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News Feature: ChatGPT writes Poetry

March 21, 2023, #33

ChatGPT has dominated the tech news in ways that cannot escape notice. Craig Griffin writes in The Scholarly Kitchen that he has “enjoyed playing around with the capabilities of ChatGPT.”¹ Just for fun he asked ChatGPT to turn a scholarly article from IWA Publishing’s Water Science and Technology journal into a Haiku: Açaí endocarp, Removes heavy metals well, Nature’s solution.”¹ He also asked ChatGPT to turn the article into a sonnet. Here are the first two lines: “Nature’s gift, the açaí endocarp, A fibrous, porous, laminar mass, With voids and fissures, it doth embark On a journey to cleanse and surpass. Heavy metals in water, a plight, A danger to all living things, But with this biosorbent, they take flight, Leaving the water pure and clean.”¹ The style transformation is impressive. When Griffin asked ChatGPT to summarise the article, he writes: “The conclusion from ChatGPT is fact heavy, but not incorrect. To be sure, the authors’ conclusion is better written, more easily understood, and brings in points (such as the fact that further study is needed) however, the ChatGPT conclusions are accurate and useable.”¹ He notes “It’s conceivable that ChatGPT could be used to summarize complex article concepts into more accessible and consumable formats. Beyond that, the power to identify patterns in large information sets could truly be transformative, by ingesting thousands of papers on a topic and generating a meta-analysis in minutes.”¹ Some tasks are easier for ChatGPT than others. Griffin writes: “I asked the AI which is better, Siri or Alexa, to which it replied that it doesn’t have opinions as an AI model”¹. Griffin kept asking what ChatGPT meant by “its personal opinion” with the result that “in the span of 8 messages ChatGPT flip flopped 4 times.”¹ Griffin does not make light of the risks. He notes that: “ChatGPT has also created a turbo-charged weapon for plagiarism, fake analysis, and horsepower for the paper mills. It’s entirely plausible that ChatGPT will be (or is already) being used to crank out ‘papers’ that no researcher ever touched.”¹ AI hype is nothing new and is often exaggerated, but ChatGPT and similar tools appear to offer a level of substance that ought not be ignored.


1: Griffin, Craig. 2023. ‘Guest Post — ChatGPT: Applications in Scholarly Publishing’. The Scholarly Kitchen. 14 March 2023.


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