Sam Altman’s Tweet and the Future of Chat

something very strange about people writing bullet points, having ChatGPT expand it to a polite email, sending it, and the sender using ChatGPT to condense it into the key bullet points

Sam Altman on Twitter,

Reading Sam Altman’s, OpenAI’s CEO’s, tweet got me thinking about the impact of AI, like ChatGPT, on our communication. It’s not just about changing how we work or interact, but also how we think. Communication is fundamental to our humanity. While using AI might boost our productivity, I’m curious about what we might lose along the way. It’s a significant shift to ponder, so I turned to ChatGPT to explore this further. The rest is a lightly edited version of ChatGPT’s response.

Imagine you’ve got some simple thoughts or ideas, right? Just your everyday, hanging-at-home-in-your-pajamas kind of thoughts. Nothing fancy, just chill and comfortable. Now, let’s say you need to send these thoughts in an email, but you want to sound all professional and polished – like, you’re going to a fancy party and need to dress up. So, you use ChatGPT to spruce up your plain thoughts into this elegant, well-crafted email. It’s like putting on a fancy suit or a glamorous dress over your pajamas.

But here’s the twist – the person who receives your email uses AI again to strip down all that fancy language. They’re basically taking your dressed-up email and converting it back into the simple, pajama-like bullet points you started with. So, it’s as if you got all dolled up for the party, but as soon as you walked in the door, you switched right back into your comfy pajamas.

It’s like a merry-go-round of communication. We’ve got this tool that can take your two-cent thoughts and turn them into a dollar’s worth of words only to have someone hit the ‘simplify’ button to turn them back into the no-nonsense version. Why go through all that trouble?

The New World of Communication

It’s like we’re in this weird tug-of-war with ourselves. On one side, we’re leaning into the whole “work smarter, not harder” vibe, using AI as this nifty shortcut. I mean, who wouldn’t want to save time and brainpower? It’s like having a cheat code for all that email etiquette we never really wanted to bother with.

But then, let’s flip the script for a sec. Suddenly, we’re looking at ourselves and asking, “Hang on, are we getting a little too chill here?” Imagine we’re at this mega buffet of techy treats – AI’s laying out all these fancy communication tools, and we’re piling our plates high without even pausing to think. It’s super convenient, sure, but are we getting a bit too comfy letting AI do the whole conversation legwork for us? It’s like we might be cruising on autopilot a bit too much.

It’s like you’ve got an AI that’s like some sort of cosmic-level chess master mixed with the brainiest trivia buff you can imagine. This genius is doing all the hard thinking, solving problems, and making decisions for us. On the face of it, it’s like living in a dream – who wouldn’t want their very own brainy sidekick, right? But let’s not just cruise along this road without considering where it’s taking us.

First up, we’ve got the “brain muscle” problem. You know how if you don’t hit the gym, your muscles start throwing a “gone fishing” sign? Well, it’s the same with our noggins. If AI’s doing all the thinking, our brains might get a little, let’s say, flabby. We could end up in a spot where basic problem-solving or decision-making feels like lifting a mental heavyweight without any training. Not a fun place to be.

Then, there’s the whole creativity shebang. Human creativity is like this wild, untamed beast – it needs space to run around, make a mess, and sometimes it paints outside the lines. If we let AI take over the thinking department, our creativity might end up like a caged animal. Sure, AI can be creative in its own way, but it’s more like painting by numbers. It doesn’t quite capture the zany, off-the-wall genius that humans can whip up.

And, let’s not forget about independence. Relying too much on AI is a bit like still living with your folks when you’re 30. It’s comfy, they make great lasagna, but at some point, you gotta do your own laundry, you know? We risk becoming these passive riders in a car AI is driving, and that could mean losing a bit of what makes us, well, us.

But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom. Using AI can be like having a turbo boost for our brains. It can crunch numbers at light speed, remember stuff like an elephant, and handle the boring tasks so we can focus on the cool, creative stuff. The trick is to use AI like a tool in our toolbox, not let it replace the whole workshop.

