The Banality of ChatGPT

Despite being the culmination of a century-long dream, no better word describes the much-discussed output of OpenAI’s ChatGPT than the colloquial “mid.”

Just as Hannah Arendt reckoned with “the banality of evil” so we must reckon with “the banality of AI.” For when talking to ChatGPT I was undeniably, completely, unchangeably, bored.

How to explain this oh-so-human reaction? After all, ChatGPT is an AI that can have a human-level conversation, and to this incredible feat my reaction is kind of. . . meh? Sure, it’ll change everything, but it also basically feels like an overly censorious butler who just happens to have ingested the entirety of the world’s knowledge and still manages to come across as an unexciting dullard. It’s just like if you Google searched and got good answers rather than the bad ones you currently do. There was never a time talking to it when I wasn’t bored. The only exception was asking it to translate what it had said into poetry, but this also wore thin after the third example of what was really just mediocre rhymes. Plenty of others have noticed this aspect:

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