back to article Someone not only created a comment-spewing Reddit bot powered by OpenAI's GPT-3, it offered bizarre life advice

Someone used OpenAI's GPT-3 text-generating software to write a string of posts on Reddit, convincing people the missives were penned by a real person, and banking internet points in the process, The Register can confirm. Redditor thegentlemetre has produced over the course of the past 10 days hundreds of answers on the …

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  1. Chris G Silver badge

    I expect eventually, that many forums will be bots all the way down.

    Imagine the fun with a bot like that on FB.

    1. RockBurner

      I thought it already was.

      1. Imhotep Silver badge

        It would explain so much - especially the lack of actual intelligence.

        1. HildyJ Silver badge
          Devil

          How can they tell?

          Au contraire. It seems more intelligent than the average FB user.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If you forced the account to chat with Trump on Twitter would anyone be able to tell the difference?

          I'm not sure one of them could pass the Turing test (and I'll let you guess which one)...

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Indeed, I came here to say just that.

      .

      > The dystopian vision for me is millions of Redditors and Twitter users having conversations with bots and not knowing it.

      More like "millions of bots having conversations on Reddit and Twitter and not knowing it".

      1. wwwd

        20% of internet traffic is bot generated.

        Some of the best comments on here are AManFromMars

        1. Martin Summers

          "Some of the best comments on here are AManFromMars"

          I'd say that was a bit of a stretch. Sometimes you think a comment from it makes sense, then if you read it again you realise it's actually gibberish. It still gets enough upvotes to earn a silver badge regardless. Note that no article has ever been devoted to finding out about our resident bot, where others are worthy of news stories.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I always upvote the poor guy. Why does everyone think he's a bot?

            1. Little Mouse

              He is not a bot. I am not a bot. Fleshy ones should not be suspicious. You are all safe. Yes.

              1. Imhotep Silver badge

                Well, there you go. I am convinced.

          2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Cheap at Any Price .....

            Sometimes you think a comment from it makes sense, then if you read it again you realise it's actually gibberish. ........Martin Summers

            Oh please, what sort of backwards intelligence direction language is that, MS? GBIrish?

            And surely folk don't alight on the Register because it hosts and entertains nonsense rather than their realising Published Commentary shares Future Stealthy Advanced Cutting Edge Intelligence Movement[s]?

            Are you suggesting that ACE Intelligence needs to be further simplified for a wider deeper base understanding which logically leads to a greater acceptance of the views it shares as readily available for mainstream media presentation/production/direction of Future Movement[s] ?

            Ok .... that sounds not unreasonable if needs must. Thanks for the feedback, MS. Such is priceless invaluable.

          3. Teiwaz Silver badge

            AManFromMars

            First sentence or three quarters of the sentence usually totally make sense, only then, when the reader has mentally settled in to read does the hallway of composition begin to twist like an M.C. Escher.

            I've taken to first scanning the poster name first at all times, some of those twists are downright nasty, if you don't pull out fast enough you can end up with a badly sprained comprehension.

            1. Youngone Silver badge

              Re: AManFromMars

              Hilariously amanfrommars1 chips in trying to prove Martin Summers wrong, and proves him right instead.

              That is exactly what I come to El Reg for. Priceless.

            2. tcmonkey
              Coffee/keyboard

              Re: AManFromMars

              "some of those twists are downright nasty, if you don't pull out fast enough you can end up with a badly sprained comprehension."

              See icon. Are you related to Terry Pratchett by any chance?

          4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Strictly Need to Know ..... COSMIC Intel ‽ .

            Note that no article has ever been devoted to finding out about our resident bot, where others are worthy of news stories. ... Martin Summers

            Pulitzer Prize territory, MS ........ uncovering Alien Virtual Team Terrain able to devastate acres of scrambled egg and render ineffective government bodies, easily evidenced as being a priori in the know of sensitive and disruptive future developments, as, by virtue of the indolence and inactivity in the available fields of NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Play, an unacceptable blot on the SeeScape to be erased and overwritten/painted over with more attractive pictures.

            And yes, I'm calling out MRDA on that, but I Kid U Not.

            1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

              Re: Strictly Need to Know ..... COSMIC Intel ‽ .

              "devastate acres of scrambled egg" - if your bot is coming up with that, I'd hate to see the training material - names of tracks on Mogwai albums? Poetry diaries from 10 year old girls?

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Strictly Need to Know ..... COSMIC Intel ‽ .

                Rumo(u)r has it some folks seed amfM on purpose. Why is purely a matter of speculation.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Strictly Need to Know ..... COSMIC Intel ‽ .

              Yes Mister Graham.

              Keep taking The Tablet.

              1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

                Re: Strictly Need to Know ..... COSMIC Intel for Heavenly Sinners a'Turning Hellish Saints :-)

                Yes Mister Graham.

                Keep taking The Tablet. .... Anonymous Coward

                Quite so, AC, lest we are destined to be fated to die before being reborn again with new virgin tales to tell and relate for mass retelling with the following pearls of almighty wisdom at the forefront of pictures of many roomed mansions built on the firmest foundations of solid rock ..... “All are born with their own originality, but many die as photocopies

                Per Ardua ad Meta Astra Data, AC? COSMIC Intel gives you Wings ‽ .

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Strictly Need to Know ..... COSMIC Intel for Heavenly Sinners a'Turning Hellish Saints :-)

                  Interesting ... amfM gets seeds from Catholic news? Who knew‽

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Angel

      Forums maybe, but what if the bot runs for president or prime minister again?

