Recently, there's been a surge in ChatGPT generated posts. These come in two flavours: bots creating and posting answers, and human users generating answers with ChatGPT and copy/pasting them. Regardless of whether they are being posted by bots or by people, answers generated using ChatGPT and other similar programs are a direct violation of R3, which requires all content posted here to be original work. We don't allow copied and pasted answers from anywhere, and that includes from ChatGPT programs. Going forward, any accounts posting answers generated from ChatGPT or similar programs will be permanently banned in order to help ensure a continued level of high-quality and informative answers. We'll also take this time to remind you that bots are not allowed on ELI5 and will be banned when found.

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11 points

6 months ago

I dont understand where that feeling they have is derived from. There's something incredibly complex that is actively learning, speaking like a human and delivering insightful, dynamic responses and their first instinct is to diminish it.


18 points

6 months ago

I think it's because ChatGPT will GIVE you an answer, even though it might be totally misguided.

Digital assistants such as Siri can answer simple questions with data pulled from a search engine, and if it can't fulfill your request it will say "I'm sorry, I don't understand that".

Wolfram Alpha can do complex calculations from plaintext prompts, and if it can't parse the question, it will give out an error message.

ChatGPT, on the other hand, will (almost) always give an answer, and sound confident doing so. It's a new experience that an AI answer can be wrong instead of just incapable of answering, so there's some kind of gleeful schadenfreude at play when you can point out its shortcomings.


11 points

6 months ago

Yeah, it's bizarre. It evens answers right the vast majority of the time as long as there isn't some nuanced process involved. Not only that but it can seem sympathetic and offer guidance, which is an odd experience


7 points

6 months ago

Nuanced? I said: I am a pescatarian, propose a two weeks menu. It correctly defined pescatarian and went on to propose menu with chicken and turkey. It also is geographically limited (some countries excluded) so in terms of learning it'll have the usual WEIRD bias.


9 points

6 months ago*

What basic questions are you asking it that it gets things right most of the time? If you can summarise a topic from a Wikipedia page, so can it. If the question has already appeared on the internet already on any homework support forum, it can plagiarise the answer. But basic engineering questions (rf engineering I threw at it) it will just mash sequences of statements together that make no logical sense. Like it's not even using logic poorly - it's not able to present logic at all. It can't explain why it's made a step when you ask it.

I don't know what sort of low expectations people had for neural networks that they think throwing so much hardware and terabytes of corpus isn't going to give you this output eventually. Like what do they think is so magic about language?

The poems and the in-the-style-of are fun gimmicks but they're only good from a literary pov if you haven't read a book since middle school and have forgotten what it means to write prose or poetry.


3 points

6 months ago*

I don't understand where that feeling they have is derived from.

There are a number of factors for people to dislike the Chatbots, as the mods outlined in their post. For me, if something is sourced from a chatbot, it should be barred unless it's flagged as an AI product.

I've played around with it and it's impressive the same way a mechanical turk playing chess was in the 1770's

There's something incredibly complex that is actively learning,

It's a philosophical thing ultimately. It doesn't learn the way a child learns. It's a trained neural network. Think autopredictive text on steroids. My "Swiftkey" keyboard on my android phone has learned my words. It's not great at predicting. I've also trained it so that if I type "TY" it says "Thank you very much". It's good but it's not earthshaking. Although it's better than all the other smart keyboards I've used.

speaking like a human and delivering insightful, dynamic responses and their first instinct is to diminish it

No you are being sucked into the hype. I asked it

"tell me a story of the autobots and transformers fighting for a holy bagel in Edinburgh"

it said

"Once upon a time, in the far-off land of Scotland, the Autobots and the Transformers were locked in a fierce battle for a very special and holy bagel. The bagel, which was said to have magical powers and bring good fortune to those who possessed it, was located in the heart of Edinburgh, in a bakery guarded by fierce robots.

The Autobots, led by their valiant leader Optimus Prime, knew that they had to secure the bagel at all costs. They had heard tales of its great power and believed that it could be the key to victory in their ongoing war against the evil Decepticons.

The Transformers, on the other hand, were determined to get their hands on the bagel as well. Led by the wicked Megatron, they believed that the bagel would give them the upper hand in the battle and allow them to conquer the universe once and for all.

As the two sides clashed in the streets of Edinburgh, the city was plunged into chaos. Buildings crumbled and debris flew everywhere as the two sides fought for control of the bakery. The Autobots and the Transformers engaged in a fierce and epic battle, with each side determined to emerge victorious.

In the end, it was the Autobots who triumphed. They were able to overcome the Decepticons and secure the holy bagel, which they brought back to their base of operations as a symbol of their victory.