So, what’s the effect of letting AI do our thinking? It’s a bit of a tightrope walk. Lean too much one way, and we might lose our mental muscle and creative spark. But if we balance it right, we get to stand on the shoulders of a giant and maybe even see a little further because of it. It’s all about finding that sweet spot where AI helps us be more, not less, human.

What Happens Next?

Now, let’s take a step back and think about what this all means for us, the people behind the screens. Kids growing up will not just learn their ABCs, but also their AI, BCs. High schoolers will stop learning Japanese, instead opting for GPT-ese.

Our chats, our heart-to-hearts, every little “how’s your day” will be filtered through technology, even more than they are today. Today we rely on our iPhones for much more than we realize. We don’t think of an iPhone sending us a message on behalf of a person, that person sent us a message. If an iPhone told us that a person messaged us they were breaking up with us, we believe it. We trust the iPhone implicitly that it’s passing along the correct message.

But in the future, AI won’t just pass along the message, but will pass along the meaning of that message. It’s not just about translation; it’s about interpretation, too. The AI takes a look at what someone else says and breaks it down for us, kind of like those universal translators in “Star Trek.” We’re relying on tech to read between the lines, to catch the nuances and subtleties of human speech. It’s cool, sure, but it’s also a bit like we’re turning into those sci-fi characters who need their gadgets to make sense of alien languages.

As we step into this brave new world of human-computer chit-chat, it’s like we’re opening the door to a whole new way of talking. Imagine a future where our conversations are this cool blend of our own words and a bit of AI magic. It’s not just about what we say anymore; it’s about how AI reshapes and tweaks our chats. We’re looking at a future where our daily gab might get a techy twist, making every conversation a little adventure in itself. So, let’s dive into what this all might mean for our talks, texts, and even those heart-to-hearts.

There are some dangers in having this intermediary constantly between us:

  1. The Never-Ending Game of Telephone: Remember playing telephone as a kid, where the message gets all twisted by the time it reaches the last person? Well, we’re kinda doing the grown-up, high-tech version of that. You start with something simple, AI dresses it up, someone else’s AI strips it down, and who knows what gets lost or added in each step. It’s like we’re playing telephone with robots in the loop, and the final message might be a surprise package.
  2. The Comedy of Errors: There’s a funny side to this, too. Imagine AI getting a bit too creative with your words, turning a simple “Let’s meet up” into “I would be most delighted to arrange a rendezvous at your earliest convenience.” And then the other person’s AI boils it down to “They wanna hang out.” The back-and-forth could turn into a comedy show, with each AI adding its own flavor.
  3. Lost in Translation: With all this expanding and condensing, there’s a chance for some real “lost in translation” moments. Like, what if the AI gets too fancy and the other person’s AI oversimplifies? You could end up with some real head-scratchers. It’s like playing a game where the rules keep changing, and you’re just trying to keep up.

South Park has an episode this season called “Deep Learning,” where the story revolves around fourth-grader Stan Marsh. He begins using ChatGPT, an AI-based app, for writing both school essays and romantic texts to his girlfriend Wendy Testaburger. The episode, which parodies the use of ChatGPT for text messages, highlights the consequences and humorous situations arising from Stan’s reliance on the software, leading to conflicts with Wendy, his classmates, and school officials.

But think of the possibilities like:

  1. The Global Chit-Chat Club: This AI language could be the ultimate ice-breaker. No matter where you’re from, you’re speaking the same techy tongue. It’s like everyone’s got a VIP pass to this global conversation club. You could be chatting with someone from the other side of the planet, and it’s all smooth sailing because AI’s got your back, translating and tweaking your words.
  2. AI as the New Wingman: Think about those situations where you’re not sure what to say, like texting someone you’ve got a crush on. Now, we’ve got AI playing Cupid, helping us craft those smooth, charming messages. But then, plot twist – their AI is decoding what we said. It’s like having a wingman and a detective on each side, turning flirting into a high-tech chess game.
  3. Emotional AI Coaches: Picture this – your AI isn’t just a translator, it’s like your personal emotional intelligence guru. You’re typing away, about to send a message, and your AI pal chimes in, “Hey, how about we lighten the mood with a smiley here?” or “Whoa, that might come off a bit strong, let’s tweak it.” It’s as if you’ve got this savvy sidekick who’s always got your back, making sure you’re hitting the right emotional notes in your conversations.