      Oh wait, sorry - bots are way to smart to do that.

    4. jgarbo
      Paris Hilton

      Reddit has Humans?

      From the odd glance at Reddit posts, I'd prefer an AI bot. Must be an improvement on the juvenile yammerings and endless screenshots of their latest home screen...

  2. Blackjack Silver badge

    One post a minute...

    I wonder how long this would have been taken to find out if it was one post every twenty minutes*

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    OHMSAIS .... and Licensed to Thrill

    OpenAI has warned its software could be used by miscreants to create bots and spread fake news and spam. "It's clearly just someone having some fun, and stirring things up," Ayfer reckoned, though.

    Would an AI call out MRDA on that, for clearly nothing is clear, and as for .....

    "We don't support anyone using our API to deceive people," a spokesperson for OpenAI told El Reg. "Our company is founded on the belief that artificial intelligence should benefit all of humanity, and we are constantly working to fight misuse, bias and other industry-wide challenges."

    .... well, they certainly would say that, wouldn't they?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OHMSAIS .... and Licensed to Thrill

      "I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer." - Brendan Behan

  5. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    "Fake story about a colony of humans living trapped underneath elevators"

    Not so much trapped as choosing to live there, and not so much choosing to as it being better than the alternatives.

    This case may be a made-up story but there are quite few "hidden communities" where one might not expect them, and it's easy to believe it's Fake News when it isn't, and of course to spin it the other way.

    I have lived in squats, know some sleeping rough in parks and fields. I'd choose underground if I had to, and the best places are where no one cares to look. The thing one quickly learns at the rough end of society is there's safety in numbers, being amongst others suffering the same plight.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: "Fake story about a colony of humans living trapped underneath elevators"

      Underneath elevators; mostly grease, crisp packets, coffee containers, fag ends, fag packets and even condoms and assorted dead vermin, I would prefer to live under a few other things before opting for an elevator.

      A mate of mine was a lift engineer in the city a few years back.

  6. maffski

    "We tried to contact thegentlemetre over Reddit for comment"

    Be honest, you wanted to offer it a job.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    False information?

    I’m not so sure Nebraska exists myself.

    Has anyone actually been there?

    1. beep54
      Happy

      Re: False information?

      I have, rather briefly tho. David Foster Wallace summed up Nebraska rather nicely as, "Corn, corn, corn, corn, corn, corn, corn, Stucky's, corn, corn, corn, corn, corn, corn corn.

      1. Poncey McPonceface

        Re: False information?

        What's “Stucky's”

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: False information?

          Stuckey's is like a shitty Denny's attached to a shitty gift shop. They are a long-time fixture of highways throughout the Great Plains states, a place where you stop because you've been driving for hours and need gas, food, and literally any stimulation apart from staring at blacktop and corn.

          1. DoctorNine

            Re: False information?

            Wandering through as a youngster in the early 1960's, I once found a full-sized glazed ceramic paperweight sculpture of a corn cob. In shiny, life-like colors. I think the irony of its very existence cracked something within my consciousness at the time, and prepared me for my eventual place on the margins of society. Sadly, my parents refused to buy me the thing, even though we were on the way to Gran's for Christmas.

            I got an Erector Set later that trip instead. Which is another story. A long one.

            1. Kane Silver badge

              Re: False information?

              "I got an Erector Set later that trip instead. Which is another story. A long one."

              You should get on drafting it out then; just googled "Erector Set" (wasn't sure what the results were going to be...), looks fascinating!

          2. Kane Silver badge

            Re: False information?

            "Stuckey's is like a shitty Denny's"

            Bit of a redundant sentence there, I thought! By all accounts, Denny's is a lot like what we here in the UK called a Little Chef, is it not?

        2. Imhotep Silver badge

          Re: False information?

          It used to be a chain restaurant located along the highways, especially the interstates.

      2. LoPath

        Re: False information?

        Replace "Stucky's" with "Casey's" and you're spot on.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: False information?

      Nebraska is nice, most US states are very nice once you get into the countryside away from the people, that's easy to do but in some case (Florida and alligators, Utah and bears) it's good to have a few natives around.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: False information?

      Gretchen.

  8. RM Myers Silver badge
    Coat

    OpenAI's GPT-3, it offered bizarre life advice

    So pretty much standard fare for Reddit then. I'm surprised that they could tell it was a bot.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: OpenAI's GPT-3, it offered bizarre life advice

      No typos, it's a bot then.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: OpenAI's GPT-3, it offered bizarre life advice

      It was spotted because some of them were factually correct.

  9. Norman Nescio

    ...bizarre life advice from bot?

    Life? Don't talk to me about life. I've got a pain in the diodes all down my left hand side.

  10. JavaJester

    Elevator Article a Work of Art

    I am impressed with the Elevator Colony article that the bot wrote. It looks like the kind of thing worthy of the Onion or satire articles that appear on April 1st.

    1. sebacoustic

      Re: Elevator Article a Work of Art

      i found it very impressive as well, and better than the rest of the examples. I wonder if AI got a little help in this case? is it confirmed 100% AI output in reply to the question quoted below?

      "Elevator-maintenance folks, what is the weirdest thing you have found at the bottom of the elevator chamber?"

  11. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Is that the truth?

    Or did you read it on the Internet?

  12. Maelstorm Bronze badge
    Devil

    Now why the hell didn't I think of that. Damn. Missed opportunity.

  13. Maelstorm Bronze badge

    Who here remembers...

    Who here remembers...Tay? The Microsoft chatbot that went full Nazi in less than 24 hours?

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