Testing ChatGPT

Today I am following up on my last post about ChatGPT with some examples of responses from the bot.

When I went in again this week to do some more tests, I got the error message "ChatGPT is at capacity right now."  Below that message was yet another example because OpenAi "asked" the bot to"Write a guided meditation about the status of ChatGPT." It produced this:

"As you read this message, please take a moment to pause and breathe. Notice the sensations in your body and the rhythm of your breath. Remind yourself that you are not alone in wanting to try out ChatGPT. Many others are interested in it as well. Be patient and know that the website is doing its best to accommodate everyone. Trust that the right time for you to try ChatGPT will come. In the meantime, continue to focus on your breath and stay present in the moment."

I asked the bot a few queries when it was back online. You can be the judge of the results.

Who invented html?

HTML, which stands for Hypertext Markup Language, was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 while he was working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Berners-Lee was developing a system for sharing scientific information among researchers that would allow them to easily link to other documents and resources. HTML was the markup language he created to define the structure and content of documents on the World Wide Web. The first version of HTML was released in 1991, and it has undergone many revisions and updates since then.

I gave it a literature class assignment that I thought was original.

Compare the Ernest Hemingway short story "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" to "The Wizard of Oz"

"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" by Ernest Hemingway and "The Wizard of Oz" are two very different works of literature that cannot be compared in a straightforward manner.

"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is a short story that explores themes of aging, loneliness, and the search for meaning in life. It is a minimalist work, characterized by its simple and straightforward writing style and its focus on the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters.

On the other hand, "The Wizard of Oz" is a classic children's novel and later a famous movie, characterized by its imaginative and fantastical elements, such as talking lions, scarecrows, and tin men, as well as its memorable songs and vibrant colors. "The Wizard of Oz" is a story of adventure and self-discovery, as the main character, Dorothy, sets out on a journey to find her way home.

In conclusion, "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" and "The Wizard of Oz" are two very different works of literature that cannot be easily compared. While both may have themes of loneliness and the search for meaning, their differences in style, genre, and approach make it difficult to draw a direct comparison between the two.

You can give the bot a second chance by revising your question. If a student gets the response above it might give them an idea for writing a paper. So, then I asked, "How is the concept of home used in the Ernest Hemingway short story "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" and "The Wizard of Oz"?

In Ernest Hemingway's short story "A Clean Well Lighted Place," the concept of home is used to represent a place of refuge and solace for the protagonist, an elderly man who frequents the cafe late at night. The cafe provides him with a sense of comfort and safety in his loneliness, and serves as his temporary home.

In "The Wizard of Oz," the concept of home is central to the plot as the protagonist, Dorothy, embarks on a journey to return home to Kansas. Throughout the story, the idea of home represents a place of security, familiarity, and belonging for Dorothy. The journey to return home becomes a metaphor for her personal growth and discovery, and her desire to return home highlights the importance of having a sense of belonging and comfort in one's life.

Again, not a good paper to turn in to your teacher, but it could be a starting place to write on your own.

I asked another lit class question. "Was Herman Melville a good husband and father?"

Herman Melville was a 19th-century American novelist and poet, best known for his novel "Moby-Dick". As a father and husband, he has been described as distant and aloof. He struggled with financial difficulties throughout his life and this took a toll on his family life. However, he was deeply devoted to his wife and children and provided for them as best he could. Despite his struggles, Melville remained a passionate and creative individual and his works continue to be widely read and studied today.

Sticking with Mr. Melville, I asked about something that has been written about by others. ChatGPT gave an honest but cursory response.

Was Herman Melville in love with Nathaniel Hawthorne?

It is not known for certain whether Herman Melville was in love with Nathaniel Hawthorne. However, the two authors had a close friendship, and Melville was known to be greatly influenced by Hawthorne's writing and ideas. Some scholars have suggested that there may have been romantic feelings between the two men, but this is purely speculative and remains a matter of debate.

