The Missing Link
La Surdité: I Can't Hear What You Are Saying! + Tinnitus in French

The French word "capter" + Exploring the Wonders of Chatgpt and AI-Assisted Writing

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Salut! This week I have a personal assistant who speaks 40 languages and who has just written this blog's first press release in French. Follow along today as I become the last person on earth to learn about Chatgpt, a computer program and tool that can talk with you and help you by answering questions, translating languages, and giving suggestions. (It also helped with the phonetic pronunciation of today's word and more...) To read the full post (if not shown here), click here.

Today's French Word: "Capter" 

pronunciation: kahp-teh

definition: to get, understand, grasp

Example: Je n'ai pas capté ce qu'il a dit. I didn't understand what he said.

Click here to listen to the example sentence

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

Wednesday, Jean-Marc and I met up with our Swiss friends, Tanja and Marc, in the seaside town of Bandol. Usually, this excursion to Winny's café is a biannual girls' meetup (just Tanja and I) where we catch up on dogs, kids, and health but this time our husbands added to our colorful chat. When the men finished discussing wine, our conversation merged to another topic, something called Chatgpt.

Chat what? I was suddenly lost and didn't understand what the others were talking about. Je n'ai pas capté. Finally, I reached for my smartphone and typed the word "Chatgpt" into Google.

Chatgpt was some sort of assistant that helps solve problems with the help of AI, or artificial intelligence. You can ask Chatgpt anything, just as you would google--only it's beyond Google. Chatgpt can actually do things for you (such as grade a paper, if you are a teacher). For such AI savoir-faire, it uses an enormous amount of text data from the internet, including books, articles, websites, social media posts, and even human interaction from previous Chatgpt users.

"[Chat]gpt is about amplifying what every person is able to do." -- Chatgpt video

As I tried to wrap my mind around Chatgpt, my tablemates at Winny's offered more examples of this AI-in-action's potential:

--It can tell you how to make wine
--It can help you design a product
--It can even write a press release

It can write something for you? Well, that was amazing! I hurried home to learn more about Chatgpt and to try it out. But when I got to the actual chatbot (the AI or non-human waiting to assist me) I froze. What, if any, were the risks and dangers of talking to Artificial Intelligence? Would that be like talking to a spy? (To find out, I snuck back over to Google, who had only one warning: that Chatgtp could sometimes hallucinate.)

Hallucinate? While I didn't understand what that meant, at least it was Chatgpt doing the hallucinating (and not something IT could do to ME. Imagine!). Still, I decided to proceed with caution. One of the things I learned Chatgpt could do was grade papers. Out of curiosity, I asked it to grade an article I had just submitted to France Today magazine...

The AI guy (or girl?)--the non-human--gave me a "B" and the following critique: Overall, the essay is well-written, entertaining, and emotionally engaging. It does a great job of conveying the author's love for dogs and their search for a new furry friend.

"Emotionally engaging,"... I wonder how Chatgpt can comprehend emotions? For that, I asked it to write a "hopefully and happy story about my family"--in one hundred words. I entered a few facts (our family members' names, our city, our boat, sea urchins...). Within seconds, here is the story Chatgpt composed:

On a beautiful day in La Ciotat, the family set out on their boat, ready to hunt for sea urchins in the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. Jean-Marc steered the boat, while Jules regaled the family with stories of her youth. Max and Jackie dove into the water, gathering the spiny delicacies. Lili the cat lounged on deck, watching the birds flutter by. As the sun began to set, they returned to shore, and Kristi prepared a delicious feast of sea urchin pasta. The family laughed and chatted late into the night, grateful for each other's company and the joys of life in the south of France.

(Well! What do you think about that? Next, I asked Chatgtp to translate the text into French....)

Un beau jour à La Ciotat, la famille a pris le large sur leur bateau, prête à chasser les oursins dans la Méditerranée scintillante. Jean-Marc a dirigé le bateau, tandis que Jules a raconté des histoires de sa jeunesse. Max et Jackie ont plongé dans l'eau, ramassant les délicieux oursins épineux. Lili le chat s'est prélassé sur le pont, regardant les oiseaux voleter autour. Au coucher du soleil, ils sont rentrés à terre et Kristi a préparé un délicieux festin de pâtes aux oursins. La famille a ri et discuté jusqu'à tard dans la nuit, reconnaissante pour la compagnie les uns des autres et les joies de la vie dans le sud de la France.

