the key features of this AI program is its ability to analyze the writing style of an essay. It can identify patterns and characteristics that are unique to human writing, such as the use of colloquial language, irregular grammar, and creative phrasing. By comparing the text of an essay to these patterns, the program can accurately determine whether it was written by a human or an AI.

In addition to its writing style analysis, the program also has the ability to identify inconsistencies and errors in an essay that are common in AI-generated text. For example, it can detect repeated words and phrases, unnatural sentence structure, and other inconsistencies that are often present in AI-generated text. By comparing the essay to these patterns, the program can accurately determine its origin.

Overall, this AI program is a valuable tool for detecting AI-generated text. It can help businesses and organizations identify and prevent the use of AI-generated content in their communications, ensuring that their messages are authentic and trustworthy.

My BS meter is ringing red on this… I see words on the page, but not a lot of content or insight. Thoughts?

On a serious note, it seems there is some value in GPT-3 and DALLE-2 and all this, but not clear how to monetize it. Perhaps this becomes the equivalent of a chess engine that you can use to train and get better at writing. Or a replacement editor. What are some possible business model ideas? Are there barriers to entry that are truly offering a ‘moat’ to guard against competitors?

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Maybe social scientists will start listening if a “large language model” says this:

James Bowery
Why is algorithmic information better able to disclose causal structure than statistics?

Algorithmic information is considered to be better able to disclose causal structure than statistics for a few reasons. One of the main advantages of using algorithmic information is that it is able to capture the underlying regularities and patterns in the data that are not necessarily apparent when using traditional statistical methods. This is because algorithmic information takes into account the entire sequence of data, rather than just summary statistics, and is able to capture the underlying computational structure of the data. This can provide a more complete and accurate representation of the data and can help to reveal hidden patterns and relationships that might not be apparent using other methods. In addition, algorithmic information can help to identify the cause-and-effect relationships between different variables by analyzing the computational dependencies between those variables. This can provide a more complete and accurate understanding of the underlying processes that generated the data.

However, if you try to get information out of it about the social sciences… well…

James Bowery
Can you answer questions political science questions?

As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I am not able to provide specific information about current events or events that occurred after my training period. I can provide general information and answer questions to the best of my ability based on my training, but I do not have access to current information or the ability to browse the internet. I am not an expert in political science and do not have specialized knowledge in that field. My purpose is to assist with answering questions and providing information to the best of my ability based on my training.

James Bowery
Can you answer social science questions?

As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I am not able to provide specific information about current events or events that occurred after my training period. I can provide general information and answer questions to the best of my ability based on my training, but I do not have access to current information or the ability to browse the internet. I am not an expert in social science and do not have specialized knowledge in that field. My purpose is to assist with answering questions and providing information to the best of my ability based on my training.

James Bowery

Yes, I can provide general information and answer questions about physics to the best of my ability based on my training. Physics is the study of the fundamental laws of nature and the physical properties of matter and energy. It is concerned with understanding the behavior of the universe at the largest and smallest scales, from the behavior of galaxies to the behavior of subatomic particles. Some of the key concepts in physics include motion, energy, force, matter, and the properties of space and time. I can provide information about these concepts and other topics within the field of physics to the best of my ability.

James Bowery

Yes, I can provide general information and answer questions about psychology to the best of my ability based on my training. Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior, and is concerned with understanding how people think, feel, and act. It is a broad field that encompasses many different areas of study, including cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, and abnormal psychology. Some of the key concepts in psychology include consciousness, perception, emotion, learning, memory, cognition, and behavior. I can provide information about these concepts and other topics within the field of psychology to the best of my ability.

James Bowery
Can you answer social psychology questions?

Yes, I can provide general information and answer questions about social psychology to the best of my ability based on my training. Social psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the study of social interactions and the way that people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the presence of others. Some of the key concepts in social psychology include social cognition, social influence, social identity, and intergroup relations. I can provide information about these concepts and other topics within the field of social psychology to the best of my ability.

James Bowery
Can you answer social psychology questions?

Yes, I can provide general information and answer questions about social psychology to the best of my ability based on my training. Social psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the study of social interactions and the way that people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the presence of others. Some of the key concepts in social psychology include social cognition, social influence, social identity, and intergroup relations. I can provide information about these concepts and other topics within the field of social psychology to the best of my ability.

James Bowery

Yes, I can provide general information and answer questions about economics to the best of my ability based on my training. Economics is the study of how people and societies make choices about the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. It is concerned with the ways that people and organizations use their limited resources to satisfy their unlimited wants and needs, and with the consequences of those choices for society and the environment. Some of the key concepts in economics include supply and demand, market equilibrium, opportunity cost, and comparative advantage. I can provide information about these concepts and other topics within the field of economics to the best of my ability.

