ChatGPT’s Fluent BS Is Compelling Because Everything Is Fluent BS

out in In the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, a young woman named Rachel clings to the wall of an oil rig. The wind blew her auburn hair into a mess, and the seawater drenched her jeans, but she kept going, determined to find evidence of unauthorized drilling. However, when she gets on board, she finds something much more sinister going on.

This is a snippet of oil and darkness, a horror film set in an oil rig. The film stars environmental activist Rachel, Jack, the sinful rig foreman, and shady company executive Ryan, who is conducting dangerous research on “a new highly flammable oil “. It’s the kind of movie you could swear you’ve seen the second half of when switching channels late at night or dozing off on a long-haul flight. It’s also completely made up.

oil and darkness Developed and written by AI chatbot ChatGPT. Content Marketer and AI Hobbyist Guy Parsons provide a format, asking for a title, intro, main character, plot details, and a theme hint of “a horror film set in an oil rig”. The user then lets OpenAI’s new software do its job. The result is astounding: There’s dramatic tension, realistic characters, and hints of a dark secret. It promises explosive action, and maybe even a bit of political commentary.

That’s another example — and many have popped up on social media, WhatsApp chats, and WIRED Slack over the past week — of the seemingly magical power of ChatGPT.

The AI ​​chatbot is trained on text from books, articles, and websites that have been “cleaned” and structured in a process called supervised learning. ChatGPT can code, compose songs, compose hexagons and haiku. It remembers what it wrote and makes careful edits as required. Even the most random suggestions are executed in a rhythmic manner, composing stories that neatly tie competing strands together: Details that seem irrelevant in the first paragraph pay off in the first paragraph. last paragraph. It can tell jokes and explain why they are funny. It can write powerful, attention-grabbing, magazine-style articles, with tight but completely fabricated citations.

All of this makes playing with ChatGPT incredibly fun, captivatingly addictive, and—as a writer for a living—quite unsettling indeed. But you’ll soon start to feel the lack of depth beneath ChatGPT’s authoritative prose. It creates factual flaws, mixes facts and mixes people. It relies heavily on jokes and clichés, and reflects the worst prejudices of society. Its language is impressive on the surface but largely lacks substance—what ChatGPT is mainly about precipice has been described as “fluent bullshit.”

But that’s the kind that makes sense. ChatGPT is trained in real-world text, and the real-world basically runs smoothly. Perhaps the plausibility of a made-up movie like oil and darkness come not because AI is so good, but because the film industry is so bad at coming up with unique ideas. In a way, when you ask the AI ​​to make a movie for you, it just mimics the formulaic process that many Hollywood blockbusters are made: Look around, see what worked, raise its elements (actors, director, plot structure) and blend them together into a figure that looks new but isn’t.

The same is true in publishing, where narrow trends can sweep the industry and dominate for years on end, lining the shelves of bookstores. cover looks the same or titles with the same rhythm: Brief history of the seven murders, Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, Seven lives of seven killers. (ChatGPT has done that eventually.)


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