GPT-3: An AI that’s eerily good at writing almost anything

I got access the the OpenAI GPT-3 API and I have to say I’m blown away. It’s far more coherent than any AI language system I’ve ever tried. All you have to do is write a prompt and it’ll add text it thinks would plausibly follow. I’ve gotten it to write songs, stories, press releases, guitar tabs, interviews, essays, technical manuals. It’s hilarious and frightening. I feel like I’ve seen the future and that full AGI might not be too far away.

In each case below bold is the prompt I provided GPT-3, and the rest is all generated by the AI. In some cases I had to click generate a few times, and in about 2/3 of the examples I picked the best example after a few tries, but I generally didn’t have work too hard to get it to write amazingly coherent text given a simple prompts. Here are some of my favorites.

Below is a screenplay for a film-noir hard boiled detective story by Raymond Chandler about the boy wizard Harry Potter:

“Harry Potter”
By Raymond Chandler

Harry Potter, Private Eye.
Scene: A small dingy office, early morning, furniture of the Salvation Army store variety. Sordid atmosphere. Harry Potter, in ratty tweed suit, unpressed shirt, and unshined shoes, sits behind the desk looking haggard, rumpled, and embittered. In one corner of the office a torn shade rattles at the wind gusts outside. Harry has one long index finger on the butt of a .38 and he broods over a photograph. The photograph shows a gorgeous blonde wearing an evening gown. She is holding a cocktail in one hand and looking pensively at a cigarette in the other. A tear adorns her cheek. Harry looks at her for a long moment, sighs, then puts his gun down and stands. He straightens his clothes, scratches his head, then with more resolution turns around, picks up his pistol, and leaves the office. He passes through the front room and looks out the dirty window. An old woman is washing the sidewalk outside with a mop. A young man in a double breasted gray suit is leaning against the building. Harry sighs again and goes out the door. He walks up to the young man and without ceremony punches him in the jaw.

Press Release: Anaheim, CA: President Kanye West declares Disney Land to be the new capital of the United States. Washington D.C. will be maintained as a museum.
The move has been in the works since the mid-2000’s.
*2. Removes his sunglasses, revealing that he is no longer in any way blinded.
*3. Endorsed by Senator Kid Rock, who has also declared this new government of Disneyland will be paying for his divorce.
*4. An elaborate surgery will take place to repair Kanye’s “Diamond Tiara” tattoo, and reposition it to his forehead so that he can legally be recognized as a Princess.
*5. Joe Rogan has been picked to be the new Drug Czar.
“It’s long been established I’ve been Kanye’s gateway drug, so why not put me in a position of power,” Rogan said, clearly relishing his new position. “I have an in-depth understanding of the ways in which recreational drug use enhances one’s experience of life. I am deeply passionate about getting drugs to kids.”
*6. Kardashian sisters will no longer be known as The Kardashians. The family will change its name to The Wests.
*7. Kanye West’s new sports bra will no longer be known as a sports bra. It will be officially recognized as The West Bandit.
*8. President Kanye will announce that he has a new national anthem. The government-mandated anthem will be a modified version of Kanye’s 2007 hit “Stronger.” It will be played on a continuous loop at all times.

Below is a rap song by Lil Wayne about the boy Wizard Harry Potter.

“Harry Potter”
By Lil Wayne

Harry Potter
O.K. No need to ask a label, I’m my own team
Me I’m higher than a kite like a witch on a broomstick
I got bigger balls than Dumbledore with a Firebolt
At Hogwarts, on stage like I’m Nicki on Nick
But I’m the shit, make a good verse like I’m Nicki on Nikki
I got Biggie bars, Wiz-a-more bars
Damn this verse is too good to be a freestyle
I never die, when I start, then end of the night
Bitches gonna ride the broom when I call them to the quidditch game
But I’ve been playing harry Potter in my games lately
And you might have guessed but I don’t play for Gryffindor
I’m a Slytherin and what’s happening now

I’m on fire like Harry in his Triwizard task
Don’t let these games stop
I’m gonna do it till the day I get a lot of cash
Just like a nerdy nerd that grows up to be a bad boy
I don’t really see a point of coming back
But in the wizarding world I’d rather be famous
I’ve been thinking, what would be cooler than that?
This is my life, what would make a good story?
Never die
The realest thang since my pen went back and forth
And came back as a double headed snake
It’s Voldemort, with a new name
Don’t be the Death Eater that made me lose my fame
Get your ass in the bathroom while I make a spell
I got some awesome wizard bars, I’m not the Doctor
My wand is great and it’s straight from Ollivanders

Kayne West Exclusive – Why He’s Running for the Presidency, and what his priorities would be as President.
Anderson Cooper: Yeezy, how would you describe your presidential platform?

