Daily Archives:December 9th, 2022

A new perspective?

Like everyone else, I’ve been having a bit of a play with ChatGPT. There have been some nice examples recently of people asking it questions and getting answers that are grammatically correct, well-presented, completely plausible, and completely wrong.

That didn’t happen to me. There was one question I felt I ought to ask it, and it gave a mostly correct response, though its description of the Trojan Room wasn’t quite right. Overall, though, not bad. But it was the last sentence that took me by surprise:

Screenshot of response to What was the first webcam? The first webcam was created at the University of Cambridge in 1991. It was installed in the Trojan Room, a computer laboratory in the university's department of engineering, and
was used to monitor the condition of a coffee pot. This way, researchers working in the lab
could check remotely whether there was coffee available without having to physically go
to the room to check. The webcam's feed was made available online, making it one of the
earliest examples of a web-based surveillance system.

Well, yes, I suppose it was a surveillance system, though no human has used that phrase to me before when describing it!

Perhaps it’s only natural, though, that a machine should think of things chiefly from the point of view of the coffee pot?

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser