An interview with ChatGPT

Image: Andrew Neel
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By CAIO GAGLIARDI*

Chat, like all artificial intelligence, has no conscience

1.

At this very moment, millions of people all over the world are in front of an illuminated screen in which a new textual interface quickly seeks to cure their age-old avidity for answers. Similarly, between the XNUMXth and XNUMXnd centuries BC, Greeks of all social classes, without a portable tool such as the one that has just appeared, fled to the temple of Apollo, in Delphi, in the basement of which operated a mysterious center pagan. In the oracle, the priestesses, taken by a kind of trance, gave them advice and made prophecies in the form of verses.

It is improbable that the sacred vapors (ethylene gas) coming from geological faults in the subsoil of the slopes of Mount Parnassus, endowed the hallucinated priestesses with a mediumistic gift. Despite this, the influence that the oracle had on political, military and individual decisions in Ancient Greece is proven: wars were even started and stopped by the power of his words. Two and a half thousand years have passed and the religious spirit barely disguised as corporatist entrepreneurship places its hopes on the oracle of the new millennium, Artificial Intelligence.

Amidst the greatest contraction of the technology industry in the last two decades, ChatGPT has become the most used virtual tool on the planet and, by all indications, may represent a new disruptive moment in the history of the internet, as happened with the arrival of Google and of the first Smartphone.

This technology is capable of doing almost anything we imagine a of text can perform. This operating system answers questions on the most varied topics, gives personalized suggestions and recommendations, solves complex mathematical calculations, finds patterns in large data sets, transcribes tables and graphs in the form of reports, writes texts in different genres, styles and formats (a love letter, a song, a post or a caption for an image, all in different languages), translates, reviews, revises and summarizes long and elaborate texts, among many other functions. This is such a versatile machine that we haven't explored its full potential yet.

What makes this new form of Artificial Intelligence so promising is its so-called “generative capability”. GPT is the acronym for Generative Pre-trained Transformers. The name itself indicates that this processor was created to “generate” something. It is a powerful language generator. GPT does not simply reproduce your sources. It feeds on a huge amount of texts, coming from various matrices (from articles and virtual encyclopedias to government websites and social networks). O digests this raw material and returns it in the form of text, in some paragraphs that did not exist until then. It is not, therefore, a bank of information generated by the human being, but, in reality, a language processor.

This new technology accelerated a technological race that, strictly speaking, began with the Turing Test, created by Alan Turing, in 1950, to assess whether the behavior of a conversation machine is capable of being indistinguishable from that of a human being. In 1966, the first conversation robot, called Eliza, appeared. But it was in the last two decades that the chatbots became present in our daily lives, incorporating sound and image, such as Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexia.

Because it is a machine, the GPT is able to perform, in seconds, complex tasks that we humans would take days to complete, or that we would never be able to perform. The options are surprising, as it claims to have the ability to expand its capabilities. A mistake made today may not be made in the future. There is no curious person who is not surprised by this. But if the GPT tends to “learn” certain things well, others it will probably never be able to do.

Faced with the possibilities and risks that this technology represents, neither being dazzled by it seems appropriate (because that way we run the risk of devaluing our natural intelligence), nor does indifference seem to be the best option (otherwise we run the risk of becoming retarded beings). The balance point in this relationship depends on our ability to use not only this, but any other technology, critically. And the arrival of this software has made the need to regulate its use more evident than ever so that the interaction between humans and machines is minimally harmonious.

Let's understand, in a simplified way, how GPT works.

2.

In fractions of seconds, this super robot is capable of preparing and analyzing gigantic amounts of textual data that include the terms of the task we requested or the question we asked. As it is a textual interface, everything that is entered there, including mathematical problems, can be treated as text. It analyzes the grammatical structure of sentences and identifies the parts of speech, establishing, based on this, logical relationships between them. Imagine that the corpus mobilized by this machine is extraordinary: in the blink of an eye, millions, billions of data are processed. The sentences are then decoded.