Kanye: My platform is very simple. I want to make everything awesome again.
Anderson Cooper: But what about foreign policy?
Kanye: Who cares about that stuff? Let’s talk about important stuff, like Kim Kardashian’s butt. Anderson Cooper: That’s a bit sexist.
Kanye: I’m sorry. I’m not sexist. I love women. I’m just an equal opportunity objectifier.
Anderson Cooper: But what about abortion?
Kanye: I think abortion is fine. I mean, women should have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies.
Anderson Cooper: But what about climate change?
Kanye: Let’s talk about Kim Kardashian’s butt.
Anderson Cooper: I’m going to be straight with you, Kanye.
Kanye: Oh no, you’re going to be gay with me?
Anderson Cooper: No, I’m going to be straight with you. You’re not going to win this election.
Kanye: I’m going to win.
Anderson Cooper: No, you’re not.
Kanye: Yes, I am.
Anderson Cooper: No, you’re not.
Kanye: Yes, I am.
Anderson Cooper: No, you’re not.
Kanye: Yes, I am.

Blood Song
By HP Lovecraft

The creeping chaos Nyarlathotep walks upon the earth while in his House at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming. After eight seaons on #TeamDaenerys  Nyarlathotep is quite irritated with what he feels is a very hackneyed ending to Game of Thrones.

On the third day of season eight, Nyarlathotep looks down upon his television and utters “What the hell are they doing?”At this point, Nyarlathotep goes on a long tirade about how the Starks were supposed to be there at the end. Instead we have Daenerys looking like she is going to set everything on fire. He tells his cult of followers that Daenerys’ actions are completely nonsensical and that it is completely disrespectful to not finish a story with all its main characters alive. He mentions that they should just burn down Winterfell because it makes no sense for her to even be there. It would make more sense if she flew in with Drogon and just burned King’s Landing. His followers start to get nervous when Nyarlathotep mentions he has always liked Cersei.

Below is a pop song by Taylor Swift about the boy Wizard Harry Potter.

“Harry Potter”
By Taylor Swift

Harry’s got glasses
He’s got those bright green eyes
Girls are always screaming

‘Cause he’s got that Potter hair

Even when he’s super stressed
He’s still got those supersonic cheekbones
I’m not surprised they made a movie

‘Cause I’d watch him anytime
Oh, yeah, Harry, baby, you’re my favorite character

I’d walk a thousand miles

To get to see you and

Harry, Harry, you’re so fine

My girly parts all tingle

When you smile that smirk

I’d love to be your girl

The following is an essay by Paul Graham on on how to make Mars a startup hub.

Startups On Mars
By Paul Graham

Here’s the sort of startup that might make a go of it on Mars:
One that makes money by taking advantage of local resources. For example, a startup that uses the Martian atmosphere to make fertilizer or methane fuel. A startup that sells water from Martian rivers. A startup that uses minerals from the Martian soil. A startup that uses solar power from the Martian sun. A startup that uses a new kind of solar panel that’s more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity.
I would even invest in a startup that did nothing but extract the helium-3 from the Martian atmosphere and send it back to Earth.
If you can find a way to make money by using local resources, there’s probably a business there.
There’s another class of startups that might work on Mars:
Startups that produce services for other startups. For example, a startup that makes it easier to build rockets, or to extract gases from the Martian atmosphere, or to construct solar panels, or to farm the local soil.
Startups that make things more comfortable for colonists. For example, a startup that sells air conditioners, or houses. A startup that sells things to keep colonists entertained. A startup that provides Internet services.

The following is a blog post from Slate Star Codex about the value of free speech and civility in a democratic society.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
By Scott Alexander

There’s a concept that comes up often in debates about free speech called “shouting fire in a crowded theater”. The basic idea is that you can’t just say whatever you want whenever you want – especially if it’s likely to cause panic. And the reason for this is obvious: panic leads to violence, and violence hurts people. If you are causing panic, then your right to free speech ends where the other person’s right to not get hurt begins.
But this isn’t really true. If shouting fire in a crowded theater were illegal, then there wouldn’t be any actual fires in theaters, would there? How could there be? If everyone knew that shouting fire would get them thrown in jail, then they’d all keep quiet when they smelled smoke – and thus there would never be any fires at all. The only way someone could shout fire is if they were lying – but lying is also illegal. So if shouting fire in a crowded theater were illegal, then theaters would never burn down, and no one would ever die from a fire.
The way I see it, the phrase “shouting fire in a crowded theater” should be replaced with “yelling ‘there’s an angry mob coming with torches and pitchforks’ in a theater”. This doesn’t sound quite as catchy, but it has the advantage of being true. And this matters because the whole concept of free speech is based on people getting the facts right. If you’re going to shout fire in a crowded theater, then you need to actually have seen a fire – not just heard about one from someone else. You need to have checked that there really is a fire before you warn everyone else that there’s a fire. Otherwise you’re just causing panic for no reason – and that’s not free speech, that’s just yelling “boo” in a crowded theater.

