ChatGPT - First Look
Many are predicting that the next big evolution of technology is Artificial Intelligence (AI). For instance, Bill Gates said this on Reddit recently:
“AI is the big one,” said Bill Gates […] “I don’t think [the web] was that big or that metaverse stuff alone was revolutionary but AI is quite revolutionary.”
I confess that I really haven’t been paying much attention to AI. Roberta and I have been heads-down working on a game. However now that the game is out, I’ve been reading about a new technology called ChatGPT, and that it represents a major breakthrough in AI.
Everything I’ve read has sounded like science fiction and I’ve had serious doubts about whether it could be true. Finally I decided I’d just go see for myself whether or not there is really this giant leap forward that I’ve been hearing about.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, when someone talks about a technology that will change the world, it is nonsense. Not in the case though. Now that I’ve taken a look, I believe that I have seen the future.
I don’t know how this will play out, anymore than I could have predicted back in 1990 what the internet has become today, but I can tell you that my testing indicates that AI is real, and it is scary good. I’m not using the word “scary” lightly. It doesn’t take a very active imagination to envision how AI could be horribly abused.
Specifically, the company behind ChatGPT is making available to companies an API so that anyone could use their technology within products. You can expect to see AI technology showing up in products everywhere. Personally, I’m looking at it to see how characters in games could be more lifelike, and how world or character creation could be automated. Will AI technology start showing up in medical devices, autos, business software, home appliances and more? Of course. Will it show up in future weapon technology? Of course. Would the world be better off without AI? Perhaps, but putting a genie back in a bottle is not possible.
And all of that said, let’s take a quick look at some of my experimenting. I should point out that this was my first experience with ChatGPT and that I did not read any manual. I came to ChatGPT completely cold, just staring at an empty text box. I’m sure it could have been used far more intelligently than the simple sentences I typed.
As a quick test, I asked ChatGPT to generate some marketng copy for our game www.colossalcave3d.com. It’s interesting to look at the ad copy that was generated. The larger italic text below is what I typed, followed by what ChatGPT responded with. Note that I told ChatGPT nothing about the game. Presumably everything it said, it THOUGHT UP on it’s own.
Here goes. You’ll see several different tests. I started by asking ChatGPT to write me some ad copy.
(Ken to ChatGPT) Write marketing copy for a historic text adventure called Colossal Cave that is now available as a 3d game
(CHATGPT) “Step back in time and experience the thrill of adventure like never before with Colossal Cave. Originally a text-based game, Colossal Cave has been re-imagined as a fully immersive 3D experience. Explore the depths of the cave and uncover its secrets as you solve puzzles and uncover hidden treasures. With stunning graphics and a rich storyline, Colossal Cave offers a truly one-of-a-kind gaming experience. Don’t miss out on the chance to play one of the most iconic games in gaming history, now available in a whole new dimension. Get Colossal Cave today!”
(KEN) Wow! Not too shabby. So, I tried asking the same question, but to ask ChatGPT to focus on families.
(Ken to ChatGPT) Write marketing copy for a historic text adventure called Colossal Cave that is now available as a 3d game emphasizing that it is something the whole family can enjoy together.
“Introducing Colossal Cave, the classic text adventure game that has been reimagined as a 3D experience. Explore the depths of the cave and uncover its secrets in a whole new way. Now, the whole family can enjoy this timeless adventure together.
Experience the thrill of discovery as you navigate through the winding passages of the cave, solving puzzles and uncovering hidden treasures. The 3D graphics bring the cave to life in a way that was never possible before, immersing you in the adventure like never before.
With a variety of difficulty levels, Colossal Cave is perfect for all ages. Kids will love the sense of adventure and discovery, while adults will enjoy the challenge of solving the puzzles. This is a game that the whole family can enjoy together, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Don’t miss out on this classic adventure, now available in a whole new way. Download Colossal Cave today and experience the thrill of exploration together as a family.”
(KEN) I forgot to mention that the game is available on both PCs and VR, so I changed my question slightly.
(Ken to ChatGPT) Write marketing copy for a historic text adventure called Colossal Cave that is now available as a 3d game on PCs and on VR emphasizing that it is something the whole family can enjoy together.
