These Conversations With the GPT-3 Chatbot Are Witty, Wise, and Dangerously Dark

A neural network did not write this

Simon Pitt
Published in
8 min readJul 31, 2020


Image: baona/Getty Images

GPT-3 might sound like the name of an Android from Star Wars, but it’s really a neural network–powered language model — a computer program that, in layman’s terms, takes a load of text and then “speaks” by guessing what the next word is most likely to be.

OpenAI, the nonprofit behind the system, says it built GPT-3 as part of its goal to create a “friendly A.I.” that “benefits humanity” as a whole (as opposed to a Terminator-style unfriendly A.I. that… well, doesn’t.)

Generative Pretrained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) is an obscure-sounding mouthful that largely manifests itself as a sort of chatbot. You send it messages. It replies. And it’s actually good. Take, for example, this “conversation” between Kevin Lacker, CTO of Parse, and GPT-3:

Human: What is your favorite animal?

GPT-3: My favorite animal is a dog.

Human: Why?

GPT-3: Because dogs are loyal and friendly.

Human: What are two reasons that a dog might be in a bad mood?

GPT-3: Two reasons that a dog might be in a bad mood are if it is hungry or if it is hot.

Its phrasing is a little stiff and slightly overly formal, as if it’s on best behavior. It’s like GPT-3 understands what it’s asked and figures out a reply. It seems like a person.

I asked Siri the same question, and although it too said dogs were its favorite animal, when I asked why, Siri said, “Each dog’s nose print is unique, just like a human fingerprint.” While true, this doesn’t make a huge lot of sense. Would Siri love hamsters if their nose prints weren’t all so boringly similar?

GPT-3 is currently in a limited closed beta, and the few researchers with early access are excitedly posting results across the internet—a mixture of amazement at the responses and pride in catching…



Simon Pitt

Media techie, software person, and web-stuff doer. Head of Corporate Digital at BBC, CTO of NSN, but views my own. More at