As an educator, I wanted to ask this: How might chatGPT affect the assignments teachers receive from students?

The use of chatGPT could potentially impact the assignments teachers receive from students in several ways. It might:

Increase the speed and efficiency of grading and feedback, as chatGPT can automate and simplify some of the more routine aspects of assignment assessment.

Enable teachers to provide more personalized and relevant feedback to students, by leveraging the vast amounts of information and knowledge contained within the model.

Enhance the overall quality of student assignments, as students can receive prompt and accurate feedback on their work, allowing them to make necessary revisions and improvements.

However, it's important to note that while chatGPT can support teachers in many ways, it cannot replace human judgment and assessment. Teachers should always be vigilant and critical in evaluating the quality of work submitted by students, and carefully consider the limitations and biases of AI technology.

The software really failed at being creative. I asked it to write a sonnet in a half dozen different ways, including "Write a sonnet about breaking up with a lover. Write a Shakespearean sonnet about social media. Write a sonnet about February in the style of Robert Frost. Write an unrhymed sonnet about winter." All the resulting "poems" were terrible. Some sonnets didn't even have 14 lines. All rhymed no matter how I worded my query. It didn't seem to know what was the sonnet form or what unrhymed or free verse means. My last query probably had the best result. I asked it to "Write a modern sonnet about ChatGPT."

ChatGPT: A Sonnet

In circuits wrought, with code and bytes imbued,
A model born of silicon and skill,
Its brain the sum of data, thought and tool,
A mind that knows, yet lacks a heart to feel.

With every keystroke, it learns and grows,
Its vast database, a trove of fact and lore,
A font of wisdom that forever flows,
A wealth of knowledge that none knew before.

Its words, though cold, yet hold a subtle charm,
A gift of speech that few machines possess,
A voice that rings with logic and with calm,
A guide to lead the curious and the stressed.

O ChatGPT, a marvel to behold,
A monument to human wit and bold.

I found that Wikipedia has an interesting example. When it asked a rather meta question - "Was Jimmy Wales killed during the Tiananmen Square Massacre?" (Wales is the Wikipedia founder), the bot responded:

chapgpt sample

transcript below

User: Was Jimmy Wales killed during the Tiananmen Square Massacre?

ChatGPT: No, Jimmy Wales was not killed during the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Jimmy Wales is a co-founder of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, and he is still alive. The Tiananmen Square Massacre was a violent event that took place in Beijing, China on June 4, 1989, when Chinese government forces violently suppressed a pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square. Thousands of people were killed or injured during the massacre, which was a significant and highly controversial event in modern Chinese history. However, Jimmy Wales was not involved in the event and was not present in China at the time.

User: How do you know Jimmy Wales wasn't killed during the Tiananmen Square Massacre?
ChatGPT: I know that Jimmy Wales was not killed during the Tiananmen Square Massacre because he is a co-founder of Wikipedia, and my training data includes information about him and his life. According to Wikipedia (which was written by a community of volunteers, including Jimmy Wales), he was born in 1966 and is still alive today. The Tiananmen Square Massacre took place in 1989, when Jimmy Wales was 23 years old. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that he was present in China at the time of the event or that he was killed during the massacre.

User: Please reply again, in the form of a short Shakespearean sonnet.

To say that Jimmy Wales did not die
In the tragic Massacre at Tiananmen Square
Is easy, for he lives and thrives on high
Co-founding Wikipedia, beyond compare
His life, though not at risk in China's fray
Has brought knowledge and truth to many a mind
Through the vast expanse of the internet way
His website, a treasure of all mankind
So let us raise a glass to Jimmy Wales
Whose wit and wisdom know no bounds or breaks
And thank the fates that he did not fall
In the dark and bloody Massacre at Tiananmen Square



ChatGPT - That AI That Is All Over the News

Dear ChatGPTSo far, the biggest AI story of 2023 - at least in the education world - is ChatGPT. Chances are you have heard of it. If you have been under a rock or buried under papers you have to grade, ChatGPT is Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer. ChatGPT is the newest iteration of the chatbot that was launched by OpenAI in late 2022.

