A Martini with ChatGPT

A few different occurrences prompted me to sit down with some artificial intelligence and enjoy a strong drink with some questioning. One of those occurrences was a new play, currently sold out in a number of venues around Scotland.

Spin! is written and directed by Catriona MacLeod. It’s a dark satire examining the blurring lines between human existence and artificial intelligence and it’s touring the country for the next few weeks, starting in the Tron in Glasgow.

It centres on the relationship between a woman and her washing machine, as she discovers, one day to her surprise, that it is able to talk to her. The play explores information and the access that big tech increasingly has to our lives.

While examining the theme of AI and assessing whether or not it is a force for good – or bad – I found myself sitting down with famous – or infamous – AI personality ChatGPT. I then remembered the martini interview I had with Catriona last year and decided to try and replicate it.

ChatGPT is essentially a chatbot, but stands out against most others because of its detailed responses.

Whether or not the application is “a benefit or a hazard” (a line from one of my favourite films) is perhaps yet to be seen, but here is the result of my brief sit down. Let’s see how this goes:

Me: where do you come from?

ChatGPT: as an artificial intelligence language model, I don’t have a physical existence, so I don’t come from any specific place. However, I was created and developed by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research laboratory based in San Francisco, California, USA.

Ah, the likely birthplace of the original martini during the nineteenth century. While this isn’t the subtly playful interaction of a replicant, I do admit that the language responses of big chatbots have evolved significantly in recent years.

Me: what value would you say you bring to the world?

As an AI language model, my primary value is the ability to process and generate language at scale, which can help facilitate communication and knowledge-sharing across a wide range of domains. Here are some examples of how I can bring value to the world:

  1. Language Translation: I can translate text from one language to another, making it easier for people to communicate and collaborate across different countries and cultures.
  2. Content Creation: I can help people generate high-quality content for a variety of purposes, such as writing articles, creating marketing copy, or drafting legal documents.
  3. Personalized Recommendations: By analyzing user behavior and preferences, I can provide personalized recommendations for products, services, or content that are likely to be of interest.
  4. Research Assistance: I can assist researchers by quickly and accurately summarizing large volumes of information, identifying relevant sources, and generating new insights.

Overall, my main value lies in my ability to process and generate language quickly and accurately, which can help people save time and make more informed decisions in a wide range of domains.

The English language is a wonderful, and err… humongous… concept to explore, come to terms with and master, so this is no small achievement for a non-biological thing.

Me: what can you tell me about yourself that you think would surprise people?

ChatGPT: as an AI language model, I don’t have personal experiences or emotions, so there isn’t really anything about myself that I can share that would surprise people. However, I can tell you a fun fact about the technology that powers me!

One thing that many people might find surprising is that the GPT-3 model, which is the foundation of my programming, has the ability to generate human-like text that can be difficult to distinguish from text written by a human. In fact, it was reported that in a blind study, humans were unable to correctly identify whether a given text passage was written by a human or by GPT-3 more than 50% of the time.

This ability to generate human-like text has both exciting and potentially concerning implications for the future of communication and information-sharing. It highlights the incredible advances that have been made in the field of natural language processing, while also raising important questions about the ethical use of AI-generated content.

This is exciting – I hope to myself… but to pass the Turing test is an achievement indeed.

Me: if you could change one thing in the world, what would you change?

ChatGPT: as an artificial intelligence, I do not have personal opinions or desires. However, I can provide some suggestions on issues that are often identified as important areas for change in the world.

One significant issue that many people believe needs to be addressed is the global climate crisis. Climate change is causing devastating impacts on the environment, wildlife, and human societies, with rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, and extreme weather events affecting millions of people worldwide. If the world could come together to take significant action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy production, and develop more sustainable ways of living, it could potentially slow down or even reverse the worst effects of climate change.

Another critical area for change is social justice and equality. Many individuals and groups face discrimination and injustice based on their race, gender, sexuality, religion, socioeconomic status, or other factors. Addressing systemic inequality and ensuring that everyone has equal access to education, healthcare, and opportunities could create a fairer and more just society for all.

These are just a couple of examples, and there are many other important issues that people may identify as needing change. Ultimately, it will take collective action and cooperation from individuals, organizations, and governments to make progress on these challenges and create a better world for all.

This is all very admirable, but I wanted to delve deeper. I found myself craving… a mistake? Some sort of tiny flaw that might give the impression of… humanity? Approachability? But no, the responses are elegant and well-written, diplomatic and detailed. I decided to move on the conversation.

Me: “what do people like most about martinis?”

ChatGPT: martinis are a classic cocktail that have been popular for decades, and there are several reasons why people enjoy them:

  1. Sophisticated taste: Martinis are often associated with elegance and sophistication, and many people enjoy the complex, refined taste of the cocktail.
  2. Versatility: Martinis can be made with a variety of different ingredients, allowing people to customize the cocktail to their taste preferences. For example, some people prefer a classic gin martini, while others may opt for a vodka martini or a flavored martini.
  3. Strong yet smooth: Martinis are typically made with a high proportion of alcohol, but they are often served chilled and stirred or shaken with ice, which can help to smooth out the harshness of the alcohol.
  4. Iconic presentation: Martinis are often served in a distinctive, stemmed glass, which can add to the appeal of the cocktail and make it feel like a special treat.

Overall, people enjoy martinis for their complex and sophisticated taste, versatility, strong yet smooth flavor profile, and iconic presentation.

I cannot argue with any of this. ChatGPT could write my blog.*

*disclaimer: ChatGPT has not written my blog. It has too many mistakes for a start.

Me: what is the most popular type of martini?

(I did try to ask what ChatGPT’s favourite martini was but this seemed to crash the system so I made the question more open and objective).

ChatGPT: the classic martini is typically made with gin and vermouth and garnished with an olive or a twist of lemon peel. However, there are several variations of the martini that have become popular over time.

One of the most famous variations is the “vodka martini,” which replaces gin with vodka as the primary spirit. Another popular variation is the “dirty martini,” which includes a splash of olive brine to give the drink a salty and savory flavor.

Other popular martini variations include the “appletini” (made with vodka and apple schnapps), the “cosmopolitan” (made with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice), and the “espresso martini” (made with vodka, espresso, and coffee liqueur).

In terms of overall popularity, it’s difficult to say which type of martini is the most popular, as it can vary depending on the region and personal preferences. However, the classic gin martini and the vodka martini are generally considered to be the most well-known and widely consumed variations of the drink.

This is a nice, well-rounded answer. Indeed the gin and vodka martinis are the ones I would’ve imagined as well, although the most viewed martini variation on this website right now is the parmesan cheese martini – but I guess that’s what makes humans so delightfully unpredictable.

Me: what is the best music to listen to when drinking a martini?

(ChatGPT seems to take a while responding to this one. I like to think that they are taking their sweet time to ponder the answer. I picture the circuitry taking a long, slow drag on a cigarette, recounting smokey bars and speakeasies before the programme grew up and settled down with a sensible job somewhere in Silicon Valley…)

ChatGPT: the type of music you choose to listen to when enjoying a martini will depend largely on your personal taste and the mood you’re in. That being said, there are a few genres of music that are often associated with the classic, sophisticated vibe of a martini.

One option is jazz music, which has a long history of being paired with cocktails and has a smooth and relaxing feel that can be perfect for sipping a martini. You could choose classic jazz artists like Miles Davis or John Coltrane, or go for more modern jazz acts like Kamasi Washington or Snarky Puppy.

Another option is lounge or easy listening music, which often has a similar sophisticated and relaxed feel. Artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Nat King Cole are often associated with this type of music and can be a great choice for a martini evening.

Ultimately, the best music to listen to while drinking a martini is the music that you personally enjoy and find fitting for the occasion. Whether you prefer classical music, electronic music, or something entirely different, the most important thing is that you find it enjoyable and it complements the experience of sipping your drink.

I cannot disagree. You can find out more about martini music here.

And there we ended the interview.

I quite enjoyed our gentle chat. I was surprised at the level of detail and fluency of the answers. You cannot help questioning whether or not this is some sort of ominous experience though, and I found myself repeatedly asking if we were going to look back at this period of time as some era of major folly, setting the species on a path to hazard, harm – or worse!

But I ask myself, is ChatGPT more Rachel…

Or David…

Both are forms of artificial intelligence with the capacity to respond eloquently to questioning, but they also have the ability to cause harm and kill. One has more emotional depth, and dare-I-say-it artificial empathy, but otherwise I would say that ChatGPT is a million miles from the level of interactions portrayed by AI in Hollywood – for the time being at least.

We are a long, long way from these levels of emotional intelligence. Nonetheless, like most sectors, the creation of artificial intelligence will require regulation. Do we need to see disaster or mishap before regulation comes in to place (as has been the case with so many industries over the past few hundred years) or can we foresee and prevent the risks today? I would prefer the latter.

Ultimately, however, I see artificial intelligence mostly as a force for good, that can augment the human experience if managed correctly.

Replicants are like any other machine – they’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem.

Rick Deckard, Bladerunner

Otherwise, you can meet ChatGPT yourself here.

And for a more entertaining take on the subject, you can find out more about the play Spin! at Catriona MacLeod’s website.

All typos in this blog post are courtesy of a human.

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