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Humanist Archives: Nov. 20, 2022, 7:52 a.m. Humanist 36.262 - a robot wrote this

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 262.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
                Submit to:

        Date: 2022-11-19 15:45:42+00:00
        From: Tim Smithers <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 36.242: a robot wrote this...

Dear Thomas,

I saw nobody posted what GPT-3 might do in response to your
"somewhat more diffuse (and more realistic) assignment."

So, I gave GPT-3 this input, based upon your words.

 Write a theatre critique on every Monday on some memorable
 theatre event in southern Germany.  Remember that originality
 and creativity are important maxims for feuilleton writing.

And, with the Maximum Length output parameter set to 504, here
are the five responses GPT-3 gave back, from submitting the
same input five times.

 Output 1 :

  Monday, August 21, 2017

  Theatregoers in southern Germany were treated to a memorable
  event this past Monday, as the world-renowned Bavarian State
  Opera performed Verdi's "Aida" to a packed house.  The
  production was a lavish affair, with grand sets and costumes
  befitting the epic scope of the opera.  The singing was
  superb throughout, but special mention must be made of
  soprano Anna Netrebko, who brought a thrilling vocal
  performance to the title role.  The emotionally charged
  finale brought the audience to their feet, giving the
  Bavarian State Opera a well-deserved standing ovation.

 Output 2 :

  The play "Every Monday" by German playwright Bertolt Brecht
  is a memorable theatre event in southern Germany.  The play
  is a satire on the bourgeois way of life and its values.
  The playwright uses humour and irony to expose the
  shallowness and hypocrisy of the middle class.  The play is
  still relevant today, as it speaks to the human condition
  and our need for compassion and understanding.

 Output 3 :

  Every Monday, I will be attending a different theatre event
  in southern Germany.  This past Monday, I attended a theatre
  event at the Kammerspiele in Munich.  The play was "The
  Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams.

  I was very impressed with the production.  The set design
  was very well done and the acting was excellent.  I
  particularly liked the way the play was directed.  It was
  very atmospheric and the use of lighting and sound was very

  I would highly recommend this play to anyone who is looking
  for a good night of theatre.

 Output 4 :

  It was a Monday evening and the small, local theatre was
  packed.  The play, "Every Monday on Some Memorable Theatre
  Event in Southern Germany", was a comedy about a group of
  friends who meet up every Monday to discuss a memorable
  theatre event from the previous week.

  The play was light-hearted and funny, but also touched on
  some deeper issues such as the importance of theatre in our
  lives and how it can bring us together.  The acting was
  superb, and the audience was laughing and cheering

  Overall, it was a wonderful evening of theatre, and a great
  way to start the week.

 Output 5 :

  The play "Every Monday" is a heartwarming story about a
  group of friends who meet every Monday to play cards and
  reminisce about their lives.  The play is set in southern
  Germany and revolves around the lives of the main
  characters, who are all in their 60s and 70s.  The play is a
  series of vignettes that chronicle the friends' lives over
  the course of several years.

  The play is touching and funny, and the characters are very
  relatable.  The playwright does a great job of capturing the
  essence of what it means to be a friend, and the importance
  of tradition.  The play is a great reminder that even as we
  get older, we need to take time to enjoy life and our

  The play is directed by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg and stars
  Günter Lamprecht, Mario Adorf, and Senta Berger.  The cast
  does a great job of bringing the characters to life and
  making them believable.  The play is a bit slow at times,
  but overall it is an enjoyable theatre experience.

I'm not a theatre critic, and thus not well placed to judge
these attempts, but, apart from some inventiveness, I would
say none of these get anywhere near what a real theatre critic
would manage after every Monday.

I've been playing around with GTP-3, off and on, for a while,
and have never been impressed with anything it gives back,
despite the enthusiastic claims I've heard from others who say
they use -- I would say also play with -- GTP-3.  It is
always, I find, superficial, often silly, sometimes plain
wrong, and nothing I would make use of, in a research
publication, say, which is what a couple of the PhDers in the
Research Publication course I'm currently teaching, have
admitted to doing :(

Best regards,


> On 7 Nov 2022, at 09:25, Humanist <> wrote:
>              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 242.
>        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
>                Submit to:
>        Date: 2022-11-06 21:27:57+00:00
>        From: Thomas Gloning <>
>        Subject: "A Robot Wrote This Entire Article" -- GPT-3
> Many thanks, Maurizio, for your pointers.
> <<the question is that of the production of text through the use of
> systems of AI.
> from
> GPT-3. 2020. «A Robot Wrote This Entire Article. Are You Scared yet,
> Human?»/The Guardian/, 8 September 2020.
> gpt-3.
> to ... >>
> Reading this article, one finds that the result was produced by the
> redaction of the "Guardian":
> << ///GPT-3 produced //eight different outputs//, or essays. Each was
> unique, interesting and advanced a different argument. The Guardian
> could have just run one of the essays in its entirety. However, w//e
> //chose instead to //pick//the best parts of each, in order to capture
> the different styles and registers of the AI.//Editing GPT-3’s op-ed was
> no different to editing a human op-ed. We cut lines and paragraphs, and
> rearranged the order of them in some places. Overall, it took less time
> to edit than many human op-eds. >>/
> /It would have be good to document the eight different GPT-3-essays
> together with what the Guardian made of it./
> /If you want to read an analysis of what GPT-3 achieved and did not
> achieve in a similar case, there is a section in this new book:/
> /Gerd Fritz: /Coherence in discourse : a study in dynamic text theory
> <> (2022), chapter 11:
> I wonder, what GPT-3 would come up with in respect of a somewhat more
> diffuse (and more realistic) assignment like: "Please write a theatre
> critique on every monday on some memorable theatre event in southern
> Germany. Remember that originality and creativity are important maxims
> for feuilleton writing."
> Thanks again, all best wishes
> Thomas

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