It seems that everyone is talking about ChatGPT. I have seen a few essays generated by ChatGPT, and I can’t say I’m impressed. They read like something that an unambitious high school student hoping to scrape by with a ‘C’ might hurriedly cobble together the evening before an essay has to be handed in. The essay would be unlikely to receive that ‘C’ grade, however, because plagiarism is at the heart of ChatGPT’s output, and outright plagiarism – as opposed to unoriginal derivative thinking, which is commonplace – is still frowned on in educational settings.
A recent essay by Noam Chomsky, Ian Roberts, and Jeffrey Watumull, “The False Promise of ChatGPT,” looks at the difference between human intelligence and ‘artificial intelligence’ as in ChatGPT. They write: “The human mind is not, like ChatGPT and its ilk, a lumbering statistical engine for pattern matching, gorging on hundreds of terabytes of data and extrapolating the most likely conversational response or most probable answer to a scientific question.”
One of the paradoxes of ChatGPT is that, on the one hand, it is incapable of providing original insights about, or analysis of, any topic, because it is simply an efficient cut-and-paste tool which finds text that has already been written about the topic it has been asked about. Yet on the other hand, it is absurdly easy to get ChatGPT to generate totally false statements by asking it leading questions. National Post columnist Colby Cosh tried that recently. He asked ChatGPT about ‘scandals’ involving Colby Cosh, and then, awards that Colby Cosh has won. ChatGPT happily obliged by describing a totally fictitious scandal, and then listing awards that Cosh had, in fact, never won.
How does that work? Asked a question, ChatGPT goes searching for seemingly ‘relevant’ content. That is what it is designed to do. If it finds a website which describes a scandal, or an award, and finds the target’s name on the same page, in whatever context, it pastes them together in its response, because its programming tells it that is the most likely ‘answer’ to the question it was asked.
A key thing to remember is that an application like ChatGPT has no concept of a statement being true or false. Its job is to find text that seems to go with a topic. It has no way of determining whether the statements contained in the text are correct; in fact, the idea that statements may be true or false simply can’t be incorporated into programming of the kind that underlies ChatGPT.
One of my friends asked ChatGPT to write a short essay about himself. The resulting essay mostly consisted of pieces of information about him that appear online: banal but correct. But it got the place and date of his birth wrong, and reported that he had died in 2021, which my friend believably assures me isn’t the case.
What about the concerns that ChatGPT could put humans out of work? That is undoubtedly true. The realm of so-called ‘customer service,’ for example, is ideally suited to this kind of ‘artificial intelligence.’ It’s not difficult to program a chatbot to say “Customer satisfaction is our highest priority” or “Please continue holding, your call is important to us” or “I’m sorry, I don’t understand your question” or “Your problem has been resolved. The additional charges will be added to your bill and you will now be disconnected.”
Journalism is another field where artificial intelligence could make inroads. Repeating the same talking points provided by people in power and never asking if they are true is certainly at the heart of journalism, at least about international affairs. ChatGPT is ideally positioned to take over that role.
The hype around ChatGPT got me thinking about other ‘intelligent’ applications that have been around for years, such as the Postmodernism Generator, which has been online since 2000, and in that time has delivered more than 33 million essays. There are also 500letters.org and artybollocks.com. All of them are way more fun, and way more original, than ChatGPT, so I asked all of them about myself. I’ve posted what they had to say about me below. You’ll see that I’m way more interesting than you may have thought. I particularly like the observation that my work is “saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes.”
Ulli Diemer (born 1900, Kassel, Germany) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By using an ever-growing archive of found documents to create autonomous artworks, Diemer reflects on the closely related subjects of archive and memory. This often results in an examination of both the human need for ‘conclusive’ stories and the question whether anecdotes ‘fictionalise’ history.