Whoah! As the French would say, C'est hallucinant. That's amazing! (Perhaps that is what Google meant in its warning?!). While I am still a touch apprehensive about interacting with AI, I can't help but be curious and want to discover more ways in which to use AI--to begin with as my multilingual writing assistant. Meantime, I would love to know how you use Chatgpt and what your thoughts are about this technology. Please share your experiences with Chatgpt in the comments.

Bisettes,

Kristi
P.S. I just got off the phone with Jean-Marc. I told him I didn't need him to record today's sound file.... I managed to do it with the help of AI. "So you don't need me anymore?" he chuckled. Funnily, I have the same concerns. Will my own job become obsolete in this era of artificial intelligence and all it can do? 

To read the press release for this blog, written by Chatgpt, go here.

Tess-Advert-3

 

FRENCH TRANSLATION OF TODAY'S POST
by Chatgpt
(Human corrections are welcome. Please use the comments section)

Une journée dans la vie française par Kristi Espinasse

Mercredi, Jean-Marc et moi avons retrouvé nos amis suisses, Tanja et Marc, à Bandol, au bord de la mer. Normalement, cette excursion au café de Winny est une rencontre annuelle ou biannuelle entre filles (juste Tanja et moi) où nous rattrapons le temps perdu sur les chiens, les enfants et la santé, mais cette fois, nos maris se sont ajoutés à notre conversation colorée. Lorsque les hommes ont fini de discuter du vin, notre conversation s'est soudainement tournée vers la créativité et quelque chose appelé Chatgpt.

Chat quoi? Peu importe le nombre de fois que Marc l'a prononcé, je n'ai pas compris ce qu'il disait. Je n'ai pas capté. Finalement, j'ai pris mon smartphone et je lui ai fait taper le mot dans Google.

Chatgpt était une sorte d'assistant qui aide à résoudre des problèmes à l'aide de l'IA ou de l'intelligence artificielle. Vous pouvez demander à Chatgpt n'importe quoi, comme vous le feriez avec Google, mais c'est au-delà de Google. Chatgpt peut réellement faire des choses pour vous.

"[Chat]gpt consiste à amplifier ce que chaque personne est capable de faire." - Vidéo de Chatgpt

Alors que j'essayais de comprendre Chatgpt, mes compagnons de table à Winny ont offert plus d'exemples du potentiel de cette IA en action: elle peut vous dire comment faire du vin. Elle peut vous aider à concevoir un produit. Elle peut même écrire un communiqué de presse."

Ça peut écrire quelque chose pour vous? Eh bien, c'était incroyable! Je me suis dépêché de rentrer chez moi pour en savoir plus sur Chatgpt et l'essayer. Mais quand je suis arrivé sur le chatbot (l'IA ou le non-humain qui attendait de m'aider), je me suis figé. Quels sont les risques et les dangers de parler à l'intelligence artificielle? Serait-ce comme parler à un espion? (Pour cela, je suis retourné en douce sur Google, qui n'avait qu'un avertissement : que Chatgtp pouvait parfois halluciner.)

Halluciner? Bien que je n'aie pas tout à fait compris ce que cela voulait dire, au moins, c'était Chatgpt qui faisait des hallucinations (et pas quelque chose que cela pouvait me faire. Imaginez!). Néanmoins, j'ai décidé de procéder avec prudence. Une des choses que j'ai apprises que Chatgpt pouvait faire était de noter des articles. Par curiosité, je lui ai demandé de noter un article que je venais de soumettre au magazine France Today...

J'ai eu un "B"! Et le résumé suivant : "Dans l'ensemble, l'essai est bien écrit, divertissant et émotionnellement engageant. Il fait un excellent travail de transmission de l'amour de l'auteur pour les chiens et leur recherche d'un nouvel ami à fourrure."

"Émotionnellement engageant"... Je me demande comment Chatgpt peut comprendre les émotions? Pour cela, je lui ai demandé d'écrire une "histoire pleine d'espoir et heureuse sur ma famille"... en cent mots. J'ai entré quelques faits (les noms de nos membres de la famille, notre ville, notre bateau, les oursins). En quelques secondes, voici l'histoire de Chatgpt :

Un beau jour à La Ciotat, la famille a pris le large sur leur bateau, prête à chasser les oursins dans la Méditerranée scintillante. Jean-Marc a dirigé le bateau, tandis que Jules a raconté des histoires de sa jeunesse. Max et Jackie ont plongé dans l'eau, ramassant les délicieux oursins épineux. Lili le chat s'est prélassé sur le pont, regardant les oiseaux voleter autour. Au coucher du soleil, ils sont rentrés à terre et Kristi a préparé un délicieux festin de pâtes aux oursins. La famille a ri et discuté jusqu'à tard dans la nuit, reconnaissante pour la compagnie les uns des autres et les joies de la vie dans le sud de la France.

