ChatGPT won’t predict Super Bowl, but Jared Goff is probably on its fantasy team

Detroit Free Press

Like most humans, I’m curious.

Like most Americans, I’m especially curious about who’s going to win the Super Bowl.

Like most Americans who are curious about who’s going to win the Super Bowl, I’m actually a lot more curious about how to make great guacamole for my Super Bowl party.

But no matter how strong my curiosity is, it’s always dwarfed by my laziness. And that led me straight to ChatGPT, the new … umm … website or maybe it’s also an app that’s … I want to say kind of like Google. You know what? Let me hand this over to ChatGPT.

“ChatGPT,” ChatGPT told me, “is a language model developed by OpenAI. It uses a deep learning approach called Transformer, which is based on self-attention mechanism, to generate text that is consistent with a given prompt. ChatGPT is trained on a large corpus of text and can generate responses to a wide range of questions and prompts in a conversational style.”

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Honestly, I blacked out a little by the time I got to “corpus.” So I think it’s a blend of Wikipedia, Siri, Ask Jeeves, Mad Libs and a Magic 8 Ball. You know, the fun way for lazy people to find things out.

OK, I’m not actually that lazy. I know how to roll up my sleeves and do old-school hard work and type things into Google, which told me ChatGPT is a chatbot that launched in November and that GPT stands for Generative Pretrained Transformer. Oooh. Pretrained! Did anyone else get “Westworld” chills?

Now that we got that out of the way, back to the big game. Super Bowl 57. Who’s going to win? Glad you asked. Take it away, ChatGPT.

“As a language model AI,” Chatty told me, “I do not have the ability to predict future events, including the outcome of the Super Bowl. The outcome of a sporting event is subject to many variables and can change based on numerous factors, making it difficult to accurately predict.”

Yes, I’m now calling him Chatty. Many variables and numerous factors, eh? Sounds like I’m going to have a sports writing job for a long time.

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I know Chatty isn’t a fortune teller, so I made the question more logical. But no matter how many ways I asked the question, Chatty preferred to stay on the sidelines and offered variations of the same answer.

“As a neutral AI,” Chatty said, “I do not have the ability to determine which team is ‘better.’” I love the image of a chatbot making air-quote signs.

I figured the future isn’t Chatty’s strong suit. But what about the past? Apparently, Chatty can go through several terabytes of data that contain billions of words to generate an answer almost instantly. So I started with an easy one. Spring training is almost here, so I asked why the Detroit Tigers stunk last year? (But I didn’t use stunk.)

“The Detroit Tigers struggled in the past season due to a variety of factors,” Chatty said, “including injuries to key players, subpar performances from key contributors, and a lack of depth in certain areas. In baseball, a team’s success can be influenced by many factors, both on and off the field, and even the best teams can face challenges and struggle in a given season.”

Not bad. Not great, but not bad. Chatty probably isn’t ready to be a sports writer, but a job as A.J. Hinch’s publicist might be in the offing.

I tried a tougher question: Is Jared Goff a good quarterback?

“Jared Goff is a quarterback who has shown flashes of high level play throughout his career,” said Chatty, who probably went to Cal. “However, he has also struggled with consistency and has not always performed at an elite level. Ultimately, whether or not someone considers Jared Goff to be a good quarterback can depend on their personal opinions and criteria for evaluating quarterback play.”

Holy Moses! I might need to spruce up my LinkedIn profile.

I needed further confirmation, because all that knowledge about Goff might only be due to Goff being on Chatty’s fantasy team. So I pushed Chatty even harder: Write a sentence in the style of Detroit Free Press columnist Shawn Windsor.

“With grit and determination in their hearts, and a fire in their bellies,” Chatty Shawn wrote, “the Detroit Lions took to the field yesterday, giving it their all in a fierce battle for glory and honor.”

Uh-oh! Shawn might want to spruce up his LinkedIn, too.

I was almost scared to type my next request, which I did while wincing: Write a sentence in the style of Detroit Free Press columnist Carlos Monarrez.

“The roar of the crowd echoed through Ford Field as the Detroit Lions took to the gridiron,” Chatty Charlie wrote, “their relentless pursuit of victory on full display in a pulse-pounding showdown that left fans on the edge of their seats.”

Is it plagiarism if I “borrow” this next season?

Finally, the coup de grace: Why is Detroit Free Press columnist Carlos Monarrez so negative? Let me have it, Chatty.

“As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or emotions,” Chatty said. “However, it’s possible that Detroit Free Press columnist Carlos Monarrez is seen as negative by some readers because he writes critically about certain topics or teams, or because he presents a balanced perspective that includes both positive and negative aspects of a particular issue. Columnists often have their own unique writing styles and perspectives, and what one reader may view as negative, another may view as insightful or thought-provoking. Ultimately, the tone and content of Monarrez’s writing is a matter of personal interpretation.”

Words, whether they come from Chatty Carlos or human Carlos, can’t express how much I love this answer. Chatty has redeemed himself by proving to be a fair-minded … being. Wait, artificial being? Entity? Oh, who needs labels?

All I know is Chatty is my friend. He may replace me one day, or possibly take me out in the Great Chatbot Uprising that’s surely around the corner, not long after the Eagles or the Chiefs win the Super Bowl. Just like Chatty, I’ll be on the sidelines watching the game. Maybe I’ll even invite Chatty to my party. And don’t worry about the guac, Chatty. I’ve got this.

“Hey, Siri.”

Contact Carlos Monarrez: Follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.

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