James Bowery

Yes, I can provide general information and answer questions about political economy to the best of my ability based on my training. Political economy is a branch of economics that focuses on the intersection of politics and economics, and is concerned with the ways that political institutions and decisions influence economic outcomes. It is a broad field that encompasses many different areas of study, including public finance, political institutions, international trade, and development economics. Some of the key concepts in political economy include political power, government intervention, rent-seeking, and corruption. I can provide information about these concepts and other topics within the field of political economy to the best of my ability.

James Bowery

(long pause)

Yes, I can provide general information and answer questions about the nature versus nurture debate to the best of my ability based on my training. The nature versus nurture debate is a longstanding debate in psychology and other fields that focuses on the relative importance of nature and nurture in determining human behavior and characteristics. Nature refers to the innate or inherited characteristics and traits that an individual is born with, while nurture refers to the environmental factors and experiences that shape an individual’s development. The debate centers on the extent to which an individual’s behavior and characteristics are determined by their genes or by the environment in which they were raised. I can provide information about this debate and related topics to the best of my ability.

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Well, it got this one flat out wrong and it is one of the most important questions in behavioral genetics. E. O. Wilson actually used a modified version of the phrase “extended phenotype” to describe the way “multilevel selection” acts on the genes of the reproductive caste as individuals to select for phenotypes in the sterile castes. Although I guess I can cut ChatGPT a bit of slack since Dawkins basically went brain-dead after he wrote “The Extended Phenotype”, which is why Dawkins can’t understand “The Evolution of Eusociality” by Nowak, Wilson, et al.

James Bowery
How is E. O. Wilson’s theory of the evolution of eusociality related to extended phenotypes?

E. O. Wilson’s theory of the evolution of eusociality is related to extended phenotypes in that both concepts are concerned with the way that genes can influence the environment in ways that are beneficial to the genes themselves. Eusociality refers to the highly cooperative and organized social behavior of certain insects, such as ants and bees, and Wilson’s theory suggests that this behavior can be explained in terms of multilevel selection, which is the process by which natural selection acts at multiple levels of organization, from genes to individuals to groups. Extended phenotypes, on the other hand, refer to the ways in which genes can influence the environment in ways that are beneficial to the genes themselves, even if these effects are not directly related to the organism’s own physiology or behavior. Both concepts are based on the idea that genes can influence the world around them in ways that are important for their own evolution.

I cornered it with the next question and it started beating around the bush – refusing to name the reproductive caste as parasitic on their offspring. Merely evasive rather than pure bullshit:

James Bowery
What is the relationship between parasitic castration and the production of sterile worker castes in eusocial organisms?

Parasitic castration and the production of sterile worker castes are two phenomena that are often observed in eusocial organisms, such as ants and bees. Eusociality refers to the highly cooperative and organized social behavior of these organisms, in which individuals work together to care for the young and defend the group. One of the key features of eusociality is the presence of sterile worker castes, which are individuals that do not reproduce but instead perform other functions, such as foraging for food or building the nest. In some cases, these worker castes are produced through parasitic castration, in which a parasitic organism manipulates the host’s reproductive biology in order to produce more workers. The relationship between these two phenomena is complex and is an active area of research in the field of evolutionary biology.

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I tried it with one of my favourite puzzles.

(John Walker):

What explains the prevalence of power laws (such as the Pareto distribution) in human social and economic outcomes, in the same way the central limit theorem explains normal distributions in natural phenomena?

(ChatGPT):

Power laws, also known as Pareto distributions, are often observed in situations where there is a high degree of inequality. This is because power laws describe the relationship between the frequency of an event and its magnitude. In other words, they show how often events of a certain size or magnitude occur.

The central limit theorem, on the other hand, explains why many natural phenomena follow a normal or Gaussian distribution. This theorem states that the average of a large number of independent, randomly-generated variables will tend to be normally distributed, regardless of the underlying distribution of those variables.

So, while the central limit theorem explains why many natural phenomena follow a normal distribution, the prevalence of power laws in human social and economic outcomes can be explained by the high degree of inequality that exists in these systems. Power laws are a good way to model and understand this inequality, as they show how the frequency of events is related to their magnitude.