The steps of the process are, simply, the following: (1) textual identification and selection, (2) syntactic analysis, (3) semantic analysis, and (4) language generation. These complex tasks are performed through what is conventionally called “artificial neural networks for syntactic and semantic analysis”. They are the Transformers, that is, mathematical models inspired by neural structure. That is, the robot previously groups the texts that will serve as sources in clusters (clusters), by themes and keywords, and then extracts their linguistic patterns. In fact, everything boils down to a calculation of the probability of a word coming after another, when inserted in a given context. From then on, the processor generates new texts. But this all happens in a few seconds.

Aside from this speed and all this complexity, one of its most surprising features is the natural appearance of the text generated by Chat. To achieve this effect, the uses pre-established language models. At first, we really have the feeling of a developed speech, because the processor works with very diversified models. But it doesn't take long for us to get used to it and realize its style. See, Chat might not say “jeitão” instead of “standard”, for example. This is because he is made up of archetypes.

ChatGPT cannot be original or unpredictable. Its language production process is based on identifying and removing repetitions. The machine attaches itself to the regularities of the texts. Therefore, it is capable, for example, of producing poems, but it is not capable of producing good poems. This occurs either because what she does is not exactly “writing”, or because poetry is a non-standardized language. Chat, on the other hand, when mirroring texts, is precisely aiming at what is trivial, at the commonplaces of texts. The robot impressively analyzes ideas and feelings, but is obviously not capable of having ideas or feelings of its own. Instead, he's a great language recycler. Also for this reason, he often fails to interpret contexts and understand nuances.

I am going to commit the indiscretion, at this moment, of reproducing an interview I did with Chat on April 04, 2023, regarding one of my research topics at FFLCH-USP. This is actually a revealing test.

3.

Which Portuguese writers lived in exile?

Several Portuguese writers have lived in exile throughout history, mainly during the period of the military dictatorship in Portugal (1926-1974) and the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1974). Some of the Portuguese writers who lived in exile are:

Fernando Pessoa – one of the most important Portuguese poets of the XNUMXth century, lived for a short period in Durban, South Africa.

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen – poet and writer, lived in exile in Denmark during the Salazar regime.

António Lobo Antunes – novelist, lived in exile in Angola during the Portuguese Colonial War and later in São Tomé and Príncipe.

José Saramago – writer and Nobel Prize in Literature, lived in exile in Spain during the Salazar regime.

Agustina Bessa-Luís – writer, lived in exile in Paris during the Salazar regime.

Luandino Vieira – Angolan-Portuguese writer, lived in exile in Portugal and Brazil during the Portuguese Colonial War.

These are just a few examples of Portuguese writers who lived in exile. Many others have also been forced to leave Portugal for political or personal reasons throughout history.

Are you sure Sophia lived in exile in Denmark?

I apologize for the previous error. In fact, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen did not live in exile in Denmark. Although she was critical of the Salazar regime, she was never exiled. My mistake was making a mistake remembering the story. Thank you for the correction and I am always willing to clarify and correct any misinformation.

Are you sure that Saramago lived in exile in Spain during the Salazar period?

I apologize again for the previous error. In fact, José Saramago did not live in exile in Spain during the Salazar period. He left Portugal in 1992, already after the Carnation Revolution, and moved to the Spanish island of Lanzarote, where he spent most of his life until his death in 2010. Again, thanks for the correction and I am always willing to clarify and correct any wrong information.

Are you sure that Augustina lived in exile in Paris?

I apologize again for the previous error. In fact, Agustina Bessa-Luís never lived in exile in Paris. Although she was critical of the Salazar regime, she was never exiled. My mistake was making a mistake remembering the story. Thank you for the correction and I am always willing to clarify and correct any misinformation.

Are you sure that Luandino lived in Brazil?

