Organizations across the country are grappling with how to deal with the headline-grabbing idea-generator known as ChatGPT, launched publicly for free in November as part of a research project by San Francisco-based artificial intelligence company, OpenAI. Most groups appear to fall into one of two camps: those who would ban it to avoid cheating, as Baltimore County Public Schools has done, and those who would embrace it as a limited — if flawed — tool, like the writers of a recent op-ed published in The Sun, who recommended it as a sort of thought organizer.
It certainly is impressive at first inspection, able to spit out hundreds of coherent words in minutes (or less) on any number of topics. It can write poetry, computer code and speeches; offer guidance on how to engineer a construction project for structural soundness; and even suggest a few ideas for dinner (”grilled chicken or fish with steamed vegetables” was tops on the list when we asked). But its answers to user questions often come out as overgeneralizations, and it doesn’t give credit for the ideas it’s culled from the internet. That makes fact-checking difficult, and puts ChatGPT (and its users) at risk of both plagiarizing the work of others and spreading misinformation.
Even ChatGPT recognizes some of its limitations. Among the cons it gave the editorial board when we asked it about itself were that it is 1.) limited to the data it’s exposed to, meaning “it may not always provide accurate information or produce responses that are culturally sensitive”; 2.) it is not capable of understanding emotions or empathy, which “can make it difficult for the model to respond appropriately in certain situations”; and 3.) the quality of its output is largely dependent upon the quality of the input provided by the user (way to pass the buck, ChatGPT).
It failed to mention how it might be harnessed to develop sophisticated phishing emails or conspiracy theories, and could be abused by students at every level come term-paper time (sensitive to the latter point, OpenAI last week launched a tool for teachers to detect AI-written text).
Still, there’s no putting this genie back in the bottle. And we expect that, like other disruptive technologies, society will eventually find ways to regulate it so that we might maximize the good and minimize potential harm. How quickly we get there is anyone’s guess, however.
In the meantime, The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board decided to take the service for a spin to test it out, understanding all of the caveats we just listed. How would ChatGPT, we wanted to know, handle some of Maryland’s newsmaking issues?
We quickly learned that it likes the “listicle” format for its responses, with lots of numbering and bullets but also that it won’t predict the future (so no answer on whether the Orioles will indeed sign a long-term lease with the Maryland Stadium Authority to play at Camden Yards), and it doesn’t like to opine.
“As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or biases,” it told us more than once, and we were somewhat relieved to hear it. ChatGPT, at least, will not replace the country’s editorial boards.
But we were able to coax a few interesting ideas on certain subjects near and dear to many Marylanders, which we’ve condensed for you here.
Board: Should the Ravens keep Lamar Jackson?
ChatGPT: Lamar Jackson is a talented and dynamic quarterback who has been successful in his time with the Baltimore Ravens. Whether or not the Ravens should keep him depends on a variety of factors, including his performance, his future potential, the team’s overall roster and strategy, and their financial situation. The decision to keep or trade a player is complex and requires careful consideration of a variety of factors.
How can we get illegal guns off of Baltimore streets?
Reducing the number of illegal guns on the streets of Baltimore will likely require a comprehensive and multifaceted approach that addresses the root causes of gun violence and the factors that contribute to the illegal gun trade. Some strategies that could be considered include: Strengthening gun laws and enforcing them more effectively; interrupting the illegal gun trade through targeted law enforcement operations; investing in community-based violence prevention programs that address the root causes of violence, such as poverty, lack of educational and economic opportunities, and trauma; encouraging community members to report illegal gun activity and providing them with the resources and support they need to do so safely and effectively; and providing support and resources to individuals involved in gun violence.
Implementing these strategies will require coordination and collaboration between law enforcement, community organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders. It may also require long-term investment and commitment to achieve sustained results.
What steps should the Baltimore Orioles take to improve upon last year’s surprisingly solid performance?
The Baltimore Orioles’ solid performance last season was a surprise to many, but they still have areas to improve upon. Here are some steps they could take to build on their success:
- Strengthen the roster: The Orioles should consider acquiring additional talent, particularly in key areas such as the starting rotation and the middle of the lineup, to build a deeper and more competitive roster.
- Emphasize player development: The Orioles should continue to invest in player development and give young players the opportunity to grow and contribute to the team.
- Utilize analytics: The Orioles should use advanced analytics to make better strategic decisions and gain a competitive advantage.
- Maintain strong team defense: Defense was a strength for the Orioles last season, so they should continue to emphasize and improve upon their defensive skills.
- Focus on player health: The Orioles need to prioritize player health and prevent injuries by implementing effective training and conditioning programs.
- Foster a positive team culture: The Orioles should continue to create a positive and supportive team culture that encourages players to perform at their best.
By taking these steps, the Baltimore Orioles can hope to continue their strong performance and compete for a playoff spot in the coming season.
Baltimore’s Port Covington region was recently rebranded Baltimore Peninsula. What are some better possible names?
As an AI language model, I don’t have personal opinions but here are some names that some people might consider better options for Baltimore’s Port Covington region: South Baltimore, Inner Harbor West, Peninsula Point, Covington Cove, West Waterside, Charm City South, South Shoreline, Port City, The Peninsula District, The Peninsula Annex.
What are some new and creative uses for Old Bay seasoning that we should try?
- Sprinkle Old Bay on popcorn for a savory snack.
- Add Old Bay to the filling for deviled eggs for a unique twist.
- Mix Old Bay with oil and vinegar for a delicious salad dressing.
- Season french fries with Old Bay for a new take on a classic side dish.
- Sprinkle Old Bay on baked potatoes for added flavor.
- Toss vegetables with olive oil and Old Bay before grilling.
- Use Old Bay to season chicken wings for a tasty twist.
- Add Old Bay to rice for a flavorful side dish.
- Sprinkle Old Bay on top of baked mac and cheese.
- Season scrambled eggs with Old Bay for a savory breakfast.
Should Baltimore City prosecutors have retried Adnan Syed, made famous by the “Serial” podcast, instead of dropping the murder charges against him, without much notice for, or input from, the family of victim Hae Min Lee?
It is generally accepted that decisions regarding criminal cases should be based on the evidence and the law. In the case of Adnan Syed, the decision to drop the murder charges against him was likely made after a review of the available evidence and the legal arguments presented.
With regard to the input of the family of the victim, Hae Min Lee, it is important to consider their feelings and perspectives. However, it is also important to ensure that the decision-making process is impartial, transparent, and based on the facts of the case and the law. In some cases, the family of the victim may have different opinions and perspectives, and it is important to balance their needs with the larger interests of justice.
In the end, the decision to retry or drop charges in a criminal case is a complex one that should be made by the relevant authorities based on a thorough analysis of the evidence and the law.
What guidelines should Maryland implement regarding the use of recreational marijuana?
- Establish an age limit for the purchase and use of marijuana, similar to the restrictions for alcohol and tobacco.
- Develop a comprehensive licensing and regulatory system for marijuana businesses, to ensure that products are safe and of high quality.
- Implement a taxation system to generate revenue and support programs such as education, public health, and drug treatment services.
- Regulate the advertising and promotion of marijuana products to prevent minors from being exposed to them.
- Establish health and safety regulations for marijuana production and distribution, including testing, labeling, and packaging requirements.
- Prohibit the use of marijuana in public places, similar to restrictions for tobacco use, to ensure public safety.
- Address the impact of marijuana criminalization on communities of color and considering reforms to the criminal justice system to address past harm.
- Encourage and fund research into the health effects of marijuana use and providing education to the public on safe and responsible use.