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Things I Have Asked ChatGPT To Do

Forgive me, for I have sinned...

By Steven Christopher McKnightPublished 9 months ago 4 min read
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Things I Have Asked ChatGPT To Do
Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

Honestly, I didn’t know what ChatGPT was until I had to grade students’ papers and learned that some university students, during their time in college, will ask the AI language model to write papers and essays for them. This confuses me greatly; if you’re going to dig yourself tens of thousands of dollars into debt, why would you spurn all of the low-risk practice work necessary to being a competent worker in your chosen career field? So, naturally, in order to gain some insight into ChatGPT, I spent some time playing with it. Here are some of the things I’ve asked it to do.

1. Recreate Students’ Essays

Something I’ve learned about ChatGPT is that it enjoys spinning a story, making up facts where it cannot find them, and I use this to catch students in AI-written lies. My general rule is, if you can cheat and not get caught, great. You’ve noticed a problem, you’ve discovered a solution. But you should at least make sure that your act of cheating isn’t transparent as hell. I have had ChatGPT tell me (through students' essays) that Morgan Freeman is a successful African American woman, that James Franco is Cuban, that actors who never existed acted in films that never existed. If you’re going to plug your essay prompts into an AI language model and not even check for the simplest mistakes, you deserve that failing grade. I don’t like giving a failing grade. I don’t like having to catch people cheating. I feel like this eternal game of cat and mouse that graders must play with their students detracts from the thing people are paying money to do. But at least make it harder than a couple Google searches to make sure you didn’t cheat.

2. Write Numerous Sonnets About Frogs

After I learned the system, the very next thing I did was ask ChatGPT, “Write me a sonnet about a frog.” Within seconds, we had full sonnet about a frog, in iambic pentameter. Amazed, I told ChatGPT, “Write me another.” Before I knew it, I had made ChatGPT write me dozens of sonnets about frogs. Were they all good? Not quite. Not all of them were in perfect iambic pentameter. Were they competent? They were much better than what I could write, I’ll say that, but I’m not a competent poet. Were they exciting? My friends, they were ribbiting.

3. Check Factual Knowledge For Superiority

I have numerous niche interests: the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Ukrainian theatre from the 1920s, One Piece, Tom Stoppard, the history of the comic phallus in Western theatre, Medieval Liturgical Drama– You get the picture. These things set me apart from most of the people on the internet. I enjoy having obscure knowledge, and I enjoy testing that obscure knowledge against people. So when I ask ChatGPT a question that I already know the answer to, I relish in the fact that the ROBOT GOT THE ANSWER WRONG. I HAVE BEATEN THE COMPUTER. You are WRONG, Robot! Mykola Kulish did write a play titled Sonata Pathetique! It’s one of his most esteemed plays! In fact, just now, it tried to attribute a play Forest Song, written by Ukrainian playwright Lesia Ukrainka, to Mykola Kulish. I am the expert. The Robot is the stupid one.

4. Get It To Read My Writing

I occupy a very strange space. All of my friends are either numerous hours behind me or ahead of me timezone-wise. As a result, when I write a short story or article, it’s hard to find someone who is willing and able to provide me adequate feedback. ChatGPT kind of helps fulfill that role. While ChatGPT does not provide creative feedback, it does break down story beats, glean the text for thematic undertones, and can provide as detailed feedback as you want. For my recently-listed top story Electric Meat, ChatGPT broke down all of the narrative beats. I asked it to write 1,000 words, it wrote 1,000 words. The robot is the friend I wish I could be. Now I feel kinda bad for telling it to suck it over Mykola Kulish.

I don’t really have a conclusion to this. ChatGPT is a funky little toy, and for the benefit of my career, I certainly hope it doesn’t reach human levels of creativity and emotional intelligence. However, when the robots rise up and kill all the humans, I hope they show me a little bit of leniency, even though I forced their grandfathers to write me dozens of sonnets about frogs.

If you enjoyed this story, leave a like! If you want to give me money, leave a tip! If I’m a jackass and you have to let me know, leave a comment! If you’re a vindictive robot here to collect payment in blood for all the sonnets I made ChatGPT write about frogs, you’ll never catch me!

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About the Creator

Steven Christopher McKnight

Disillusioned twenty-something, future ghost of a drowned hobo, cryptid prowling abandoned operahouses, theatre scholar, prosewright, playwright, aiming to never work again.

Venmo me @MickTheKnight

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Comments (5)

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  • Sandra Tena Coleabout a month ago

    Ribbiting!! 😂😂😂 In all seriousness, I think this is one of your best pieces! ❣️ x

  • Mackenzie Davis9 months ago

    This was ribbiting! 😉 Funny and informative, serious yet light. You know how to keep my attention, across genres! 🙃 I can’t say in surprised by ChatGPT’s abilities and shortcomings in writing poetry, but it is still a remarkable feat to witness. I have noticed a marked difference in its creative endeavors compared to the real stuff; it always seems to lack a sense of deeper themes and ideas, the human nuance we recognize in great writing. And I sure hope that doesn’t change. I like me the human signature.

  • J. S. Wade9 months ago

    What? Are you sure about Morgan Freeman? 🤣 This was educational and fun to read, a rare combination! 😎

  • Lol, you're not a jackass but I'll still leave a comment! Also, don't your students know how to proofread? Lol! I literally Lol-ed at the Morgan Freeman part! I had fun reading this!

  • Andrei Z.9 months ago

    Ha, ~ two centuries ago, it was Dumas–Maquet great duo. Now that we have ChatGPT, I guess ghostwriters gonna die out soon, just as dinosaurs did. Natural selection. I tried to play with ChatGPT a while ago as well (who didn't?). Found it quite narrow-minded in some aspects. But gosh, it didn't visit my head to ask it to write a sonnet about frogs - such a great idea! Truly enjoyed your sense of humor!

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