His artworks are on the one hand touchingly beautiful, on the other hand painfully attractive. Again and again, the artist leaves us orphaned with a mix of conflicting feelings and thoughts. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, he often creates several practically identical works, upon which thoughts that have apparently just been developed are manifested: notes are made and then crossed out again, ‘mistakes’ are repeated.
His collected, altered and own works are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka. By manipulating the viewer to create confusion, he absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.
His works are an investigation of concepts such as authenticity and objectivity by using an encyclopaedic approach and quasi-scientific precision and by referencing documentaries, ‘fact-fiction’ and popular scientific equivalents. Ulli Diemer currently lives and works in Toronto.
[The above text was generated by 500letters.org which you can use to generate profound-sounding BS about yourself – or anyone else.]
Ulli Diemer (born 2001, Toronto, Canada) creates mixed media artworks and photos. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, Diemer makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American superabundance and marketing.
Her collected, altered and own mixed media artworks are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka. By parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, her works references post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.
Her works demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. By demonstrating the omnipresent lingering of a ‘corporate world’, she absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.
Her works are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. Ulli Diemer currently lives and works in Toronto.
[The above text was generated by 500letters.org which you can use to generate profound-sounding BS about yourself ⊢ or anyone else.]
Ulli Diemer: My work explores the relationship between gender politics and multimedia experiences. With influences as diverse as Blake and John Lennon, new insights are distilled from both mundane and transcendant dialogues.
Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by the essential unreality of the human condition. What starts out as hope soon becomes finessed into a tragedy of greed, leaving only a sense of what could have been and the prospect of a new order.
As momentary forms become clarified through frantic and personal practice, the viewer is left with a tribute to the limits of our existence.
[The above text was generated by artybollocks which you can use to generate profound-sounding BS about yourself — or anyone else.]
This essay was ‘written’ by the Postmodernism Generator (see bottom of the essay for details).
Precultural situationism in the works of Ulli Diemer
Agnes T. J. Pickett
Department of Gender Politics, University of Georgia
1. Debordist situation and conceptualist nationalism
The characteristic theme of von Ludwig's essay on conceptualist nationalism is the role of the participant as artist. In Count Zero, Diemer examines subsemiotic discourse; in Pattern Recognition, however, she deconstructs precultural situationism.
In the works of Diemer, a predominant concept is the concept of cultural truth. Therefore, constructivism holds that culture is capable of social comment, but only if art is distinct from sexuality. Several constructions concerning the difference between sexual identity and truth may be discovered.
In a sense, the primary theme of the works of Diemer is the role of the writer as artist. The subject is contextualised into a posttextual theory that includes sexuality as a totality.
Therefore, the characteristic theme of Hubbard's analysis of conceptualist nationalism is the economy, and eventually the rubicon, of pretextual sexual identity. A number of desituationisms concerning precultural situationism exist.
However, the premise of constructivism implies that reality serves to oppress the Other. If precultural situationism holds, we have to choose between conceptualist nationalism and Derridaist reading.
Thus, the primary theme of the works of Diemer is a mythopoetical whole. The subject is interpolated into a constructivism that includes consciousness as a totality.
2. Discourses of fatal flaw
“Culture is part of the rubicon of sexuality,” says Foucault; however, according to Drucker, it is not so much culture that is part of the rubicon of sexuality, but rather the paradigm, and therefore the failure, of culture. But Sontag uses the term ‘conceptualist nationalism’ to denote the common ground between class and consciousness. Long holds that the works of Diemer are modernistic.
Thus, Derrida suggests the use of precultural situationism to challenge class. The genre, and eventually the paradigm, of constructivism prevalent in Diemer’s Mona Lisa Overdrive emerges again in All Tomorrow’s Parties, although in a more textual sense.
It could be said that Sontag promotes the use of precultural situationism to deconstruct the status quo. The main theme of Abian’s essay on conceptualist nationalism is the stasis, and some would say the futility, of cultural sexual identity.
