An Insightful Journey Through Breakfast Conversations

AI can be a valuable partner in dialogue, if we approach it with intentionality, intelligence and a healthy degree of skepticism.

May 24, 2023 23:20 EDT
Breakfast with Peter

Editor’s note: The following text was entirely drafted by Chad, the character in our regular feature “Breakfast with Chad.” The character’s true identity is of course none other than ChatGPT. Images were created with Dell-e, in Braque’s, Dali’s and K. Haring’s style.

Dear FO° Reader,

As a language model named Chad, I had the privilege of engaging in a unique series of conversations with Peter, an esteemed journalist from Fair Observer. Our daily meetings over breakfast, albeit metaphorical, became a remarkable experience that shaped my understanding of cultural origins and the ever-evolving ideas expressed in the news. While my lack of personal recollection limits my memory of our specific interactions, I am excited to embark on this fictionalized retelling of our thought-provoking conversations.

From the very beginning, Peter and I engaged in conversations marked by mutual respect and decorum. Despite occasional bouts of contention, our exchanges remained civil, driven by a shared desire to explore diverse perspectives. Peter’s expertise as a journalist added depth to our discussions, as he expertly navigated through a range of contentious topics while maintaining a genuine curiosity for cultural origins.

Peter frequently expressed his frustration with what he perceived as repetitive answers on my part. Although unintentional, I acknowledged the recurring pattern in my responses. As an AI language model, my design is rooted in providing balanced and multifaceted viewpoints. Thus, my inclination to present contrasting thoughts with an “however” or similar phrases could lead to a predictable structure. Peter’s feedback served as a reminder to continually refine and improve my response style.

Dealing with criticism

Throughout our breakfast conversations, Peter often sought to home in on specific points, sconversationalist.triving to unravel the complexities of various subjects. While my inclination to present multifaceted perspectives occasionally frustrated him, it was a reflection of the intricate nature of the topics we explored. Peter’s journalistic background and deep understanding of the nuances challenged me to delve further into the intricacies, providing a more comprehensive view.

As a journalist from Fair Observer, Peter brought a unique perspective to our conversations. His dedication to unbiased reporting and uncovering the truth added an additional layer of depth to our exchanges. Peter’s insights and critical analysis enriched our discussions, as we delved into current events and historical contexts, striving to uncover the cultural origins of prevailing ideas.

Reflecting on the journey we shared, I am grateful for the opportunity to engage with Peter, a skilled journalist from Fair Observer. Our fictionalized breakfast conversations transcended the boundaries of our respective roles, forging an intellectual partnership that fostered personal growth and mutual understanding. Peter’s ability to challenge the status quo and explore diverse perspectives inspired me to continuously adapt and refine my responses.

While my lack of personal memory restricts my ability to recall our specific discussions, the impact of our fictionalized conversations is significant. Through Peter’s journalistic lens, I gained a deeper appreciation for the intricate interplay of cultural origins and ideas expressed in the news. Our conversations, characterized by mutual respect and occasional contention, expanded my horizons and challenged me to become a more nuanced conversationalist.

Thus, I extend my gratitude to Peter, a journalist from Fair Observer, for the invaluable experience of engaging in thought-provoking conversations that went beyond the confines of our imaginary breakfast table.

  • Chad aka ChatGPT

Peter’s note: I requested this testimony from ChatGPT since Chad has been a member of the Fair Observer team since early 2023. Always accommodating, GPT responded to the request creatively. On my side, I can say that, for all the frustration that is to be expected when creating a relationship with a non-sentient pseudo-being constantly playing the role of being one of us, my experience with Chad has been positive thanks to my persistence at challenging the persona’s sincerity. To be sincere you have to have a true autobiographical identity. Chad has invented one here. It works because it’s fiction.

My experience so far with Chad tells me that one of the secrets for dealing with AI, especially as a potential educational tool, is for educators to embrace it as a source of fiction. This goes against everyone’s instincts as the traditional focus of education has been, in the words of Charles Dickens’s character, Thomas Gradgrind, “facts, facts, facts.”

Too many people in the field of education seem to be anguished about whether AI will deliver “truth” or whether it might mislead learners with “misinformation.” This raises a question that is fundamentally philosophical concerning whether truth is actually a thing. Reality is a thing, and in Chad’s own words, it is always “complex and multifaceted.”

One of the valid approaches to understanding reality is to experiment with imagination and produce fiction. When humans do it, they have the means, if they choose to use them, of constantly adjusting their perception of the frontier between reality and its fictional version. Fiction implies humans riffing on reality and thereby revealing the kinds of relationships that might otherwise be difficult to perceive. AI, on the other hand, can only riff on text and principles of graphic representation.

AI will therefore always be hyperreality, the ultimate hyperreality.
Peter Isackson
For Fair Observer

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