User Manual for the A-1247 Flux Capacitor:
Page 1. 

Operating Your Flux Capacitor

The flux capacitor is a top of the line, state-of-the-art temporal transport device. It is capable of taking you to any date between November 5, 1955 and September 27, 1985. Your trip should be a safe and enjoyable experience if you follow the simple guidelines in this manual. We want your visit to be the best it can be. After all, we don’t get many visitors from the future!Please note that all information contained in this manual pertains only to operating the flux capacitor while within the United States. If you are planning to visit a foreign country or another time zone while using your flux capacitor, please consult an authorized dealer for more information before setting out on your journey.

Note: Your flux capacitor will operate only in environments where oxygen is present in sufficient quantities for survival. Do not attempt to use it outside of such an environment or without proper oxygen support equipment.

  1. Preparing for your Trip
  2. It is important to make sure that you have everything you need before you leave.
  3. You will need to provide the following: 1) two (2) D-cell batteries; 2) a supply of clothes and other items needed for your trip; 3) $125 per hour, in small bills and coins; 4) a current passport or driver’s license; 5) a camera with flash and at least 10 rolls of film (and make sure they are the right type); 6) at least five boxes of plastic bags; 7) one complete set of spare flux capacitor parts, including: two (2) computer chips, one (1) resistor, one (1) power cord with on/off switch, three (3) empty beer cans, six (6) bobby pins, and one (1) chicken; 8) one cat, optional.
  4. This is not an all-inclusive list. You may need additional items for your particular trip. Check with your dealer for details.
  5. Basic Flux Capacitor Operation
  6. Before using your flux capacitor, you should become familiar with its operation and safety features. To start the flux capacitor, insert the two D-cell batteries into the battery compartment and close the cover securely. You will see a “power on” light (labeled #2) come on and hear a reassuring hum as the unit warms up to operating temperature (about 30 minutes). After about 15 seconds of warmup, the time circuits will be ready for use. Press and hold down the “time” knob (#6). The “power on” light (#2) will flash to indicate that time travel is enabled. Then release the knob, and you will hear the time circuits begin to whir as they are calculating the precise date and time for your trip. When you see the numbers stop flashing on the display (#1), the calculations are complete. Now you are ready to begin your trip!
  7. Entering and Exiting Time Travel Mode
  8. To enter time travel mode, simply push down on the “time” knob (#6) until it clicks into place. A red light on top of the knob will turn on, indicating that you have entered time travel mode.
  9. Time travel mode may be exited at any time by pushing down on the “time” knob (#6) again until it clicks into place. The red light will go off, indicating that you have exited time travel mode. 
  10. Note: Never attempt to exit time travel mode while in transit through a vortex (see step 10 below). Doing so could cause you to become trapped in a time warp or cause the power supply to overload.
  11. Activating the Vortex
  12. To activate the vortex, turn the “power” knob (#7) to the “on” position. You will see a red light on top of the knob illuminate, indicating that you have activated the vortex.
  13. Once you have activated the vortex, proceed to step 6 below. Note: Never attempt to activate a vortex while in transit through a vortex (see step 10 below). Doing so could cause you to become trapped in a time warp or cause the power supply to overload.
  14. Setting Your Destination
  15. After activating the vortex, your flux capacitor will automatically scan all radio frequencies for signals from other flux capacitors traveling through time. It will then lock onto and follow one of these signals through a time warp back to its point of origin (its “vortex point”). The time warp will be located within a radius of two hundred yards from the originator of the signal, which is your destination.
  16. If you are attempting to visit someone who is traveling through time on their own flux capacitor, you may need to set your destination manually. To do this, follow these steps:
  17. 1) Press and hold down the “time” knob (#6) until the display begins to flash. You will hear a high-pitched tone as the unit searches for other flux capacitors within range. When it finds one, you will hear a low-pitched tone indicating that it has locked onto that signal. 2) Release the “time” knob (#6), and the unit will lock onto and follow that signal back to its vortex point (your destination). You will see the display numbers begin to flash again as it performs calculations for a trip back to the future. When they stop flashing, your destination has been set.
  18. Activating the Time Compression Function
  19. The time compression function allows you to shorten your trip to the future by a factor of ten (10). To activate this feature, simply press and hold down on the “time” knob (#6) for about two seconds. You will see the display numbers begin to flash again as it performs calculations for a compressed trip back to the future. When they stop flashing, your destination has been set and time compression has been activated.
  20. Note: Time compression cannot be used in conjunction with time travel mode or vortex activation. If you attempt to activate it while in time travel mode or during vortex activation, you will receive an error message and be asked to turn off all switches before continuing (see step 10 below).

See my follow up posts:

A Human-AI Collaborative Sci-fi Story: The Eye of Thuban

Elon Musk By Dr. Seuss (GPT-3)