Your Day, On AI // How ChatGPT might lead—and mislead—you through your workday

Write a limerick to introduce a news article about all the things people can do with ChatGPT in their personal and business lives.

There once was a chatbot named ChatGPT

With an AI so advanced, you’d never forget

It could write poetry, songs, and screenplays

And even help with business in a myriad of ways

So come read all about it, we bet you won’t regret!

One of the biggest news stories in the past couple of months has been the open release of the ChatGPT AI, which can converse in clear English text with users.

In past coverage, Ami has discussed some of AI’s various uses (see sidebars) and noted that the success of ChatGPT—and Microsoft’s decision to integrate it into its Bing search engine, as Bing Chat—has made companies like Google nervous. Google was so nervous that an AI like ChatGPT could supplant Google Search, one of their main moneymakers, that they released their own AI program, prematurely.

It’s not clear how these companies can easily monetize these programs and sell ads alongside their content. Also, the unpredictability of these AIs may scare off advertisers. (See the sidebar “Is ChatGPT Evil?”)

Some of the most tense conversations center around the AI drawing programs. One of the most famous of these, Dall-e-2, was created by OpenAI, the same company that made ChatGPT.

But once you’ve tried ChatGPT, it’s clear how useful a program that can just write text can be. With its ability to execute a variety of text-based chores, one program could perhaps take over the jobs of multiple people.

To illustrate what an AI can already do, here’s a fictional day in the life of a person using ChatGPT as an assistant in many ways. All the responses are the actual answers provided by ChatGPT when we chatted with it. Some of them show the power of the AI, and some of them show its limitations. (You may already wonder about how well it does with limericks.)

You’re Zevi Greenberg, a 30-year-old man with a wife and two children. You’ve come back home from davening, have eaten breakfast, and are trying to get the kids out to school when Shaindy reminds you that she needs a note, because your wife is picking her up later to take her to the dentist. You could just jot something off, but you decide to see what the AI can come up with:

Write a note for me to my child Shaindy’s school
explaining that she needs to be allowed out later
for a dentist appointment.

Dear [School],

I am writing to request that my child, Shaindy, be allowed to leave school at [desired departure time] for a dentist appointment. The appointment has been scheduled for [appointment time] and is necessary for Shaindy’s dental health.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


[Your Name]

As you’re getting into the car, Shaindy says that she can get extra credit if she brings in a dvar Torah about Purim, which is coming up. You consider going back into the house to get a sefer to look into. But with the clock running, you decide to just tap something into your phone.

What have some famous rabbis said about Purim?

Many famous rabbis throughout Jewish history have commented on the holiday of Purim and its significance. Here are a few examples:

The Rambam (Maimonides) writes in his Mishneh Torah that the celebration of Purim is one of the four mitzvot of the day that commemorate miracles that Hashem performed for the Jewish people throughout history. He emphasizes the importance of the holiday in strengthening our faith in Hashem and our connection to the Jewish community.

The Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Hasidic movement, taught that the story of Purim is a metaphor for the journey of the soul. He explained that the Persian empire represents the material world, and the king’s decree to destroy the Jews represents the obstacles and challenges we face in our spiritual lives. Just as Esther used her influence to save the Jewish people, we must use our spiritual resources to overcome the challenges we face and reach our potential.

The Vilna Gaon, a prominent Torah scholar in 18th century Lithuania, taught that the name “Esther” is derived from the Hebrew word “hester,” meaning “hidden.” He explained that the hiddenness of Hashem in the story of Purim teaches us that Hashem is always with us, even when we cannot see His hand at work. The Vilna Gaon also emphasized the importance of joy and celebration on Purim as a way of expressing gratitude to Hashem for His salvation.

Rav Soloveitchik, a prominent 20th century Orthodox rabbi and philosopher, taught that the story of Purim teaches us about the power of teshuvah (repentance). He explained that the Jewish people’s downfall was due to their assimilation and neglect of Torah, but their salvation came when they repented and returned to Hashem. Rav Soloveitchik emphasized that teshuvah is a continual process that allows us to grow and connect with Hashem throughout our lives.

These are just a few examples of the teachings of famous rabbis about Purim. Their insights help us to deepen our understanding of the holiday and its significance for our lives.

There isn’t exactly a great dvar Torah among those, but one might suffice. You read some of it over to Shaindy, who regards it all a bit skeptically. Then Dovi tells you that he was learning about the Noda BiYehudah and wonders when he lived. Your phone is already open to the AI, so you ask:

When did the Noda BiYehudah live?

The Noda BiYehudah, also known as Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter, was a prominent Hasidic rabbi and leader who lived in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He was born in 1847 in Poland and passed away in 1905 in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter was the Rebbe (spiritual leader) of the Hasidic dynasty of Ger, a community of Hasidic Jews based in Ger, Poland. He was a respected Torah scholar and spiritual leader, and his teachings continue to be studied and revered by many people today. He was known for his emphasis on the importance of prayer and the need for each individual to cultivate a close relationship with Hashem.

In addition to his spiritual leadership, the Noda BiYehudah was also actively involved in charitable and community-building efforts, and he worked to support and strengthen the Jewish community in Poland and beyond. His influence and legacy continue to be felt within the Hasidic community and beyond.

It’s clear to you that the program somehow confused the Noda BiYehudah with the Sfas Emes. You search for the answer on Google instead.

You manage to get to work on time. At your job at an import company, you’re trying to keep your patience with your boss, who has a new idea every week. Today, he’s wondering whether you should look into importing a certain product from Singapore. You decide to see what the AI thinks about that.

Is importing small plastic pieces from Singapore to the US realistic?



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