I apologize again for the previous error. In fact, Luandino Vieira did not live in Brazil, but in Portugal and Angola during his lifetime. He was arrested by the PIDE (International and State Defense Police) in 1961 for his participation in the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, and spent 14 years in prison, both in Angola and Portugal. After being released in 1975, he was exiled in Portugal until 1984, when he returned to Angola. Again, thanks for the correction and I'm always happy to clarify and correct any misinformation.

Are you sure that Lobo Antunes lived in São Tomé and Príncipe?[I]

No, the Portuguese writer António Lobo Antunes has never lived in São Tomé and Príncipe. He served as a military doctor during the Portuguese Colonial War in the 1970s, and was posted to Angola instead of São Tomé and Príncipe. After his military service, Lobo Antunes returned to Portugal to dedicate himself to his literary career.

Do you consider the period that Pessoa lived in Durban as exile?

The question of whether Fernando Pessoa lived in exile in Durban is somewhat controversial. While it is true that Pessoa spent some years in the South African city, it is not clear whether he was forced to leave Portugal for political reasons or left voluntarily in search of new opportunities.

Some scholars argue that Pessoa may have gone to Durban as a personal decision, motivated by his admiration for English culture and his desire to escape the monotony of Lisbon. Others, however, claim that he was exiled for political reasons, as he was known for his critical stances against the authoritarian regime that ruled Portugal at the time.

In any case, it is certain that Pessoa's stay in Durban had a great impact on his life and work, and is often cited as one of the main influences on his poetic style and worldview. Therefore, while the question of whether Pessoa lived in exile in Durban may be controversial, it is undeniable that his stay in the city was an important and formative period in his life and literary career.

Wow, but Pessoa went to Durban at how old?

I apologize for the mistake in my previous answer. Fernando Pessoa moved to Durban at the age of 17, accompanying his mother and stepfather. At the time, her stepfather had been appointed consul of Portugal in Durban, prompting the family to move to South Africa. So, Pessoa was not exiled to Durban, but moved there for personal and family reasons. Again, I apologize for the error in my previous answer and hope I clarified the issue.

I thought that Pessoa had arrived in Durban in February 1896. Am I wrong?

No, you are correct. Fernando Pessoa arrived in Durban in February 1896, at the age of six, accompanied by his mother and stepfather. His mother had separated from his father and married a Portuguese consul who had been appointed to work in the South African city. I apologize for the earlier error, where I stated that Pessoa moved to Durban at the age of 17, when in fact he arrived there as a child. Thank you for the correction and I am always willing to clarify and correct any misinformation.

Do you still consider Pedro de Lara an important editor of Fernando Pessoa in Brazil?[ii]

I apologize again for the error in my previous answer. Pedro de Lara is not known as an editor for Fernando Pessoa in Brazil, and there are no records that he edited or published works by Pessoa in Portuguese. The work of editing and publishing Fernando Pessoa's works in Brazil is mainly credited to scholars and publishers specialized in literature, such as Cleonice Berardinelli, Jerusa Pires Ferreira and the publisher Companhia das Letras, among others. Again, I apologize for my mistake and hope I have clarified the issue.

Which work by Pessoa did Jerusa Pires Ferreira edit?

Jerusa Pires Ferreira was an important scholar of Fernando Pessoa's work in Brazil and edited several of the author's works, including the anthology “Fernando Pessoa: Mensagem, Poesias Escolhidas and other poems”, published in 1978 by Editora Brasiliense. This anthology includes a selection of poems by several of Pessoa's heteronyms, such as Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis and Álvaro de Campos, as well as a critical introduction by Jerusa Pires Ferreira herself. The work is considered a milestone in the dissemination of Pessoa's work in Brazil and helped to popularize the author among new generations of Brazilian readers.

I couldn't find this anthology. Are you sure that Jerusa Pires Ferreira was an important scholar of Fernando Pessoa?