(ChatGPT) “Introducing Colossal Cave, the classic text adventure that has been reimagined as a thrilling 3D game for the whole family to enjoy together! Explore a mysterious underground cave filled with ancient treasures, dangerous creatures, and challenging puzzles. This game is perfect for families who love to play together and explore new worlds.
With the power of 3D graphics, Colossal Cave has never looked better. Take a journey into the depths of the cave and experience the adventure like never before. The game is available for PCs, so you can play it on your desktop or laptop, and it’s also available on VR, so you can immerse yourself fully in the game and experience the cave as if you were really there.
Colossal Cave is a game that is perfect for all ages. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a first-time player, the game is easy to pick up and play. The challenging puzzles will keep you and your family entertained for hours on end.
So why not gather the family around the computer or VR headset and embark on an unforgettable adventure together? Order Colossal Cave today and experience the classic text adventure like never before!”
(KEN) Closer! But I forgot to mention how hard the puzzle are, so I added that to my request.
(Ken to ChatGPT) Write marketing copy for a historic text adventure called Colossal Cave that is now available as a 3d game on PCs and on VR emphasizing that it is something the whole family can enjoy together. Mention the snake, the dragon and the troll. Also mention that the puzzles are incredibly challenging.
(ChatGPT) “Are you ready for an adventure like no other? Introducing Colossal Cave, the classic text adventure game that has been reimagined in a stunning 3D world. Now available on PCs and VR, Colossal Cave is an experience the whole family can enjoy together.
Embark on a journey through an ancient cave system, where you’ll encounter a variety of obstacles and challenges. From the cunning snake to the fierce dragon, and the terrifying troll, Colossal Cave will test your problem-solving skills and your courage.
But don’t let the obstacles scare you away. The puzzles in Colossal Cave are incredibly challenging, but with teamwork and determination, you’ll be able to conquer them all. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a first-time player, Colossal Cave is a game that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
So gather the family and get ready for an unforgettable adventure with Colossal Cave. With the stunning 3D graphics and the challenging puzzles, it’s the perfect game for all ages. Download it now and let the adventure begin!”
(KEN) My message is there, but it is overly long. Let’s see what happens if I ask ChatGPT not to be so verbose.
(Ken to ChatGPT) Write marketing copy for a historic text adventure called Colossal Cave that is now available as a 3d game on PCs and on VR emphasizing that it is something the whole family can enjoy together. Mention the snake, the dragon and the troll. Also mention that the puzzles are incredibly challenging. The response should not be longer than two paragraphs
(ChatGPT) “Introducing Colossal Cave, the classic text adventure game now available in a stunning 3D experience for PCs and VR. Take your family on an epic journey through a mysterious underground cave, where you’ll encounter challenges and puzzles that will test your wits and teamwork.
Navigate through the twists and turns of the cave, solving challenging puzzles and facing off against fierce creatures like the snake, dragon and troll. With a thrilling storyline and immersive gameplay, Colossal Cave is the perfect adventure for families to enjoy together. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newbie to the game, you’ll be captivated by the incredible challenges that await you in this timeless classic.”
(KEN) Amazing! Now. What if I just wanted it all in one sentence?
Give me one sentence that would generate excitement for a historic text adventure called Colossal Cave that is now available as a 3d game on PCs and on VR. The game is something the whole family can enjoy together. The game has many characters that you will meet, including a snake, a dragon and a troll. The puzzles are incredibly challenging.
(ChatGPT) “Embark on a thrilling adventure through Colossal Cave, now in 3D and VR, where you’ll meet mythical creatures, solve challenging puzzles, and bond with your family as you explore one of the most historic and exciting text adventures of all time.”
(KEN) It isn’t perfect, but for first generation AI. I’m blown away. How can this be possible? But, can it write code? Are us software engineers going to be obsolete? So, I tried this question:
(Ken to ChatGPT) Right recursive code that computes 100 factorial
(ChatGPT) “Explanation: This code uses a recursive function called “factorial” that takes in one parameter, “n”. The function first checks if “n” is equal to 0. If it is, the function returns 1, as 0! = 1. If “n” is not equal to 0, the function calls itself, passing in the value of “n-1” as the new parameter. It then multiplies this returned value by “n” and returns the result. This process continues until “n” reaches 0, at which point the function will return 1, and all previous recursive calls will return their respective values, ultimately resulting in the factorial of 100.”
if n == 0:
return n * factorial(n-1)
(KEN) Now I’m starting to freak out. Not only did ChatGPT write the code, it wrote the comments. It even figured out that I misspelled “right”. How do I get human software engineers to comment their code? There has to be a human somewhere at the other end of the wire. Can someone peek behind the curtain for me? This is getting too creepy.