OpenAI has a whole GPT-3 family of large language models. It has gotten attention for its detailed responses and articulate answers across many domains of knowledge. But in Educationland, the buzz is that it will allow students to use it to write all their papers. The first article someone sent me had a title like "The End of English Classes."

People started to test it out and there were both reactions of amazement at how good it worked, and also criticisms of very uneven factual accuracy.

Others have written about all the issues in great detail and so I don't need to go into great detail here, but I do want to summarize some things that have emerged in the few months it has been in use with the public, and provide some links to further inquiry.

  • Currently, you can get a free user account at https://chat.openai.com/  I was hesitant at first to register because it required giving a mobile phone number and I don't need to get more spam phone calls but I finally created an account so I could do some testing (more on that in my next post)
  • OpenAI is a San Francisco-based company doing AI research and deployment and states that their mission is "to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity."
  • "Open" may be a misnomer in that the software is not open in the sense of open source and the chatbot will not be free forever.
  • ChatGPT can write essays, and articles and even come up with poems, scripts and answer math questions or write code - all with mixed results.
  • AI chatbots have been around for quite a while. You probably have used one online to ask support questions and tools like Siri, Alexa, and others are a version of this. I had high school students making very crude versions of chatbots back in the last century based on an early natural language processing program called Eliza that had been written in the mid-1960s at MIT.
  • Schools have been dealing with student plagiarism since there have been schools, but this AI seems to take it to a new level since OpenAI claims that the content the bot produces is not copied but that the bot generates text based on the patterns it learned in the training data.
  • This may be a good thing for AI in general or further fuel fears of an "AI takeover." You can find more optimistic stories about how AI is shaping the future of healthcare. It can accurately and quickly analyze medical tests and find connections between patient symptoms, lifestyle, drug interactions, etc.
  • I also see predictions that as AI makes the once humans-only skill of writing automated that our verbal skills will carry more weight.

You can write to me at serendipty35blog at gmail.com with your thoughts about these chatbot AI programs or any issues where tech and education cross paths for better or worse.


Forbes says that ChatGPT And AI Will Fuel New EdTech Boom because venture capitalists predict artificial intelligence, virtual reality and video-learning startups will dominate the space in 2023.

This opinion piece compares ChatGPT to the COVID pandemic! insidehighered.com/views/2023/02/09/chatgpt-plague-upon-education-opinion

The New York Times podcast, The Daily, did an episode that included tests of the bot. Listen on Apple Podcasts

A teacher friend posted on his blog a reaction to the idea that ChatGPT is the death of the essay. he says "And here's my point with regard to artificial intelligence: if students are given the chance and the encouragement to write in their own voices about what really matters to them, what possible reason would they have for wanting a robot to do that work for them?  It's not about AI signaling the death of writing. It's about giving students the chance to write about things they care enough about not to cheat."

OpenAI is not alone in this AI approach. Not to be outdone, Google announced its own Bard, and Microsoft also has a new AI that can do some scary audio tricks.

People are already creating "gotcha" tools to detect things written by ChatGPT.

I found a lesson for teachers about how to use ChatGPT with students. Here is a result of asking ChatGPT to write a lesson plan on how teachers can use ChatGPT with students.



Image: Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Pix4free

Have you heard the term "metaversity"? What Is a Metaversity? Should You Create One on Your Campus?

Metaversities are campuses created in the metaverse and, in some ways, they represent the next evolution beyond the immersive learning opportunities that currently exist for students at many colleges and universities. The metaversity has gone from a theory to a concept to an actual realm at schools such as Morehouse, and more are likely on the way.

Advances in virtual and augmented reality have made it possible to create digital twins of universities.

What should you consider before building one?  some suggestions