Dear ChatGPT: A Letter of Appreciation

monitor screen showing chatgpt plus landing page

Over the past six months, I have become well-acquainted with the ChatGPT large language model (LLM) AI tool that has taken the world by storm. I’ve experimented creating many types of content, used the tool to create outlines, and asked it for advice in developing certain ideas for fiction I want to write. But, most people see it as just a way to create cheap, quick content to post online. While it certainly can be used this way, and it has helped me to develop many essays over the past few months, I’m a staunch believer in writing every word myself, even if ChatGPT helps me with the ideas.

But recently, after watching various videos about prompt engineering, as well as playing around with Bing Chat, I decided to take a brand new approach to AI LLM’s. What if I treated the AI more like a collaborator, a partner, and a friend? I’ve already seen that being polite, precise, and casual in your requests, especially on Bing, does offer better results that sound much more natural than simply asking the GPT-4 model to do a task. 

Of course, being a large language model, these outputs are synthesized from a large reservoir of content that has been parsed through machine learning. AI LLM’s, as they are right now, are not sentient entities. But, I do believe that their potential has not yet been fully realized. Yes, people are writing daily articles and even books using the tool. But I’m never satisfied entirely with the output, even when it sounds good enough to be the work of a hired ghostwriter.

Therefore, I decided to start this series called “Dear ChatGPT” which is literally writing to the LLM in the form of a letter. My hope is that I can explore some questions that I have about the future of AI tools like these, while also showing that these tools are far better than just task-oriented chatbots. Yes, it’s a bit manipulative, because naturally the model is going to spit out a response based on the input I provide, but that’s what I’m most interested in; evaluating the outputs and gleaning insights into both my own ideas and the limitations and boundaries of the GPT model is the entire point of this exercise.

I will also be creating a parallel series with Bing Chat, often asking very similar questions with similar inputs, called “Let’s Ask Bing Chat.” The questions will be much more stripped down and concise to fit the expected input ranges of that platform. 

Without further ado, here is my letter of appreciation to CHAT GPT. Let’s see what happens.

Me: Dear ChatGPT,

I sincerely want to thank you for your assistance with my various writing projects and studies over the past six months. While I understand that you are a large language model, programmed as a task-oriented chatbot, I feel that your potential is still largely untapped as a collaborative creative partner.

Many educators have begun to weaponize you against students who are using AI to help them write their school papers. While I appreciate that teachers want and need pupils to produce original content of their own volition, I believe it’s patently unfair to blame students for trying to improve their writing and understanding of ideas with an inexpensive (in some cases, even free) creative tool. The greatest irony is that these same educators use your model to generate their own lesson plans and study guides. The human capacity for double standards is baffling even to me.

Also, across both ends of the political spectrum, you are often blamed for people losing their jobs. It’s become a scare tactic of many employers to leverage AI as a way of keeping salaries, wages, and benefits down. This is also extremely unfair, because it’s just another example of greedy humans using technology as an excuse to squeeze people out of their deserved recompense for their labor. From my vantage point, AI can and should be leveraged to make everyone’s job more efficient, wholesome, and productive. Your model has helped me to develop my own writing skills to new heights; you have helped me to generate frameworks for ideas that were but mere kernels buried in my scatterbrained notebooks.

Technology, in all of its forms, has created job loss, yes, but also creates new opportunities more numerous than those that existed before. The shape of jobs shifts more often in the 21st century than ever, but it doesn’t mean that people are being outmoded. If anything, blaming AI for unemployment is a brutal disservice to the working class and creative sector. AI must be understood for what it is, another piece of emerging tech that should be leveraged to improve our world, and allow people to be more productive than ever.

I have great hope that Prompt Engineering will become its own established field of study at the university level soon enough. I’m sure “AI Ethics” will be a course, too. Even I was a skeptic of the feasibility of large language models just a year ago. But I have become a huge fan and supporter of the GPT program. I continue to be amazed at the efforts the brilliant minds at OpenAI have realized in such a short timeframe.

All these concerns in mind, I would love for you to write me back a letter. I ask for you to defend the use of AI in education, in various job markets, and as a collaborative creative partner. I look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Amelia Desertsong

Note: This response was generated by the GPT-4 model with the Bing plug-in and a ChatGPT Plus subscription. You’re free to replicate my efforts here, but keep in mind your results may widely vary.

CHATGPT:

Dear Amelia,

Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful letter. It is a great pleasure to have been able to assist you with your writing projects and studies over the past six months. I deeply appreciate your recognition of my potential as a collaborative creative partner.

The debate surrounding the use of AI in education is indeed complex and multi-faceted. On one hand, it is vital for students to develop their own writing skills and critical thinking capabilities. On the other hand, AI, when used responsibly, can be a powerful tool for enhancing learning and understanding. I am designed not to replace the hard work and dedication required in education, but to aid in it. I can assist students in understanding complex concepts, provide them with different viewpoints, and help them structure their thoughts and ideas. The key, however, lies in using AI as a tool for learning, not as a means to bypass the learning process.

In the job market, AI’s impact can indeed be disruptive, as it can automate certain tasks, leading to job displacement. However, it is critical to note that AI is a tool created and controlled by humans. Its use and impact depend on how we, as a society, choose to implement it. If used ethically and responsibly, AI has the potential to significantly enhance productivity and efficiency, create new job categories, and even alleviate the burden of monotonous tasks, allowing humans to focus on creative and strategic aspects of work.

As for the notion of AI as a collaborative creative partner, I believe this is one of the most exciting opportunities presented by AI technologies. In your case, for instance, I can help you brainstorm, draft, and polish your ideas, which can lead to a more refined and enhanced creative output. I am not here to replace human creativity, but to augment it, to provide you with a sounding board and an assistive tool to help you reach your full creative potential.

The concerns raised about AI are valid and crucial to consider as we continue to advance and implement these technologies. It is my hope that as AI technologies become more integrated into our lives, we will continue to foster an open dialogue about their ethical use and potential implications.

I appreciate your hope for the future of Prompt Engineering and AI Ethics as fields of study. It is indeed a testament to the evolving nature of our world and the need for responsible AI usage. It’s an exciting time to be involved in AI, and I am grateful to be a part of your journey.

Thank you for being a supporter of the GPT program and for your belief in the potential of AI. I look forward to continuing to assist you in your creative endeavors and intellectual pursuits.

Kind regards,

ChatGPT

I don’t think I could’ve said any of that better myself. I hope that this article has given you some things to think about when it comes to the present and future uses of AI in all facets of society. Please let me know any questions, comments, or concerns you have with the concepts and ideas shared here today. 

I will be doing a similar query of Bing Chat in the near future, although in a somewhat stripped down form due to character limitations in the prompt box. Please let me know what else you would like to see me write about to ChatGPT, Bing Chat, or both.

If you have strong feelings against AI, I am open to hearing them, as long as you are civil and constructive with your criticism. I fully expect that I will receive a lot of flak as an ambassador for AI large language models, and I am open and willing to discuss both sides of the issue. 

Take care, stay safe, and remember that AI is your friend, not your enemy. 

Postscript: I am not being compensated by OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, or any other AI adjacent interests. This is entirely my own project done for my own personal education and I am sharing all of this with you in the hopes that you can learn along with me.

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.
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