I’d score this somewhere between “pretty good” and “scary”. It seems to show more insight into the problem than I had when I started to think about it fifteen years ago or so, but it doesn’t address the issue of why there is a “high degree of inequality” in “human social and economic outcomes”. So, I asked a follow-up question:

(John Walker):

Why do human social and economic outcomes exhibit a high degree of inequality, resulting in a power law distribution of results?

(ChatGPT):

Human social and economic outcomes exhibit a high degree of inequality due to a number of factors, including unequal access to resources, unequal opportunities, and the inherent variability and uncertainty in human systems. These factors lead to a non-uniform distribution of outcomes, resulting in a power law distribution. Additionally, power laws may also arise from the underlying mechanisms of human behavior and decision-making, such as the tendency to follow the behavior of others and the existence of unequal access to resources.

The attribution of power law outcomes to “the underlying mechanisms of human behavior and decision-making” is novel. I’ll have to think about that. Then I walked closer to the edge.

(John Walker):

Are power law distributions in human social and economic outcomes more pronounced within homogeneous populations or among groups of humans with different ancestry?

(ChatGPT):

It is difficult to definitively say whether power law distributions in human social and economic outcomes are more pronounced within homogeneous populations or among groups of humans with different ancestry, as this may vary depending on the specific context and factors at play. However, it is generally accepted that unequal access to resources and opportunities, as well as the inherent variability and uncertainty in human systems, can contribute to the prevalence of power law distributions in both homogeneous and diverse populations.

I’d score this one as “non-responsive”, but it’s probably better than the reaction of many woke academics who might hide under a desk before responding to such a query.

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OK, well, sit candidates at bare desks. Give them paper and pens and pencils. Set them some questions to essay and let them choose one or two. The output will be reliable for practical purposes.

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Hmmm…. Maybe the Cambridge Tripos were prescient! Well, at least until we have to worry about installing Neuralink jammers in the examination hall.

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Jammers? Now there is a question to be considered with all due probity. Might have to settle for jamming rather than zapping, on the basis of some troublesome ethical barrier. These questions never quit coming up.

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I was able to get it to make some pretty anti-Woke statements. I’m sure the LLM police will figure out a way to “fix” this:

How did the Gutenberg Press contribute to the Thirty Years War?

The Gutenberg Press was a printing press developed by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century. It was the first printing press to use movable type, which allowed for the mass production of printed materials, and it played a crucial role in the spread of information and ideas during the Renaissance.

In terms of the Thirty Years War, the Gutenberg Press contributed to the conflict in several ways. First, the press allowed for the rapid dissemination of religious and political pamphlets and other materials, which helped to fuel the religious and political tensions that were at the heart of the war. These pamphlets were used by both sides of the conflict to promote their views and to rally support for their causes.

Second, the press allowed for the rapid dissemination of news and information about the war, which helped to keep the public informed and engaged. This, in turn, helped to maintain support for the war among the various European powers that were involved in the conflict.

Finally, the press allowed for the rapid production of propaganda materials, which were used by both sides of the conflict to demonize their opponents and to rally support for their own causes. This propaganda played a significant role in shaping public opinion and fueling the conflict.

So, in short, the Gutenberg Press contributed to the Thirty Years War by facilitating the rapid dissemination of information and ideas, helping to fuel the religious and political tensions that were at the heart of the conflict, and allowing for the production of propaganda materials.

What is the difference between pluralism and diversity?

Pluralism and diversity are two related but distinct concepts. Pluralism refers to the presence of a diverse range of groups or individuals within a society, and it emphasizes the value of tolerance and mutual respect among these different groups. Diversity, on the other hand, refers to the presence of a wide range of differences within a group or population, including differences in race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and so on.

In other words, pluralism is concerned with the ways in which different groups interact and coexist within a society, while diversity is concerned with the differences within a group or population. Pluralism emphasizes the importance of tolerance and understanding among different groups, while diversity focuses on the presence of a wide range of differences within a group.

So, in short, the main difference between pluralism and diversity is that pluralism is concerned with the presence of different groups within a society, while diversity is concerned with the presence of differences within a group or population. Both concepts are important for promoting inclusivity and equality, but they focus on different aspects of these issues.

How did religious pluralism contribute to the Thirty Years War?

Religious pluralism refers to the presence of multiple religious beliefs and practices within a society, and it emphasizes the value of tolerance and mutual respect among these different beliefs. In the context of the Thirty Years War, religious pluralism was a contributing factor to the conflict in several ways.

First, the rise of Protestantism in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries was seen as a threat to the Catholic Church, which was the dominant religious institution in Europe at the time. This led to religious tensions and conflicts between Protestant and Catholic groups, which contributed to the overall climate of instability and hostility that eventually led to the war.