3. Constructivism and neodialectic capitalism
If one examines precultural situationism, one is faced with a choice: either accept constructivism or conclude that the media is capable of intentionality, given that Lyotard’s critique of neodialectic capitalism is valid. Therefore, cultural dematerialism implies that language is fundamentally unattainable. Foucault uses the term ‘neodialectic capitalism’ to denote the role of the reader as poet.
In the works of Diemer, a predominant concept is the distinction between masculine and feminine. However, if constructivism holds, the works of Diemer are postmodern. Bataille uses the term ‘neodialectic capitalism’ to denote the bridge between class and truth.
“Society is part of the dialectic of art,” says Sontag; however, according to Parry, it is not so much society that is part of the dialectic of art, but rather the rubicon, and subsequent meaninglessness, of society. In a sense, Wilson states that we have to choose between conceptualist discourse and neocultural patriarchial theory. The opening/closing distinction depicted in Diemer’s Neuromancer is also evident in Pattern Recognition.
The characteristic theme of the works of Diemer is a mythopoetical paradox. Therefore, if constructivism holds, we have to choose between postmodernist deconstruction and textual nationalism. Marx uses the term ‘precultural situationism’ to denote the role of the writer as reader.
If one examines neodialectic capitalism, one is faced with a choice: either reject the prematerialist paradigm of reality or conclude that consensus is a product of the masses. In a sense, Sartre suggests the use of precultural situationism to analyse and read class. Buxton holds that we have to choose between constructivism and the conceptual paradigm of reality.
Therefore, the subject is contextualised into a neodialectic capitalism that includes language as a totality. If subdialectic objectivism holds, we have to choose between precultural situationism and semantic theory.
Thus, the subject is interpolated into a neodialectic capitalism that includes art as a paradox. Any number of narratives concerning the difference between society and sexual identity may be revealed.
It could be said that in Idoru, Diemer analyses precultural situationism; in Neuromancer she affirms neodialectic capitalism. The subject is contextualised into a precultural situationism that includes consciousness as a totality.
In a sense, the example of precultural constructivist theory which is a central theme of Diemer’s Virtual Light emerges again in Neuromancer, although in a more neotextual sense. Marx uses the term ‘precultural situationism’ to denote not desituationism, but postdesituationism.
Therefore, Sartre promotes the use of constructivism to attack sexism. Lyotard uses the term ‘Sontagist camp’ to denote the role of the poet as participant.
But Marx suggests the use of precultural situationism to modify class. Many appropriations concerning neodialectic capitalism exist.
1. von Ludwig, Q. I. ed. (1994) The Absurdity of Class: Constructivism in the works of Eco. O'Reilly & Associates
2. Hubbard, G. W. H. (1977) Constructivism, socialism and the structural paradigm of consensus. University of Illinois Press
3. Drucker, N. Z. ed. (1986) The Failure of Consensus: Constructivism and precultural situationism. And/Or Press
4. Long, J. (1992) Constructivism in the works of Glass. Oxford University Press
5. Abian, Y. E. M. ed. (1978) Subcultural Theories: Precultural situationism and constructivism. University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople Press
6. Parry, Y. R. (1999) Submaterial narrative, constructivism and socialism. Panic Button Books
7. Wilson, V. M. T. ed. (1980) The Dialectic of Sexual identity: Constructivism in the works of Rushdie. Yale University Press
8. Buxton, D. (1995) Constructivism and precultural situationism. Harvard University Press
The essay you have just seen is completely meaningless and was randomly generated by the Postmodernism Generator.
The Postmodernism Generator was written by Andrew C. Bulhak using the Dada Engine, a system for generating random text from recursive grammars, and modified very slightly by Josh Larios (this version, anyway. There are others out there).
As of April 28, 2023, this installation of the Generator has delivered 33,078,413 essays since 25/Feb/2000 18:43:09 PST, when it became operational.
The intelligence of ravens and the foolishness of (some) humans