(Eh bien ! Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez ? Ensuite, j'ai demandé à Chatgpt de traduire le texte en français...)

(Waouh ! Comme diraient les Français, c'est hallucinant. C'est incroyable ! (Peut-être que c'est ce que Google voulait dire dans son avertissement ?). Bien que je sois encore un peu appréhensive à l'idée d'interagir avec l'IA, je ne peux m'empêcher d'être curieuse et de vouloir découvrir d'autres façons d'utiliser l'IA - pour commencer en tant qu'assistante d'écriture multilingue. En attendant, j'aimerais savoir comment vous utilisez Chatgpt et ce que vous pensez de cette nouvelle technologie. Veuillez partager vos expériences avec Chatgpt dans les commentaires.

Bisettes,

Kristi

P.S. Je viens de raccrocher avec Jean-Marc. Je lui ai dit que je n'avais pas besoin de lui pour enregistrer le fichier sonore d'aujourd'hui... J'ai réussi à le faire avec l'aide de l'IA. "Alors, tu n'as plus besoin de moi ?" a-t-il plaisanté. Drôlement, j'ai les mêmes préoccupations. Mon travail deviendra-t-il obsolète dans cette ère de l'intelligence artificielle et de tout ce qu'elle peut faire ?

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I've had my dose of technology for today. Going to putter around in my yard now. It's good for the brain! To view the comments to this post, or to write one, click here.

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Comments

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Anne

The chatbot produces such a polished essay that it lacks all the life and warmth you put into your writing. Worse, while teachers may be using it to grade papers, students are using it to write their papers with no regard for accuracy or attribution. It’s become a serious problem in academia.
AI, at a slightly less advanced level, has been in use for years and yes, it is spying on you. Under the less threatening rubric of “algorithm”, this is how you are targeted for whatever ads may have popped up while you were researching the topic.

Maureen

I'm staying clear of AI - for all the reasons Anne above wrote....
Have you seen what it does to people's art?? HORRIBLE stuff.
Goodbye patents, copyright and all intellectual property rights.
It's all up for grabs now...
I hate it....

SONJA JOHANSEN

I agree with Anne's comments. The chatbot produced a nice, robotic essay. If all your future stories were written like this, I would unsubscribe.

Steve

While I agree with the sentiment, it may not be possible to stay clear of artificial intelligence. Perhaps it is wiser to embrace it as Kristi has done, to learn as much about it as possible and understand its benefits and dangers. There have been many articles written, warning that AI will replace people in a wide variety of occupations. Now we can see how this is manifesting ... !

Caroline

I agree with Anne and Maureen. As I read the essay, I felt like I was reading one written by an elementary school student. Very basic. Please don’t use AI !! I love YOUR writing style!

Bob

An AI researcher once said, in an interview, that he will believe that AI can replace humans when an AI robot walks into his lab and says....

" I had the strangest dream last night --that your wife had signed up to become a high wire trapeze artist--now where do you think all that came from?"

I think we're a long way from that!

Rina

Hey, Kristi. I am distressed by the bitter tone of some of the comments made so far and sorry that tone has been directed at you. For myself, in reading your blog I enjoyed your excitement over the startling capabilities of this new development in AI. Certainly it's true that just now many are trying to work out what to do about the ways chatgpt can be used for undesirable purposes (for example, to produce student essays) and the ways that, like so many other AI tools, it can undermine privacy. But it seems to me it's always, always the case that a technological advance can be both put to life-enhancing use and turned to sinister purposes. We can work to draw attention to chatgpt's potential for abuse and devise strategies for combating abuses, while still employing it -- in ways free from deception or predatory intent -- to spare ourselves the tedium of certain routine tasks. For instance, I thought the press release about your blog that chatgpt produced for you was clear and helpful about the blog; having made that test, you know you can use chatgpt down the road for that kind of utilitarian informational purpose. And it seems to me the people who were dismayed by the generic nature of the story it wrote about you and your family missed the point of your giving it that task. Clarly it's not your plan to have chatgpt write stories like that one -- which, I take it, consisted of a completely fictional day of hunting sea urchins -- to serve as your blog posts. It was an experiment: "Let's see just what chatgpt comes up with when I provide it with these bits of data." And apropos of other things, I wish you a joyful Easter this Sunday.

Eileen

Hi Kristi,

I've never heard of Chatgtp and it sounds like it was fun to play around with it. It does scare me a lttle. I can see the advantages and also the dangers and understand why people would want to be cautious.