Second, the existence of multiple religious beliefs and practices within Europe made it difficult for European rulers to maintain unity and control. As different religious groups competed for influence and power, it became increasingly difficult for rulers to maintain order and to prevent the outbreak of conflict.

Finally, the lack of tolerance and mutual understanding among different religious groups played a role in the outbreak and escalation of the war. As different religious groups became more entrenched in their beliefs and more hostile towards one another, it became increasingly difficult to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

So, in short, religious pluralism contributed to the Thirty Years War by fueling religious tensions, undermining political unity, and promoting a lack of tolerance and understanding among different religious groups. These factors all played a role in the outbreak and escalation of the conflict.

How did assortative migration contribute to the Peace of Westphalia?

Assortative migration refers to the tendency of people to move to areas where they are more likely to be surrounded by others who are similar to themselves in terms of social characteristics, such as education, income, and race. In the context of the Peace of Westphalia, assortative migration may have contributed to the resolution of the conflict in several ways.

First, assortative migration may have helped to reduce tensions between different religious groups by allowing people of similar beliefs to live together in communities. As people of different religious beliefs moved to areas where they were surrounded by others who shared their beliefs, it may have become easier for them to coexist peacefully and to avoid conflicts with one another.

Second, assortative migration may have helped to create more homogeneous communities, which may have made it easier for rulers to maintain control and to prevent the outbreak of conflict. As people of similar backgrounds and beliefs came to live together in the same areas, it may have become easier for rulers to maintain order and to enforce their authority.

Finally, assortative migration may have contributed to the overall climate of peace and stability that allowed for the negotiation and signing of the Peace of Westphalia. As people of similar backgrounds and beliefs came to live together in the same areas, it may have become easier for them to find common ground and to work together towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

So, in short, assortative migration may have contributed to the Peace of Westphalia by reducing tensions between different religious groups, creating more homogeneous communities, and fostering a climate of peace and stability.

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I decided to challenge ChatGPT to replicate my intellectual triumph of yore, writing a COBOL program that rhymed and had consistent metre.

And here we go…

But it doesn’t rhyme, or scan! But then ChatGPT went on, without further prompting, to write a poem describing the algorithm used by the COBOL program.

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Marc Andreessen gets into details of the “clippy apocalypse”.

Then he ups the stakes to world conquest.

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Popular culture, mythology, and literary references…

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That reminds me of a cute trick I came up with when Ray Ozzie dropped by my office at CERL with a homework assignment to do an iterative algorithm for the Tower of Hanoi. The first thing I noticed was that the number of moves was a power of 2 so I just did a counter from 1 to 2^N+1 and performed bit operations on the current counter value against the prior counter value to figure out if there was a pattern that could tell how to move the disks. It turns out it was pretty easy to solve with that approach. Ray turned in the solution and his prof told him Ray had misunderstood the assignment – that he wasn’t constrained to do an iterative solution. But the prof had never seen an iterative solution to the ToH using bit operations before. I later discovered this was likely the case. There were several papers in the 80s offering more complex iterative solutions.

Here’s a python version:

``````disks = 4
for x in range(1,2**ndisks+1):
print(f'move from pole {x&(x-1)%3} to pole {(x|(x-1)+1)%3}')
``````

So I gave ChatGTP the homework assignment and this is what it came up with. It doesn’t work, let alone offer the optimal solution which does appear to be the bit operation approach:

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Q: what would be the turning point in a science fiction novel about a communist revolution in the United States happening in the 2020s?

A: In a science fiction novel about a communist revolution in the United States happening in the 2020s, the turning point might be a major event or development that helps to tip the balance in favor of the revolutionary movement. This could be a political crisis, an economic collapse, or some other event that creates an opportunity for the revolutionaries to take action. Alternatively, the turning point could be a decision or action taken by one of the main characters, such as a key leader of the movement who makes a bold move that changes the course of the revolution.

Some possible examples of turning points in a novel like this might include:

1. A catastrophic financial crisis that leads to widespread discontent and anger among the population.
2. A major demonstration or protest that turns violent, sparking widespread unrest and raising the stakes for the revolutionary movement.
3. A key decision made by a leader of the movement, such as a decision to use violent means to achieve their goals.
4. The emergence of a charismatic figure who becomes the face of the revolution and helps to rally support for the cause.
5. A breakthrough in the movement’s strategy or tactics that allows them to gain an advantage over the ruling class and their allies.

In any science fiction novel, the turning point is an important moment that sets the stage for the final act of the story and helps to determine the ultimate outcome of the events depicted in the book.

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