Monday, December 19, 2022

Can Chat GPT do my blogging for me?

Sitting in the Tallinn airport, waiting to go home for Christmas...let's have a little fun, shall we?  Do some low-effort blogging.  Feels festive.

As you may know, Chat GPT is the new hotness--an AI that will write you something for almost any prompt you enter (although, as Maciek realized, it's a bit of a goody two-shoes--it won't write stories about committing crimes or how it's cool to do drugs or things like that).  There was an Atlantic essay recently about how it's going to render high school English classes obsolete.  Well, that's as may be (I'm not entirely convinced; if you spend a lot of time using it, you WILL run into some pretty hard limits), but for our purposes, we must ask the question: can it analyze Disney comics as well as a human can?  Is my presence unnecessary here?  Well, let's find out.

I asked it to "write an analysis of "Only a Poor Old Man" by Carl Barks in the style of a sarcastic leftist with occasional pretensions of intellectualism."  And here's what it gave me:

In "Only a Poor Old Man," Carl Barks tells the story of Scrooge McDuck, a wealthy businessman who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. These ghosts show Scrooge the error of his ways and, ultimately, inspire him to change his greedy and miserly ways.

At first glance, it might seem like this story is a heartwarming tale of redemption. But if we take a closer look, we can see that it's actually a thinly-veiled critique of capitalism.

First of all, it's no coincidence that Scrooge is a wealthy businessman. Throughout the story, he is portrayed as being obsessed with money, to the point where he even keeps it in a massive pile in his basement. This is a clear allegory for the greed and avarice that is so often associated with capitalism.

Furthermore, the ghosts that visit Scrooge are a clear commentary on the consequences of this greed. The first ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Past, shows Scrooge his childhood, and how his obsession with money has caused him to alienate himself from his family and loved ones. The second ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Present, shows Scrooge the plight of the poor and downtrodden, and how his actions have contributed to their suffering. The third ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, shows Scrooge his own grave, and how his greed has ultimately led to his own downfall.

Overall, "Only a Poor Old Man" is a clever critique of capitalism, disguised as a holiday tale. While it might seem like a simple story on the surface, it actually contains a deep and thought-provoking message about the dangers of greed and the need for compassion and empathy. Whether you're a fan of capitalism or not, this story is definitely worth a read.

Now, you may be able to detect a pretty fundamental problem with this analysis.  But even if we imagine that "Only a Poor Old Man" is, in fact, a version of A Christmas Carol, this is a pretty darned surface-level analysis, with no specifics.  This is the sort of thing you generally get when you ask it to analyze a text.  I'm certainly not saying that AI won't render humans obsolete, but it definitely has a ways to go.  Note also that it pretty much ignored my tonal directives: I suppose the stuff about capitalism is meant to address the "leftist" part, but there's no sarcasm or pretensions of intellectualism that I can see.

OH WELL.  Let's try again.  "Write an analysis of "Back to the Klondike" by Carl Barks, focusing on the romantic aspects of the story."

In "Back to the Klondike," Carl Barks tells the story of Scrooge McDuck, who returns to the Klondike in search of gold. Along the way, he is accompanied by his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and their friend, Gladstone Gander.

One of the key romantic aspects of the story is the relationship between Scrooge and his old flame, Goldie O'Gilt. When Scrooge first arrives in the Klondike, he is shocked to find that Goldie is still there, and still as beautiful as ever. Despite the passage of time, the two of them still have feelings for each other, and their interactions are filled with tension and longing.

Another romantic aspect of the story is the growing relationship between Gladstone and Goldie. Although Gladstone is initially smitten with Goldie, she is not interested in him. However, as the story progresses, the two of them start to develop feelings for each other, and by the end of the story, they are a couple.

Overall, "Back to the Klondike" is a delightful tale of romance and adventure, with a touch of nostalgia thrown in. While the focus of the story is on Scrooge's search for gold, the romantic subplots add an extra layer of depth and emotion to the narrative. Whether you're a fan of Carl Barks or not, this story is definitely worth a read.

Unlike the previous, I do have to give this one credit for sort of figuring out what the story in question is, and even dredging up Goldie's first and last name.  But I have to decredit it pretty severely for the bizarre business of Goldie and Gladstone having a romance, and once again, no specifics.  Also note that the last sentence ("whether you're a fan of x or not") is the same as in the previous.

It's also worth noting that I helped the system out by giving it probably the best-known stories to work on.  If I gave it something more obscure, it would be even more hopeless.  Actually there's no need to keep that in the realm of the hypothetical; ChatGPT, write an analysis of "Have Gun, Will Dance" by Carl Barks.

"Have Gun, Will Dance" is a comic story written and drawn by Carl Barks, featuring Donald Duck as the main character. The story follows Donald as he becomes embroiled in a series of misadventures after winning a gun in a raffle.

The story begins with Donald excitedly winning a gun in a raffle. Despite not having any experience with firearms, he decides to keep the gun and becomes convinced that he is a natural-born sharpshooter.

As he goes about his daily life, Donald finds himself getting into all sorts of trouble as a result of his overconfidence and lack of experience with the gun. He accidentally shoots holes in his own boat, disrupts a theatrical performance, and causes a stampede at a cattle ranch, among other mishaps.

Despite the chaos he causes, Donald remains oblivious to the danger he poses to himself and others. It is only when he accidentally fires the gun at a group of angry rattlesnakes that he realizes the error of his ways and decides to get rid of the gun.

Overall, "Have Gun, Will Dance" is a humorous and entertaining story that showcases the comical consequences of Donald's reckless behavior and lack of common sense. It is a classic example of Carl Barks' ability to craft engaging and amusing stories featuring the lovable and hapless Donald Duck.