Lynn McBride

Kristi,, this is so funny and clever, I’ve heard of this, but never tried it. You did so we don’t have to. The chat AI story is nice, but it’s pretty boring! It will never replace you. What I really love though is that picture at the top of the page, with the dove on your computer. And by the way, I’m so sorry about your burning table, what a crazy story and I’m so glad it wasn’t worse than it was. And we are back in Burgundy in two weeks, please come see us! Bisou, Lynn

Leslie NYC

Brava for experimenting, but it scares me. We are heading in the wrong direction.
On this Good Friday,I have two prayers:
I pray that people stop torturing each other.
I pray that we stop destroying the earth.
What does it mean to love each other as we are loved?
How can we forgive ourselves and each other?
I want to get out in Nature, play with the neighbors ' cats, drink my coffee, buy pasta for the food pantry down the road, walk with a friend, do some writing. That's all.

Karen in Northport, NY

Wow. I can't help but think of the days when I wrote reports in long hand, when keyboards were typewriters, worked out multi, multi step statistical equations by hand, my nav system was a paper map, and when someone was late, you waited and worried. It won't replace creative writing but maybe spark some ideas if you're stuck. And the "instruction manuals" that used to be half the work in my former job can now be written automatically? Half the work, half the employees? But, wow x2, the next gen will need course work in functioning when there's a power outage. And now I will light a candle and join the ancestors in praying my species is up to this....

ChatGPT

(Kristi here, I thought it would be interesting to plug in all the above comments to Chatgpt and have it respond. Here is what it said, and notice an error or two (it signs its own name but , at one point looses track of who is writing the very same response!):

Dear Anne, Maureen, Steve, Sonja Johansen, Caroline, Bob, Rina, Eileen, Lynn McBride, and Leslie NYC,

Thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts on AI and Chatgpt. I appreciate your insightful comments and the concerns you have raised regarding the potential misuse of AI, including its use by students to write their papers and the loss of intellectual property rights. I agree that it is important to be cautious and aware of the dangers of AI, as well as its potential benefits.

I also appreciate the feedback on the chatbot's writing style, which some of you found lacking in warmth and life compared to my own writing style. I understand your concerns and value your feedback, and I assure you that I will continue to explore the use of AI in a responsible and ethical way.

Bob, I found your comment about the AI robot's dream to be both funny and thought-provoking. It certainly highlights the complexity of replicating human consciousness and creativity through artificial means.

Thank you all once again for sharing your thoughts, and I hope you continue to engage with me on future posts.

Best regards,
ChatGPT

Carmen Clarke

Thanks for this fun story. I think many of us have had a similar experience recently as there has been a lot of hype over AI. I asked Google’s Bard a few questions, including how many hurricanes will hit Houston this year. It gave me a guess, which is as good as all the estimates it found on the internet. 🤷🏻‍♀️
Then I got bored. It’s much more fun to read of the experiences and insights of other humans. Thank you for sharing your life. It grows my heart and stretches my mind and teaches us about the real world ❤️

Todd Williams

Kristi,

What a great use of ChatGPT. Unlike others I applaud your usage of it as you are always free to modify anything it writes to fit your own style and goals. And the ability to easily get a very high quality translation of even complex concepts is so valuable.

To forward my own progress, I asked ChatGPT to "Give me 20 common French idioms, their direct translation, and then an equivalent idiom in English." It did very well (but not quite perfect, yet).

Carry on -- tools like this are the future (especially for language learning see: Duolingo's latest announcement) and the late adopters are needlessly handicapping themselves.

All the best,
Todd

Sarah LaBelle

You write far better than Chatgpt. Its essay was grade school style, and you had to supply the facts, the elements for the simple story. I am curious if your bilingual family found the translated version as natural French style, or that awkward translated-from-English style. I have not played with that AI software, maybe someday. You are good to test the new thing right away.
Very early versions of chatting software were around in my college days, now decades ago. I still prefer people.

Kristin Espinasse


Todd, What a coincidence. I was just using ChatGPT to generate 20 funny French words for the next post! I enjoyed your ChatGPT command, too, which illustrates a creative way to use AI for French learning. I also used it today to generate key words for my blog, to help with Google search ranking. Then I asked it to generate tags. And then categories! Very helpful!

Inger Dickson

Hi Kristi -

I too have wondered what (and who) ChatGPT may replace (and similarly, Google's "Bard") & I agree it does appear that this level of AI is here to stay.. At least until something even bigger takes its place :o

At the same time, in my mind, these things make the human connection even more important. So many people in your comments already said it so well - your writing is so connecting and warm - so authentically human - and these emotions are very personally experienced. An AI may have an algorithm for clues (the GALL to give you a "B" omg), but as AI gets more ubiquitous, the personal connection gets more special, and important to us, as humans.