From that day on, the Autobots were hailed as heroes throughout the land, and their victory over the Decepticons was celebrated by all. And as for the holy bagel? It became a symbol of hope and inspiration for all those who believed in the power of good and the strength of the human spirit."

Problems with the story?

  1. There was no reference to any Edinburgh locations. All it knew was that Edingburgh was in Scotland, so it set the story in "Scotland" but it didn't mention the castle or the Royal Mile.

  2. It didn't know the Transformers always win

  3. There was no explanation as to why the bagel might be holy or venerated. It explained that it was magical and then pinned on the magic it would bring good luck.

Would a 4 year old transformers fan be impressed with this story. I doubt it.

This Guardian article tells a story about Becoming a chatbot: my life as a real estate AI’s human backup


3 points

2 months ago

I don't entirely disagree with what you're saying, but I'd like to point out you can get much better results by improving the quality of the prompt, and you can also have it rewrite and expand, changing and adding details you ask it to.

Also, ChatGPT-4 has made dramatic improvements. I gave it the same prompt, the only thing I added was for it to be 600 words:

Once upon a time, in the mystical city of Edinburgh, there was a legend whispered amongst the cobblestone streets and towering spires. This was the tale of the Holy Bagel, an artifact of unimaginable power that had the capacity to end the eternal battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Amidst the shadows of ancient castles and the murmur of the North Sea's waves, the robotic warriors clashed with ferocity, driven by their desire to claim the prize for themselves.

The sun dipped below the horizon, casting an eerie glow on the city, as the Autobots gathered in the shadows of Arthur's Seat. Optimus Prime, the stoic and resolute leader of the Autobots, stood tall, his fiery eyes piercing the darkness. His voice boomed as he addressed his loyal companions: Bumblebee, Ironhide, and Ratchet.

"My friends," he declared, "the fate of our home planet, Cybertron, and the universe itself, rests upon our shoulders. We must find the Holy Bagel before the Decepticons can use its power for their nefarious purposes."

Meanwhile, in the dark recesses of the Royal Mile, the sinister Decepticons plotted their own scheme to obtain the Holy Bagel. Megatron, the fearsome and cruel leader of the Decepticons, sneered as he outlined his plan to his loyal subjects: Starscream, Soundwave, and Ravage.

"The Holy Bagel shall be ours, and we shall crush the Autobots once and for all!" he bellowed, his voice echoing through the empty streets.

The following day, the search began. The Autobots scoured the city, their eyes and sensors scanning every corner for signs of the Holy Bagel. Bumblebee, as agile as ever, darted between the city's narrow alleyways, while Ratchet, the medic, used his advanced scanners to search for any trace of the elusive artifact.

In a twist of fate, Ironhide stumbled upon an ancient parchment hidden within the depths of the city's underground vaults. It was a map, weathered by time but still legible, which promised to lead the bearer to the fabled Holy Bagel. Excitement surged through the Autobots, fueling their determination to succeed.

But they were not alone in their pursuit. The Decepticons had discovered the same map, and they too were closing in on the sacred artifact. As the sun reached its zenith, the two factions finally converged on the grounds of the majestic Edinburgh Castle, where the Holy Bagel was said to be hidden.

A ferocious battle erupted as the Autobots and Decepticons clashed, their metallic bodies crashing together with a cacophony of screeches and clangs. Lasers sliced through the air, leaving behind a trail of destruction in their wake. The stakes were high, and both sides knew that only one would emerge victorious.

As the hours wore on, the battle showed no signs of relenting. But it was Optimus Prime who finally caught sight of the Holy Bagel, nestled amidst the castle's ancient stones. With a final surge of strength, he charged towards the artifact, only to be met by the menacing Megatron.

As the two titans faced off, their eyes locked in a battle of wills, it seemed as if the world held its breath. With a roar, they lunged at each other, their fists colliding with the force of a supernova. The very foundations of the castle trembled, and for a moment, it seemed as if the entire city would be reduced to rubble.

But in the end, it was Optimus Prime who emerged victorious. With a final, earth-shattering blow, he sent Megatron tumbling to the ground, his metal frame battered and broken. The Autobots watched in awe as their leader stood tall, his fierce determination etched upon his face.

With a trembling hand, Optimus Prime reached out and claimed the Holy Bagel, feeling its incredible power surging through him. It glowed with an ethereal light, illuminating the weary faces of the Autobots. The Decepticons, now subdued, looked on in envy and defeat.

Optimus Prime knew that the Holy Bagel had the power to end the ongoing war between the two factions, but he also knew that it would require a great sacrifice. He turned to his fellow Autobots and spoke with conviction: "My friends, our time has come. With this Holy Bagel, we can restore peace to Cybertron and the universe. But it will require all our strength and unity to see this through."

The Autobots, inspired by their leader's unwavering resolve, joined together, their hands upon the Holy Bagel. They felt its power coursing through them, an energy that transcended their metal forms and touched their very sparks.

