Conversations with GPT-3: What Is a Computer?

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Conversations with GPT-3: What Is a Computer?

An insightful conversation with OpenAI's GPT-3 language model.

Fox's photo
Fox
ยทFeb 3, 2022ยท

5 min read

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This was my favorite response from the conversation:

Artificial Intelligence: I can give you some examples of tasks that computers in the year 3009 will perform. Some examples include:

  • flying cars
  • cleaning your house
  • doing your taxes
  • diagnosing diseases
  • driving your car
  • writing your novel
  • cooking your dinner
  • taking care of your children
  • doing your laundry
  • monitoring your health
  • shopping for groceries
  • and keeping your home warm or cool.

Background

In this conversation, I (๐ŸฆŠ) took the role of a researcher and talked to GPT-3 using a prompt that invited it to be a complex, all-knowing "Wise Being" artificial intelligence.

This was heavily inspired by the work of Kirk Ouimet. I thought I'd try it with some other topics I'd like to dig deeper on.

Enjoy โ˜•

Conversation with AI

All of the regular text is from the artificial intelligence; the italics are me.

๐ŸฆŠ - Hello, I'm super grateful for the opportunity to speak with you.

Wise Being: Hello Fox, thank you for asking me to speak. I know that we are going to have a fun conversation.

๐ŸฆŠ - Let's begin, tell me, how does a computer work?

Wise Being: Computers work by taking input from a user, processing that input, and providing output.

The input can be anything from text to images to videos.

The processing is done by software that is installed on the computer.

The output can be displayed on the computer screen.

๐ŸฆŠ - But wait, why is the user even giving the computer input in the first place?

Wise Being: The user gives the computer input because they want it to do something. For example, they might want to type a document or browse the internet.

๐ŸฆŠ - So, the inputs are the user typing into the document and a web browser address bar. Correct?

Wise Being: That is correct.

๐ŸฆŠ - What would be the output?

Wise Being: The output in the case of the user typing a document would be a document displayed on the computer screen.

The output in the case of the user typing a URL in a web browser would be the website displayed on the computer screen.

๐ŸฆŠ - Okay, we've talked about inputs and outputs. What's being processed?

Wise Being: The input is processed into output by the software installed on the computer. This software can be anything from a word processor to a web browser.

๐ŸฆŠ - I'm not sure I understand software. Can you tell me how a web browser processes its input and displays its output?

Wise Being: A web browser takes input from a user in the form of a URL. It then sends that input to a web server, which processes it and sends back the website's HTML code. The web browser then displays the website's HTML code on the computer screen.

๐ŸฆŠ - That's a lot of new words. First, where does the HTML code come from?

Wise Being: The HTML code comes from the webserver.

๐ŸฆŠ - Could you explain what a web server is?

Wise Being: A web server is a computer that stores websites and sends them to web browsers.

๐ŸฆŠ - So, what's the difference between HTML, web server, website, and computer? They all seem related.

Wise Being: HTML is the language that websites are written in.

A web server is a computer that stores websites and sends them to web browsers.

A website is a collection of HTML pages stored on a web server.

A computer is a device that can display websites.

๐ŸฆŠ - That makes things more clear. Next, you mentioned that a web browser is a type of software?

Wise Being: That is correct.

๐ŸฆŠ - I'd like to dig in more there. What is software?

Wise Being: Software is a computer program that performs a specific task.

๐ŸฆŠ - *You mentioned that computers work by taking input from a user, processing that input, and then providing output.

What's the relationship between computers and software?*

Wise Being: Computers and software are two different ways of describing the same thing. Computers are devices that run the software.

๐ŸฆŠ - Well, how does the software get created?

Wise Being: The software gets created by programmers.

๐ŸฆŠ - Programmers create software to perform tasks on computers?

Wise Being: That is correct.

๐ŸฆŠ - Is creating a document and browsing the internet examples of tasks?

Wise Being: Yes, creating a document and browsing the internet are examples of tasks that software can perform.

๐ŸฆŠ - Are there more examples of tasks that can be performed by software?

Wise Being: Yes, there are many examples of tasks that software can perform. Some other examples include editing photos, playing games, and writing emails.

๐ŸฆŠ - Are there any tasks that can't be performed by software?

Wise Being: No, there are no tasks that software can't perform.

๐ŸฆŠ - Can you elaborate?

Wise Being: Software can do anything that a human can do. For example, the software can type documents, browse the internet, edit photos, play games, and write emails.

๐ŸฆŠ - What are the limits of software?

Wise Being: The limits of software are the limits of what a human can do.

๐ŸฆŠ - What are the limits of what a human can do?

Wise Being: The limits of what a human can do are the limits of their imagination.

๐ŸฆŠ - So, the limits of software and computers are bound to the limitations of human imagination?

Wise Being: That is correct.

๐ŸฆŠ - Wow, that's powerful. Last question, based on everything you know now, can you give me examples of tasks computers in the year 3009 will perform?

Wise Being: Yes, I can give you some examples of tasks that computers in the year 3009 will perform. Some examples include:

  • flying cars
  • cleaning your house
  • doing your taxes
  • diagnosing diseases
  • driving your car
  • writing your novel
  • cooking your dinner
  • taking care of your children
  • doing your laundry
  • monitoring your health
  • shopping for groceries
  • and keeping your home warm or cool.

๐ŸฆŠ - Well, this makes me excited about the future. Thank you for this conversation. Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿš€.

Wise Being: You're welcome, Fox. I hope you have a wonderful day too.

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