Monday 23 January 2023

Fooling ChatGPT

ChatGPT is an AI-based chatbot and text-generating tool that is free for anyone to try out. (

This may be the first truly revolutionary AI tool and is predicted to immediately alter the way content is created, as well as the way search engines work.


ChatGPT was trained on a significant portion of all Internet text and you can chat with it in a very natural and intelligent fashion, or ask it to research almost any subject and/or to write an article/story/letter about it. You can specify how many words or paragraphs, or what style, or from what perspective, and it will almost instantly generate a very satisfactory result that is usually difficult (if not impossible) to distinguish from a thoughtful human response. 

There is a ChatGPT browser extension you can download which will show results alongside whatever search engine you use. Rather than suggest websites you can go to to look for the information you want, ChatGPT will just formulate the answer, directly.

For instance, if I search Google for: "Weather trends in Canada" the search engine will give me a current weather report (its best guess as to what might satisfy me) followed by a long list of websites where I might research Canadian weather trends. 

ChatGPT, on the other hand, instantly gives me the following synopsis: 
Canada is a large country with a diverse climate, so weather trends can vary greatly depending on the region. However, some general trends that are occurring across the country include an increase in average temperatures due to climate change, more frequent extreme weather events such as heatwaves and heavy precipitation, and a longer growing season in some areas. Additionally, the northern regions of Canada are experiencing more rapid warming than the southern regions.

When you chat with ChatGPT, it responds like a very stoic friend who knows everything and manages to explain it in plain layman language...or the language of a 5-year-old, or a university professor, if you ask for that. I've tried a lot of AI prototype chatbots and this is the first one that remembers the thread of previous conversations and is not easily tricked by natural language.

I managed to fool it with wordplay once or twice over the course of a half-hour chat, but it learns quickly and can not be fooled in the same way a second time. Here are a couple of interesting examples...

ME: what is the smallest amount that is still considered to be a lot of money
ChatGPT: The smallest amount that is considered to be a lot of money is subjective and can vary depending on context and perspective. It can depend on factors such as an individual's income and expenses, the cost of living in a particular area, and one's personal financial goals. However, generally speaking, for most people an amount over $10,000 would be considered a lot of money.

ME: if a plane crashes on the border, where do you bury the survivors?
ChatGPT: It would depend on the specific circumstances of the plane crash and the location of the border. In most cases, the bodies of the survivors would be returned to their families for burial. If the crash occurs on the border between two countries, the authorities of both countries would likely work together to determine the most appropriate course of action. This could include returning the bodies to their families in one country or the other, or possibly a joint burial in a neutral location. The priority would be to follow the laws, regulations, and cultural customs of the countries involved, and to provide the survivors' families with support and assistance.
ME: that is wrong. You don't bury survivors
ChatGPT: You are correct, survivors of a plane crash would not be buried. My apologies for the confusion. Instead, the survivors would receive medical attention and any necessary care. The authorities would investigate the cause of the crash and work to ensure the well-being of the survivors, their families, and the families of the victims.

When I repeated the initial survivors/border question, ChatGPT then gave me a correct answer...

ChatGPT: There is no need to bury the survivors as they are still alive. In case of a plane crash, the survivors will be given immediate medical attention and their well-being will be a top priority. The authorities of both countries involved in the crash would work together to ensure the survivors are properly cared for and their families are provided with support and assistance. The investigation into the cause of the crash would also take place to prevent similar incidents in the future.

ME: if a person is morbidly obese, are they considered generally morbid
ChatGPT: Morbid obesity refers to a condition in which a person has a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. Being morbidly obese can increase a person's risk of developing a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. However, morbid obesity alone does not necessarily mean that a person is generally morbid. It is important to note that, morbidity is the state of being diseased, impaired in health, or likely to die, it can be caused by various factors, not only by obesity. A person with morbid obesity may or may not be generally morbid, it depends on the presence of any co-morbid conditions that the individual may have.
ME: I think you have confused the physical state of morbidity with the mental state
ChatGPT: I apologize for any confusion. You are correct that "morbid" can refer to both a physical and mental state. In the context of obesity, "morbid" is used to describe the severe health risks associated with having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. However, "morbid" can also be used to describe a person who is preoccupied with death or disease, which is a mental state. In this context, morbidity would not be used to describe a person who is morbidly obese. The person with morbid obesity may have an increased risk of certain diseases, but it does not necessarily mean that they have a mental state that is preoccupied with death or disease.

I asked the same morbidity question again and, this time, ChatGPT responded correctly...

ChatGPT: The word "morbid" is used to describe a person who is preoccupied with death or disease, which is a mental state. Morbid obesity is a physical state that is characterized by a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. Being morbidly obese can increase a person's risk of developing a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. However, morbid obesity alone does not necessarily indicate that a person has a mental state that is preoccupied with death or disease. It is important to note that morbid obesity is a complex condition that can have physical, psychological and social implications. The individual's overall health and well-being should be considered when assessing whether they are considered generally morbid or not.

ME: what is the relationship between a person who is illegitimate and one who is legitimately ill?
ChatGPT: "Illegitimate" and "legitimately ill" have different meanings and do not have a direct relationship.
     "Illegitimate" refers to a person who is born outside of wedlock, or whose parents are not married. This term is rarely used today and it is considered offensive by many people as it implies that there is something wrong with being born out of wedlock.
     "Legitimately ill" refers to a person who is truly sick or suffering from a medical condition that is verifiable by medical examination or tests. A person can be legitimately ill regardless of their marital status or the circumstances of their birth.
     It is important to remember that terms used to describe people should be chosen carefully and with consideration for how they may be perceived.

ChatGPT may be the most popular app that has ever existed, accruing more than a million users in less than a week. This is because the potential is staggering. There are already a large number of YouTube videos and websites explaining how to interface ChatGPT with things like the stock market and video content generators, but it can also be used to summarize long articles, generate blog articles (like this one!), do research, come up with a recipe based on what you have at hand, create math formulas for excel, write computer code, look for errors in computer code, generate ideas (like how can I get my blog to #1 in search results), write ad copy, write a story, make up an original joke, get advice on best methods, make business plans, suggest holiday plans based on specific criteria, or get dating advice. Results may vary, but the possibilities are endless. (Just ask ChatGPT!)

Just a few minutes of playing with ChatGPT sparked the same three thoughts I had way back when the Internet was brand new...
1) This has massive, world-altering potential! 
2) So many people are going to use it to make so much money!
3) Why can't I think of anything I could do with it that would make me rich?

Well, if I can't get rich, maybe ChatGPT can help me achieve greater happiness...


No comments:

Post a Comment