I mean, on the bright side, there are more specifics.  On the dark side, there's zero analysis.  Also, all those specifics are completely made up.  Sigh.  It looks like I'm gonna have to keep doing this manually for the foreseeable future.

Oh well.  Hey, ChatGPT, how about a story where Gladstone Gander and Magica de Spell team up to save Christmas?

It was a cold, snowy Christmas Eve in Duckburg, and everyone was getting ready for the holidays. Gladstone Gander, the wealthy and arrogant duck, was lounging in his mansion, sipping on a cup of hot cocoa and feeling pleased with himself.

Meanwhile, Magica de Spell, the wicked sorceress, was plotting her next move. She had always been jealous of Scrooge McDuck's vast fortune, and she was determined to find a way to get her hands on it.

As she sat in her dark, gloomy castle, an idea suddenly came to her. She would team up with Gladstone Gander, who was known for his good luck, and together they would steal Christmas from the ducks of Duckburg.

Gladstone was initially hesitant when Magica approached him with her plan. He had always been a selfish duck, but he knew that stealing Christmas was a step too far. However, Magica was persuasive, and she convinced Gladstone that they could do it all while still keeping the holiday spirit alive.

So, on Christmas Eve, Gladstone and Magica set out on their mission. They snuck into Scrooge's mansion and stole all of the presents from under the tree. Then, they headed to the North Pole, where they planned to sell the presents to the highest bidder.

As they flew over the snowy landscape, Gladstone couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt. He had always loved Christmas, and he knew that what he was doing was wrong. Just as they were about to land at the North Pole, Gladstone had a change of heart.

He turned to Magica and said, "I can't do this. I can't steal Christmas from the ducks of Duckburg. It's not right."

Magica was surprised, but she could see the determination in Gladstone's eyes. She knew that he was serious, and so she reluctantly agreed to turn back.

As they flew back to Duckburg, Gladstone and Magica came up with a plan to make things right. They would return the presents to Scrooge's mansion and then spread holiday cheer throughout the town.

The ducks of Duckburg were overjoyed when Gladstone and Magica returned the presents and helped to decorate the town for the holidays. Gladstone, who had always been known for his selfishness, was finally able to embrace the spirit of Christmas and share it with others.

And Magica, who had always been known for her wicked ways, was finally able to experience the joy of the holiday season. From that day on, Gladstone and Magica became the unlikely guardians of Christmas in Duckburg, and they worked together to spread joy and cheer to all of the ducks.

I could quibble, but hey, why bother, it's kinda heartwarming.  I'll have another entry or two for the season, depending on how nog-sozzled I end up.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ngl, the plot that the AI made up for "Have Gun, Will Dance", is pretty believable

December 20, 2022 at 8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was fun; i’ve been playing a bit with ChatGPT myself so this was unexpected to see. the raffle gun plot sounds kinda like an actual Donald story :D

December 20, 2022 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Bah, that's nothing.

Ask it to write a story with Asterix and Obelix. I try few times and most of the time it was all orange as said it may be against their rules as it shows Romans as villians and incurage violance agianst them.

Yeah but...
1. I think making Romans from 2000 years ago from perspective of Gouls under their ocupation the villians who get beaten by the heroes is difrent then demonising modern Romans for some reason.
3. But...the chat wrote it...

December 20, 2022 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

(pardon, I wrote "3" insted of "2"... I guess my personal algorithm screw up)

December 20, 2022 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Wait, there are *presents* under the tree in Scrooge's mansion? Presents he is intending to give to others? Hmmm. Well, I suppose those packages could contain a doorknob, a fork, a candle in an old bottle.... I wouldn't say much for their resale value in the planned North Pole auction.

December 21, 2022 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I do have to give this one credit for [...] even dredging up Goldie's first and last name.

That's nice and all, but you do know that Goldie's last name is nowhere in the story, don't you? It's something Don Rosa thought up for his Life of $crooge. It shouldn't pop up in a purported review of "Back to the Klondike".

December 22, 2022 at 5:54 AM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

I wrote him description of Gladstone Gander and ask him to write examples of Gladstone being lucky:

- Gladstone is running late for a meeting and can't find his keys. He starts frantically searching through his house, when suddenly he trips over a rug and falls face-first into a pile of keys, including the one he was looking for.
- Gladstone is trying to find a parking spot in a crowded city, when he suddenly spots an open spot right in front of his destination. As he pulls in, he realizes that the spot was reserved for the mayor, but the mayor had just left, so Gladstone gets to keep the spot.
- Gladstone is feeling a little down, so he decides to go to the beach for some sunshine. As he's walking along the shore, he stumbles upon a treasure chest filled with gold coins and jewels.
- Gladstone is trying to fix a leaky faucet, but can't seem to get it to work. Just as he's about to give up, a plumber shows up at his door, saying that he was sent by Gladstone's neighbor to fix their faucet but got the wrong house. Gladstone is able to get his faucet fixed for free.
- Gladstone is trying to buy a gift for his girlfriend, but he's short on cash. As he's browsing through a store, he sees a beautiful necklace that he knows his girlfriend will love. Just as he's about to put it back, the store owner comes over and tells him that the necklace is on clearance for half price. Gladstone is able to afford it and his girlfriend is thrilled with the gift.
- Gladstone is having a terrible day at work, when he suddenly gets a phone call from an old friend who has just won the lottery and wants to split the winnings with Gladstone.

December 31, 2022 at 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That faucet example actually sounds like something you could find in an actual Gladstone story.

January 13, 2023 at 8:33 PM  

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