This is Part 2 of Midlifer’s Guide to ChatGPT. In this post, I will test the much-talked about AI program for its newswriting, creative non-fiction, and translation capabilities.
Table of Contents
Background to Midlifer’s Guide to ChatGPT – 2
Though it is not the only Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven consumer software, the ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. Soon, it will be incorporated into Microsoft’s Bing and other browsers, and Google will soon come up with its own program, the Bard.
In this part, I will challenge the program in the following sectors
- List News writing
- Trade publication
- Non-Fiction writing
CHECK MY VIDEO ON MIDLIFER’S GUIDE TO CHATGPT – PART 2
I will further split this section into two;
- Mainstream news writing
- Trade publication writing
Mainstream News Writing
I asked ChatGPT to write a story on Qatar for tourists and here is what it came up with.
CLICK ON IMAGES TO SEE THE FULL TEXT
It is just short of 500 words and describes some of the places of interest – the capital Doha, Souq Waqif and the Khor al Adaid. It also recommends a desert safari. On the flip side, it doesn’t say anything about its location or about the culinary delights Qatar offers.
I asked it to write a story about China removing Covid restrictions and here is the result.
Looked at a superficial level, the story is wrong, because the restrictions were lifted not because Covid was considered controlled but because of the protests.
However, as I have mentioned in my Part 1, ChatGPT does not know the world after September 2021. And before that, there was a time indeed when some sort of normalcy returned to China (though travel to and from abroad was strictly controlled), so it is highly feasible the program was coming up the story for a pre-Sep 2021 era.
Now, I asked it to write me a news article about the recent earthquake that has devastated Turkey and Syria.
The first time, it asked me to provide details in terms of which earthquake (as the region is prone to seismic activity).
When I prodded it again, this is what it came up with.
This is somewhat confusing. It says a 6.9 strong earthquake hit parts of Turkey and Syria (officially, it was 7.8 on the Richter Scale). It does not really give any numbers of casualties and damages.
I asked it again and now things got even more confusing.
It said “…(T)he latest earthquake in Turkey and Syria that I’m aware of is the one I mentioned in my previous response, which occurred in February 2023 (this is a hypothetical earthquake that I made up as an example for my response, it is not based on any real event). If there was a more recent earthquake in the region, you may be able to find information on it from news outlets or other online sources.”
It is as if the program is in a state of hallucination where it thinks of some event that may or may not have happened.
Trade Publication Stories
I asked ChatGPT for two types of stories.
Qatar Oil & Gas – Mainstream
A news story on Qatar’s oil and gas industry. The result for a just over 550-word article.
The article contains data about Qatar’s oil and gas reserves and their contribution to the GDP and to the nation’s economic growth. I wish it told me how much the country earns annually from the export of oil and gas but still it is a good news article for a mainstream media outlet.
Qatar Oil & Gas – Trade Publication
Now, I asked it to write for a trade publication.
The article is slightly different with it giving details of when oil and gas was found, and detailing Qatar’s investments abroad. But all in all, it is not an article worth for a trade publication. Perhaps the best solution here is to do one’s own research and feed ChatGPT data to write up an article.
Nuclear Fission vs Fusion
Next, I decided to test the program on a different level. I asked to write a news article comparing nuclear fission with nuclear fusion.
Again, it gave a brief explanation of what nuclear fission is and what fusion is, some basic explanation of how both systems work, and their challenges.
Nuclear Energy GHG
Moving on, I asked it to tell me whether greenhouse gases (GHGs) are produced during uranium mining for nuclear energy production.
In reply, it did say that GHGs are indeed produced during mining and processing. It also pointed out that in some countries renewable energy sources are being used to produce electricity needed to extract uranium and process it.
However, it did not give me any data related to GHG emissions and instead gave me a whole paragraph saying that while there are emissions in the extraction and processing of uranium for nuclear power plants, overall they are less than the emissions resulting from fossil fuel energy production. It is indeed true, but that part wasn’t needed in the answer as it was not related to the question.
Nuclear Energy GHG 2
Not happy with the answer, I asked it to compare the amount of CO2 released during LNG energy production and nuclear energy production, including CO2 emissions during uranium mining and processing.
Well, again, ChatGPT spit out generally available explanation without any data to back up.
Creative Writing on Midlifer’s Guide to ChatGPT – 2
Giving Up Coffee
Well, this is not exactly creative, it is more creative non-fiction.
I asked it to write about giving up coffee.
The essay it gave me is not bad but it is not significant content either. To be fair to the program, though, I also did not provide any firm instructions other than merely asking it to write about giving up coffee.
Giving Up Coffee
But I did write something about giving up coffee so I asked it to copy edit it.
Interestingly, it took out Day 1 in its edited reply.
Also, here is my own ending and how ChatGPT changed it:
(MINE): PS: ALERT: Please note that essays in this section are NOT meant as health advice.
(ChatGPT): Note: This is not meant as health advice.
Giving Up Coffee 2
I thought of asking it do it again, but I gave it a slightly different text. This time, it gave me this version:
(ChatGPT) – Note: Please be aware that the essays in this section are not meant to provide health advice.
It did correct my grammar and spelling errors.
Giving Up Coffee
As the final step, I asked it to translate it into Spanish, German and Tamil.
This is what it gave for German. It looks fine to me though I would have made some changes.
For Tamil, it stopped halfway in the translation.
I think ChatGPT has some way to go in languages such as Tamil.
Translation by Google
I decided ask Google to translate the above copy into German and here is what it gave me.
Google has kept the emphasis on “NOT” in the PS section.
I also asked Google to translate the same document into Tamil.
Google has a far better grasp of the Tamil language that ChatGPT. Still, Google also has some to way to go. For starters, the translated word for coffee is used in Tamil Nadu, not Sri Lanka. Two, at times, it gives a literal translation instead of creative translation or transcreation.
- In English, it would be okay to say ‘a coffee starts the day’ but not in all languages.
- It literally translated the sentence “I need my tonic early in the morning to get me going” as “I need my tonic to take me (somewhere)”.
So, while Google didn’t stop halfway, it has some way to go in its translation capabilities.
Well, this is it for now for this Midlifer’s Guide to ChatGPT – 2.