(KEN) OK, so ChatGPT can write marketing copy, and it can write code, but can it make a picture? Here’s a test of me asking it to make pictures. You can see what I typed and that in each case ChatGPT rendered four pictures for me to pick from.
(Ken to ChatGPT) An image to showcase a 3d game called colossal cave 3d. Show the wellhouse along with the dragon, the troll and the snake
(Ken to ChatGPT) An image to showcase a 3d game called colossal cave 3d. Show the wellhouse along with the dragon, the troll and the snake. Use watercolors
(Ken to ChatGPT) An image to showcase a 3d game called colossal cave 3d. Show the wellhouse along with the dragon, the troll and the snake. Use vector art
(Ken to ChatGPT) A mean looking troll standing on a bridge over a chasm. The troll has his hand out as if asking for payment. There is a sign nearby that says, “Warning Troll Bridge Ahead”. Use a fantasy style with bright colors
(Ken to ChatGPT) A watercolor painting of a super intelligent computer in front of a crowd of impressed people
(KEN) If you haven’t already guessed it, every picture in this article was generated by ChatGPT.
I must say that I am blown away and looking forward to learning more. Hang on tight. The world is about to change, again.
January 25, 2023
I’ve been tinkering with ChatGPT and find it to be a very useful tool, but I’m not feeling replaceable yet. Once they hook it up to the internet, though … A very different story!
Some chat GPT prompts I’ve tried:
Write a hypothetical cure for cancer involving the mapk protein pathway and nanotechnology.
Write 10 multiple choice questions about photosynthesis.
Write a 500 word essay on the theme of economics in Star Trek.
Write an email thanking someone for buying the game colossal cave 3d.
Explain how Ken Williams created the Sierra company. Write the explanation in the style of William Shakespeare.
My human attempt at VR marketing copy: Colossal Cave 3D. The Ultimate Escape Room. In 1976 Colossal Cave inspired a generation of video game designers. Play it now in VR. How many secrets can you find?
I hear ya Ken! I had some compiling errors in a lengthy bit of C# code I wrote, and was just curious…. So I gave it to ChatGPT and told it to “fix the code”. Thats it. I didn’t tell it what the errors were (typo in a couple namespaces). It not only re-wrote the code, it explained the mistake, explained namespace usage, and gave me 2 alternative approaches to the code itself (A simple GameController), and included “recommended” comments. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I went outside and dug a hole, instantly missing the good ole days of my youth. lol
Gonna play Colossal Cave for the first time tonight! Thank you and Roberta for coming out of retirement! And congrats on the game launch! Cheers!
Wow! I don’t know if I should be excited, or scared!
Nice article on ChatGPT Ken. Look forward to playing the game. FYI, these images are created by Open AI Dall-E, not ChatGPT. 😁
What’s really interesting in working with ChatGPT is you don’t have to feed it in a whole command when tweaking the output.
For example I asked it to write a short rhyming love poem to a wife of many years. After reviewing the output I simply said, “make it more sarcastic,” then another command, “OK now add some Star Trek references.” It was fascinating how it understood what to change and followed the thread of our conversation. Give it a try!
The people in the back are so excited that they have peed their pants.
I hadn’t noticed that. ChatGPT must have a bug! There’s that old saying, “To err is human, but to really screw things up, you need a computer”
Hey Ken, do are you a plus subscriber to ChatGPT. I can’t get it to render any images out from a description.
There is another service called DALL-E made by the same folks (OpenAI) that does the image generation. I also wondered that after reading Ken’s article, but figured it out eventually :). See https://labs.openai.com/
Ken, your experiences with ChatGPT are fascinating and prompted me to play with the technology. Mind blowing. But I am SO concerned about the existential implications of these new language models. They are going to amplify the data we feed in (e.g the Internet). That is very scary. Are you familiar with the work of Mo Gawdat? What do you think of his concept: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7BkixWHG8o