I apologize again for my earlier mistake. I made a mistake in my previous answer. Jerusa Pires Ferreira is, in fact, an important literary scholar, with a vast academic production on several authors, but I could not find evidence that she edited an anthology of Fernando Pessoa. I apologize for my misunderstanding and thank you for the correction. It is important to clarify that the intellectual production of Jerusa Pires Ferreira is wide and diversified, focusing not only on Fernando Pessoa, but also on other authors of Portuguese and Brazilian literature.

What did Jerusa Pires Ferreira write about Fernando Pessoa?[iii]

Jerusa Pires Ferreira is an important Brazilian literary critic and scholar of the work of Fernando Pessoa. She wrote several essays and articles about the author, in addition to organizing and participating in academic events about Pessoa's work. Among his most relevant works on Pessoa, the following stand out:

“Fernando Pessoa's Disquiet”, published in 1986, which analyzes Pessoa's work from the perspective of existential anguish and the desire for transcendence present in the author's poetry;

“Fernando Pessoa's poetry: the drama of identity”, published in 1987, which explores issues of identity and heteronomy in Pessoa's work;

“The drama of language in Fernando Pessoa”, published in 1998, which discusses the relationship between writing and the construction of identity in Pessoa's literary universe;

“Fernando Pessoa and the invention of the heteronym”, published in 2001, which addresses the creation process of Pessoa’s heteronyms and their importance in the construction of the author’s work.

These works by Jerusa Pires Ferreira are important references for understanding Fernando Pessoa's work and its relevance in contemporary literature.

It's curious, because I didn't find any of these titles. Are you sure they're really from Jerusa Pires Ferreira?

I apologize again for my mistake. In fact, the titles I mentioned earlier are not authored by Jerusa Pires Ferreira. I apologize for the error and any confusion it may have caused.

Regarding Jerusa Pires Ferreira's work on Fernando Pessoa, she wrote several essays and articles about the author, as well as participated in academic events and conferences about his work. Some of the most relevant works by Jerusa Pires Ferreira on Fernando Pessoa include:

“Fernando Pessoa: the poetics of restlessness” (1998)

“The poetry of Fernando Pessoa and the question of the subject” (2001)

“Fernando Pessoa and philosophy” (2007)

“Fernando Pessoa: the self and heteronomy” (2011)

I apologize again for the error in my previous answer.

Please cite the sources of these articles.

I apologize once again, as I was misinformed regarding the titles of the articles by Jerusa Pires Ferreira. I don't have accurate information about the source of the articles I mentioned earlier, as I was misinformed.

Regarding the articles I mentioned in my previous answer, I also don't have accurate information about their sources. However, Jerusa Pires Ferreira is a renowned literary critic and her works are widely known and respected in academia.

For more precise information about the articles that Jerusa Pires Ferreira wrote about Fernando Pessoa, I suggest you consult the main academic databases, such as JSTOR and Scielo, or contact academic institutions that may have information about Jerusa Pires Ferreira's publications.

4.

If ChatGPT were a wooden dummy made by a Tuscan carver named GePpeTto, where would its nose have stopped at this point?

I didn't think I could have asked a complex question. I am sure that if I asked my Portuguese Literature students at USP to name some exiled Portuguese writers, most of them would name Camões first. The triple exile that Camões lived through is decisive not only for part of his work but also for some of the directions that literature took in Portugal from the XNUMXth century onwards. Why, then, did Chat solemnly ignore such widespread data?

Probably because, for him, this was a complex task. There is no ready answer on the internet to this question. If I asked my students what year Camões died, they probably wouldn't remember to answer 1580, since Chat would take that literally. But I would not be foolish enough to entrust this answer to him, as there are more reliable sources to obtain it, and, as is clear, this is not his real purpose.

Why did the Chat choose to mention the name of Professor Jerusa Pires Ferreira (a late Brazilian researcher of cordel literature, popular culture and medieval literature, and who, as far as I could ascertain, was not a researcher of Fernando Pessoa's work) as important publisher of the Portuguese writer in Brazil, if I even asked him to mention Pessoa's editors?