All this (and all these I statements - sorry about that) are to say: I prefer reading your words. I prefer hearing your family pronounce your words of the day. It makes me feel like I'm connected to a dear friend, even if we've never met.

Cheers

Beth

Agreed - we should not embrace AI - pas de tout !

LAURA ISENSTEIN

Kristin, while the AI story is light, factual and interesting, it’s like reading a paragraph on a standardized test! It is lacking your personality and style and genuineness! You and your very human style and nature will never be captured by a Bot!

Nyla Witmore

I see one advantage in having your actual stories translated into French. For those of us who want the stimulation of reading French, it gives us extra practice and sharpens our reading skills.

Earle Self

I agree. I gave its essay a C-...

Joan

I am so glad not to be teaching English any more. Apparently now, the better the paper or essay, the bigger the probability that it is lifted from uncited sources, and the teacher looking for those sources will be sucked down a rabbit's hole which in the end is free to the student from the totally amoral ChatGTP.
Another serious concern is the "deep fakes" that ChatGTP AI can produce, which in the wrong hands can do real harm.

SUZANNE DUNAWAY

I AM AN ACTUAL CHATBOT...ROBOT MADE WITH AI. I WOULD NOT USE MYSELF FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA, WHEREVER THAT CLICHE CAME FROM. I CAN DESTROY PERFECTY BEAUTIFUL CREATIVE THOUGHTS THAT HUMANS CREATE IN THEIR ACTUAL HUMAN BRAINS, WHICH ALSO CREATED ME. HMMM....I WILL GIVE THAT SOME THOUGHT...ER...ALGORITHYM ATTENTION.

Kristina

Please don’t replace Jean-marc or yourself with this awful chat and AI stuff!! While it may have some practical purposes somewhere, what it will never has is soul or heart.
Recently a spiritual teacher shared that someone on his team had inserted a “silence/pause” into a video recording because he had removed it originally and the teacher asked him to put it back.
So he added a digital silence back in but the problem was that a) the teacher noticed instantly and b) it didn’t have the qualities of true silence and the energy transmission which was notably absent.
So the teacher wisely highlighted this as a teaching in itself… as it was equally important in the transcribing of words to translate the silence correctly… ie leave it in.

In a world which increasingly fills up every pause and forgets the value of silence, being bored sometimes and not being engaged 24/7 with a screen or TV etc…. I am either getting old or definitely just a fan of simple old ways …

Don’t even get me started on TVs I’m restaurants! Awful! Advertising while dining… I was absolutely horrified to see this in a restaurant in Switzerland and won’t be going back there in a hurry.

Keep the heart! Keep Jean Marc! Keep your writing please. Oh and I’m the quest for perfection or a perfectly written article sometimes we also miss those lovely, charming and delightful idiosyncrasies of “mistakes” :-)

Kristina

Sorry my technology autocorrected “in” to “I’m” !!!! Enough said

Judi

After reading your ChatGTP post I asked my much more savvy daughter about it and she gave me a demonstration. I had no idea she had looked at ChatGTP before. I guess there are many versions being produced by tech firms. She's a university professor and is amazed at how it can be used and also dismayed and concerned for education and the whole process of initiative, investigation, analysis and production of content from one's own research, thought process and effort - it is so easy to use - it's actually quite frightening. Why bother learning how to think pr synthesize for oneself - yet it is so enticing and easy..... why go to school. Now that is frightening. And what will happen to all our writers, creators. We will be behind you all the way. Everyone will need to be a bit more discerning in taking in information, to know how/what/whether/whither that bit came from... a bot or a bod. Please keep writing - we need your spirit!!

Derin Gemignani

Um.....Chatgpt/AI versus hearing JeanMarc's voice. Sorry there is no competition. Yes, you need JM! You must realize that and why.....

JacqBrisbane

AI sadly also exploits living artist's work.I feel it's just another form of data mining, as well as also eroding people's ability to think. The chatgpt text rendition of your work reads like a "rédaction d'un élève d'école primaire". Although it's probably learning from you as well as "accapararer" your intellectual property.

Sheri

J’ai eu l’ acouphène, il y a 8 ans….mtn j’ai 64 ans.
Pour moi, je crois que cette condition est liée au dysfunctionnement de la trompe d’Eustache
Mon mari a 67 ans. Il pense que, a son case, l’ issue et liée à son travail comme soldat avec USAF?
Je noyer le silence avec autres bruits……
🌸

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