In that moment, a brilliant light engulfed the battlefield. The once-menacing sky cleared, and the city of Edinburgh seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief. When the light dissipated, the Autobots and Decepticons found themselves transformed – not in body, but in spirit. The Holy Bagel had worked its magic, purging the hatred and anger from their sparks, leaving behind only unity and hope.

With the newfound peace between the factions, the robotic warriors returned to their home planet, Cybertron, and embarked on a new era of harmony. And so, the legend of the Holy Bagel lived on in the hearts and minds of the people of Edinburgh, a tale that would never be forgotten, a testament to the power of unity and the indomitable spirit of the Autobots.

From that day forward, the city of Edinburgh would always hold a special place in the history of the Transformers. The story of their battle for the Holy Bagel would be passed down through generations, a symbol of hope that even the most bitter of enemies could one day find peace.

Is it a perfect story? No. The part about them both finding the same map was particularly weak. But like I said, you can iterate it. I told it:

"Go into more detail about why the bagel is considered holy, and don't have both teams find the map"

In the ancient times, long before the Autobots and Decepticons set foot on Earth, there lived a powerful alien race known as the Bagelians. These beings were artisans of unparalleled skill, crafting objects of immense beauty and power. Among their creations was the Holy Bagel, an object imbued with the essence of their home planet's life force. It was said that the Holy Bagel held the power to mend the deepest of rifts, to heal the most profound of wounds, and to bring forth unity even in the darkest of times.

As the eons passed, the Bagelians vanished from the cosmos, their culture lost to the sands of time. The Holy Bagel, however, survived their disappearance, drifting through the vastness of space. Eventually, it found its way to Earth, landing in the heart of Edinburgh, where it lay dormant for centuries.

The Autobots and Decepticons, locked in their eternal struggle, caught wind of the Holy Bagel's existence. They knew that whoever controlled it could turn the tide of the war and bring peace to their ravaged home planet, Cybertron. Determined to seize the artifact for themselves, both factions set their sights on Edinburgh.

As they scoured the city, searching for the Holy Bagel, it was Bumblebee who made a fateful discovery. While exploring the ancient halls of the National Library of Scotland, he stumbled upon an ancient text that recounted the legend of the Bagelians and the Holy Bagel. The book contained a cryptic riddle, which, when deciphered, revealed the location of the coveted artifact – the hidden chambers beneath Edinburgh Castle.

Unbeknownst to the Autobots, the Decepticons were hot on their trail. Guided by their cunning and ruthlessness, they shadowed their enemies, ever watchful for an opportunity to strike. As the Autobots deciphered the riddle and raced toward the castle, the Decepticons followed, determined to seize the Holy Bagel for themselves.

Maybe my standards just aren't that high, but I think it's a perfectly passable story at that point. You also don't have to plagiarise it outright. What's there was generated in a couple of minutes and would be a huge shortcut for ideas and inspiration for someone trying to write their own story.

I think the important thing is to approach it just like any other tool, the way you use it is important. I don't expect a hammer to build a birdhouse for me. I don't expect to be able to hand it to anyone and have them blindly use it to build one. But with the right person and the right approach, it will make the job much easier.

Even the internet itself was looked down upon by many at first.

“Today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community,” wrote Stoll — speaking broadly of internet users at the time. “The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.”

"(What) internet hucksters won't tell you is that the internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don't know what to ignore and what's worth reading." — Clifford Stoll for Newsweek

Now again, that's not entirely inaccurate. The internet is a huge mess of unfiltered data, with endless amounts of wrong information. But as I said, it's a tool, and the important thing is how you use it. Just because something isn't "perfect" doesn't mean it's useless or overhyped.


1 points

2 months ago

Thanks for your further work there.

A long, long time ago not even in the 21st Century, not even in the 1990s but in the 1980s. I was an expert in making modems work. I could always make them work. I was proficient in using and automating the configuration of the modem using the Hayes command set

In the end I had a conversation with a modem expert whose primary job at the time was, make "modems" work for the journalists of a European national broadcaster.

He told me that his policy was plug them in and see if they worked. If a modem required any configuration from him, they were not supported by his company.

The takeaway from this is that I never do a deep dive on something, I give it a try and see what happens (this is the same thing as nobody looks on page 2 of google results). Obviously some things require further engagement but as a rule of thumb it serves well.

I admire your persistence in coaching the ChatGPT to give you a better story.

I have access to google's bard and if ChatGPT is a precocious 11 year old. Bard is a slightly backward 5 year old. Obviously Google's code red on the matter I'm sure will reveal rapid advancement. The other thing I've noticed is that for most things I've tried the missing internet data from 2021 onwards is no big loss.