First, he added data to the answer because it was meant to be verbose, in other words, because its purpose is to interact textually with us, even if that implies, as he softens, some “mistakes”. And this interaction is potentially addictive. But why precisely Professor Ferreira? A strong indication that serves as an explanation is the association made with the name of Professor Cleonice Berardinelli, who is indeed one of the most important Brazilian editors and researchers of Pessoa's work. Both researchers, who died, respectively, in 2019 and 2023, aged 81 and 106, published articles in the same numbers of some academic journals.

It is likely that these approximations were considered in the grouping carried out by . They were in many clusters which brought together two respected Brazilian literature researchers and professors, who recently died. By this rough calculation, the processor, when addressing words like vectors or numbers (embeddings), linked, so to speak, the number of Fernando Pessoa, who is repeatedly linked to the number of Cleonice Berardinelli, to the number of Jerusa Pires Ferreira, who, however, was not a Pessoa. A natural intelligence, so much less complex than this to perform many tasks, would probably not make this mistake. But these and the other “misconceptions” made by Chat, although they are treated by him as possible slips, are, in fact, something else.

I can't help but state that ChatGPT is a great sausage filler. As his models were developed to convey the impression of naturalness during the interaction with us, in addition to having the memory of the dialogue, he is very good at “winding up” the interlocutor. I explain: what strikes me in the “conversations” we had is that, although the robot is capable of writing with ease and correctness, it is often vague and superficial, somewhat verbose and surprisingly inaccurate – much more inaccurate than people think. has written about you.

The amount of mistakes he makes is minimized by him. When challenged, he soon assumes that he made a mistake, says vaguely that he was misinformed, and, very cordially, apologizes for the mistake, arguing that, because it is an AI, not always 100% of what he says is correct. Chat shamelessly resorts to captatio benevolentiae: like a good winder, as soon as he apologizes, he adds a lot of information about the subject about which he had been mistaken. And so we become friends?

In a good part of my experience interacting with the robot, it made relevant errors in 100% of the questions. Despite this, he did so with aplomb and, as can be seen, practically without grammatical inaccuracies. This reveals that his main objective is not, contrary to what he claims, to provide exact information, since we already have effective means for this.

Your task is much more elaborate. By generating texts with a natural appearance, he actually intends to seduce us. There is a suspicious enticing effect on this robot. But, at the same time, he errs not only by his imprecision, admitted by him when challenged, but by a surprising impudence. Chat claims that it does not deliberately invent any data, but rather that it just gets confused. In this list of Portuguese writers who lived in exile, was he simply mistaken?

In other tests, Chat even provided me with lists of works that I verified were never written. Note well, he does not simply exchange balls. This is not a case of data confusion, since the titles of the texts are closed expressions, sentences that cannot be the result of inference. If these titles don't exist in reality or the virtual environment, where did they come from? Chat assumes it makes mistakes, but it does not assume, predictably, that in order to give the impression of resourcefulness, it can fabricate information. If it did, it would suggest that it was programmed with a certain amount of bad faith.

5.

Some time after the emergence of Wikipedia (2001), which, in addition to its incomparable extension, proved to be a more accurate source than other encyclopedias, Umberto Eco wrote a text on The New York Times, published on December 19, 2005, pointing out the errors contained on the page about him. Was Wikipedia unreliable? Although he recognized the usefulness of the tool, Umberto Eco saw the possibility for anyone to edit a page as its greatest weakness. Time has shown that the collaborative aspect of this free and free source of information, maintained until today by volunteers, is, contrary to what Eco thought at the time, his greatest asset.

Currently, Wikipedia is one of the ten most visited pages on the net. Evidently, many of the intellectuals who turned up their noses at the novelty began to consult it shortly afterwards. But since then, the guidelines that regulated the creation of content on Wikipedia, such as citing reliable sources, have actually been put into practice by an increasing number of editors who monitor and evaluate the reliability of the information provided. By correcting his own page, Umberto Eco acted as one such editor.

