I was sitting poolside at a San Juan, Puerto Rico, resort bar, minding my own business, when ChatGPT settled into a barstool next to mine and ordered a pina colada. It was a bold move, considering the sun was not yet over the yardarm, as we like to say in the islands. I took another sip of my Campari and soda and nodded in the bot's direction. We exchanged the usual pleasantries, as humans and AI tend to do in such circumstances, and soon the conversation turned to what we did when we weren't basking in the glorious Puerto Rican sunshine. “I help people write,” the chatbot (Feb. 13 version) said, in a very straightforward, declarative sentence kind of way. No brag, just fact. “What a coincidence,” I replied. “I do the same thing.” We began to compare notes. The chatbot ordered another pina colada. That worried me a bit; even software shouldn't drink all that cream of coconut mixed with rum so early in the day. Not to be outdone, I moved to a mojito. The chatbot talked about all the ways it helps people write stories, from doing the research required to nail down the facts, organizing the copy in a logical way for clear understanding, and producing neat, readable paragraphs. “What about feeling?” I asked. “Do you help your writers find the emotional center of their stories?” “I don't know what you mean,” the chatbot replied, in a neutral, non-defensive sort of way, while motioning to […]
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