For fun, I spent some more time this evening chatting with ChatGPT. I asked it all sorts of questions, from the meaning of Hamlet’s question “To be or not to be?” to an explanation of why people like Picasso’s paintings. What I found was that the answers were sort of informative, but in a startlingly uninteresting sort of way.
All of ChatGPT’s answers sounded reasonable, but there was never any insight. It felt like the verbal equivalent of that joke about Christmas fruit cakes:
When you get one for Christmas, you can just put it on a shelf. That way, the next Christmas you can take it out and gift it to somebody else. This will go on for years, because nobody ever eats the damned things.
Listening to ChatGPT’s answers feels exactly like receiving that Christmas fruit cake. You appreciate the gift, but you don’t actually expect to be nourished.