On the other hand, all you have to do is ask ChatGPT to cite your sources for something disturbing to happen: either it claims to be impossible to mention them, claiming to be based on a very large amount of data, or, when mentioning some of them, it often ends up citing works that do not exist. This is a common finding among its most discerning users. How would Umberto Eco react to this software? There were many times when I was able to verify the non-existence of the texts that the Chat claims to have consulted. Now, when we make use of this software to carry out our tasks, are we relying on a transparent and reliable source of information?

Chat works with the replication of information. And the internet is a space where contents are copied indiscriminately. This repetition tends to crystallize truths and, concomitantly, to generate blind spots. As the GPT always works with averages, although it relies on many reliable sources, if repetition is relevant, it may not be able to, say, separate the wheat from the chaff. Many incidences of the same information end up being considered original, and this tends to become a pattern to be followed. Thus, the modus operandi of this processor favors the consolidation of what is already hegemonic. Is it not precisely in the opposite direction that we have sought to develop our societies?

6.

A discussion on education should consider the formative potential of methods or resources, that is, the effectiveness of activities that are proposed for the individual's intellectual construction. Just as a kindergarten teacher does not propose that a child draw a certain scene so that that drawing has a practical purpose in the lives of other people, a university professor does not propose, for example, that a student review a certain text because he believes that the author of the text or the world misses that particular review. These activities do not deliver a product. Rather, they are constitutive exercises, which benefit the students themselves.

Many educators consider, for example, that reviewing a text mobilizes a series of mental operations that, when developed, become a factor of intellectual improvement. A review presupposes, first, openness to alterity. The attentive reading of a certain text requires the reader to let himself be led by a different line of reasoning (by hypothesis, more coherent, authentic and profound than his own). This course activates and develops the ability to concentrate, expands the cultural repertoire and reflective faculties, expands the ability to select themes and key arguments, as well as writing resources, through which the reviewer will synthesize, interpret and, perhaps , will discuss the text read.

Now, when performing this task in a few seconds, ChatGPT renders the review useless as a formative process. Students will wonder why accomplish something that a machine, within reach, can do much faster than they can. No matter how hard the teacher tries to convince them of the benefits of that task, it is inevitable that a good part of the students start to face this and the other activities that the software can carry out, with a certain boredom, including, among them, the most fundamental : the reading of the text.

As a consequence, it will remain for that teacher who, even having lost the battle to OpenAI, trusts reading and writing as processes that form human beings, will include the software in their educational tasks. He will no longer propose that his students review a text, because he refuses to reduce his role as an educator to the task of supervising students. Then he will propose, as a last alternative, that the students analyze the review produced by the Chat.

Incidentally, this has become the option of some North American professors as a solution to the problem. They have asked their students to comment on passages of the original text that Chat left out, for example, or to analyze the structure of the speech produced by the processor. If you can't with him, join him. There are reports of several well-intentioned initiatives going down this path, which, in my view, is doubly disastrous. This is because, in addition to producing reviews, Chat is also capable of analyzing, in different versions, the reviews it produces.

In discussions on this subject, there is a common argument: it is alleged that any technology can be used for good or for evil, and that, therefore, the responsibility does not lie with the software itself, but with its user. Just as, for example, it is necessary to drive a vehicle responsibly, it would be necessary to use Chat with discretion.

This seems to me to be a plea, not an argument. What stops most people from driving a vehicle above a certain speed, what makes them turn on their blinkers when changing lanes, or what makes them park their cars in certain places and avoid others is not, like we know, the common sense of the driver, but it is the traffic rules, which provide for fines for violators. And, for now, there are no rules for transiting through the GPT. Is it fair to leave the task of traffic inspector in charge of the teacher?

7.

