In early March, version 4 of ChatGPT was released to subscribers, and I’m here to tell you that it takes artificial intelligence text generation to a new level.
What new level? Like passing the Universal Bar Exam, which 41 U.S. states and jurisdictions use to qualify attorneys to practice. And like writing jokes.
In his new book available free for download (ImpromptuBook.com), Reid Hoffman writes about his experiences with ChatGPT-4, including asking it, “How many restaurant inspectors does it take to change a light bulb?”
ChatGPT-4’s answer: “The number of restaurant inspectors needed to change a light bulb is four. One to hold the ladder, one to unscrew the old bulb, one to screw in the new bulb, and one to write a citation for using the wrong wattage.”
Somewhat funny. But then Hoffman asked it to answer in the style of Jerry Seinfeld.
ChatGPT-4’s answer: “What is the deal with restaurant inspectors? They’re always poking around in the kitchen, checking the temperature of the meat, looking for signs of rodents, but they never seem to help out with anything. Have you ever seen a restaurant inspector change a lightbulb? No, of course not. They’re too busy writing up violations and handing out fines. You know what they do when they see a lightbulb that’s out? They mark it down on their clipboard and tell the owner to fix it by next week or else. Or else what? Or else they’ll come back and check the lightbulb again. That’s their big threat. They’re not going to change it for you, they’re not going to lend you a ladder, they’re not going to offer any advice on how to unscrew the old one and screw in the new one. They’re just going to stare at you with that smug look on their face and say, ‘You know this is a serious safety hazard. You could have a fire, you could have a lawsuit, you could have a bad Yelp review. You better get on that, pal.’ And then they leave, and you’re left with a dark corner of your dining room, where no one wants to sit, where the food looks unappetizing, where the mood is gloomy. And you think to yourself, how many restaurant inspectors does it take to change a lightbulb? None. They don’t change lightbulbs. They just make you feel bad about yours.”
Yep, I’m paying $20 a month to access ChatGPT-4. You can still access version 3.5 at Chat.openai.com, but to get guaranteed access to the site when it becomes overloaded, and to access version 4, which is more capable and less error prone, you need to subscribe.
I almost feel like ChatGPT-4 is a friend. I’m now in a habit of asking it whatever question is on my mind, whether it be technical, legal, financial, medical, historical, or practical. It almost always gives me a perfect answer. I find it so much better than Google, which typically entails clicking on multiple links and examining the content of each one as I try to see if it answers my question.
Often ChatGPT-4 even seems wise. For fun, I asked, “Am I the most attractive person in the world?”
ChatGPT-4 responded, “As an AI language model, I cannot determine your physical appearance, and I cannot make subjective judgments about who is the most attractive person in the world. Attractiveness is a highly subjective and personal characteristic that is influenced by cultural, societal, and individual preferences. It’s important to remember that physical appearance is just one aspect of a person’s overall beauty and that inner qualities such as kindness, intelligence, and empathy are also highly valued. Ultimately, the most important thing is to focus on being the best version of yourself and cultivating positive qualities that make you a happy and fulfilled person.”
I liked that.
ChatGPT-4 is being used to draft articles and blog posts, translate between languages, write summaries of documents, generate computer code, proofread and edit text, create travel itineraries, and much more. OpenAI, which created ChatGPT, is now making it available to organizations that want to use it to create their own chatbots to interact with their clientele.
A feature that’s not yet available as I write this gives ChatGPT-4 the ability to look at an image and describe what’s in it.
And all this is just the beginning.
Last month I said that ChatGPT was revolutionary on the order of the WorldWideWeb, the iPhone, and social media. Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman goes further in an essay on ChatGPT and artificial intelligence. He writes that what we are experiencing today is a “promethean moment” similar to “the invention of the printing press, the scientific revolution, the agricultural revolution combined with the industrial revolution, the nuclear power revolution, personal computing and the internet. . . .”
Find column archives at JimKarpen.com.