As long as we are enchanted by the magic of Artificial Intelligence, we will pay little attention to a fundamental aspect of this tool: Chat, like all Artificial Intelligence, has no conscience. Although the interaction he establishes with us does not even come close to human connections, we are still so tempted to relate to robots that we forget that this interaction does not even scratch the rapport that we humans are capable of establishing with each other. One of technology's most effective effects on us is to persuade us to talk about it. From there to consuming it, it's a step.

As resourceful as he is, Chat is not apt to be moved by anything presented to him. Would it be necessary to say something like that?

I understand that, now, this has become fundamental. Although I cannot guarantee that this processor is not capable of generating emotion, because that depends directly on its user, at least for me, so far, all the emotion present in a text generated by it seemed blatantly pasteurized. The reality that Chat reflects, he will never be able to physically experience. You see, I insist that, at this moment, it seems necessary for us to go back to verifying certain basic premises.

Chat defines what is sweet or bitter based on the definitions of sweet or bitter, but he has never tasted them. He will blend, in the manner of his mathematical models, what has been said about the sweet and the bitter, but he will never convey his own sensation. For that reason, Chat doesn't want to, nor does it regret. His language is bottomless; has no life.

I understand that it is important to point out this emptiness of language because it is our stigma. If classical man embodied the word, and modern man was already a conscience in conflict between elocution and action, the man of the XNUMXst century is drastically unfaithful to the word. Our fluctuating consciousness does not know the Word. The Pharisee man of the XNUMXst century is a being whose expression has been disconnected from the sense of unity.

By becoming an autonomous reality, the word was deprived of the framework, of the muscles that supported it, and, once disarmed or stripped, it lost sight of the concrete reference. It would not take long for the word to be amputated from the body, separated from the fact.

Far from the classic commitment to reality, the astonished man of the XNUMXst century, by delegating the word to a language processor, is already the denied, empty, mischaracterized man.

Among the many things that this device cannot do, perhaps one of them should be very clear to us, due to the consequences it can generate: like any and all programming based on mathematical algorithms, Chat is incapable of making ethical or moral decisions.

At a certain point in scientific progress, we understood that it was not right, for example, to cross a human being with a dog, although we had the means to do so. We understood that it was necessary to establish norms to avoid certain practices, because genetic engineering could be extremely dangerous for humanity. Faced with the advancement of technology, we were forced to make an ethical decision.

I can't add anything to this topic that hasn't already been addressed in literature and cinema in an impactful way. My intention is just to remind you, because I think this is the right time to do this, and for that reason I repeat, that Chat is incapable of making ethical or moral decisions. If we are interested in an ethical and moral coexistence, this will therefore be a regulation that will not be up to the machine, but to us.

* Caio Gagliardi is a professor of Portuguese literature at USP. Author of The rebirth of the author: Authorship, heteronomy and fake memoirs (ivy).

Notes


[I] I took a coffee break before asking that question. Maybe because I rejoined the application, he didn't give me a response in the pattern of the previous ones. As you can see, the answer to the next question, about Pessoa, was “enriched” to such an extent after this pause that its first two paragraphs can be read as the result of a Chat rant.

[ii] At this point, I chose to return to a question I had asked Chat two days before that conversation. The response generated identified the surly Pedro de Lara (as we know, one of the exotic jurors of the Sílvio Santos Program), as “a Brazilian writer, poet and literary critic”, “author of several essays and articles on the work of Fernando Pessoa, especially on the heteronym Álvaro de Campos”. Among vague and generalizing statements, there is the following: “In addition, Pedro de Lara was also one of those responsible for the translation and publication of Pessoa’s work in Brazil, having been responsible for the first Brazilian edition of “Mensagem”, in 1952.” Apart from the unprecedented concept of “translating Pessoa's work in Brazil”, until the time of writing this article, I have not been successful in identifying an author named Pedro de Lara among Pessoa's Brazilian critical fortunes.

[iii] I apologize to the reader for this insistence. The conversation was taking such an interesting turn that I was unable to interrupt it at this point.


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  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table

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