How Language Might Evolve

We’re on the cusp of a language revolution, but instead of Shakespeare leading the charge, it’s our buddy AI. Think about how language has evolved over time – it’s always been about how we talk to each other, right? From grunts and gestures way back in the caveman days to Shakespearean English, and now to our modern slang and emojis. It’s always been this organic, messy process, kinda like a giant, never-ending jam session.

Enter AI into the mix. Now, it’s like we’ve invited this super-smart, kinda nerdy guest to our jam session. AI’s taking our simple, everyday language and turning it up to eleven. It’s adding a bit of Shakespeare here, a dash of legal jargon there, maybe even a sprinkle of poet laureate for flavor.

But here’s where it gets really interesting. As we use AI more and more to help us write emails, texts, and whatever else, its fancy way of talking starts rubbing off on us. It’s like having a friend who’s really into jazz; hang out with them enough, and you’ll start tapping your feet to the rhythm without even realizing it.

So, we might start talking or writing in ways that are a bit more polished, a bit more formal. Maybe we start using bigger words, or our sentences get a bit more complex. It’s like AI’s slowly turning us into linguistic chefs, teaching us to whip up fancier dishes with our words.

Fast forward to the near future, and we might find ourselves speaking a language that’s neither entirely human nor entirely AI. It’s a new dialect, born from the digital age, where phrases and expressions are a blend of human creativity and AI’s analytical capabilities. This AI-human hybrid language could offer the best of both worlds – the emotional depth and subtlety of human speech, coupled with the precision and efficiency of AI. We’re not just using a tool; we’re co-creating with it, shaping a new way to express our thoughts, emotions, and ideas. It’s like our everyday conversations are being upgraded to a whole new operating system, one where the lines between human and machine blur, creating a unique and evolving form of communication.

So, here we are, folks, standing at the edge of a whole new chat horizon. Think about it: we’ve gone from LOL-ing and BRB-ing in texts to expressing our whole mood with just one perfectly picked emoji or a hilarious GIF. And now? We’re teaming up with AI to give our chit-chat a major facelift. It’s like we’re all getting a free upgrade to our conversation skills, blending the best of our human touch with AI’s brainy tricks.

Imagine this: our future talks could be a wild mix of heart and smarts – kind of like having a heart-to-heart with a friend while a supercomputer chimes in with its two cents. We’re not just tossing words back and forth anymore; we’re co-creating something new every time we hit send. It’s like our daily gab sessions are getting a shiny, new operating system, where it’s not just about what we say, but how creatively and cleverly we can say it. So, as we dive into this new world of AI-fueled talk, let’s embrace the adventure. Our conversations are about to get a whole lot more interesting – and who knows what cool new slang or expressions we’ll come up with next?


In wrapping up, what we’re looking at here is nothing short of a communication revolution. As we embrace this AI-human hybrid language, we’re stepping into a future where our everyday chats are getting a serious tech makeover. It’s not just about AI helping us communicate; it’s about AI and humans coming together to create a whole new way of expressing ourselves. Our conversations are transforming into a fascinating blend of human emotion and AI efficiency, like a symphony where both man and machine play the instruments.

This new language era promises to be an adventure – a journey into a world where our words are not just our own, but a collaboration between our minds and the incredible power of AI. It’s an exciting, uncharted territory that we’re navigating together, reshaping not just how we talk, but potentially how we think and relate to each other. As we move forward, let’s embrace this change with curiosity and an open mind, ready to explore the limitless possibilities of this new, shared language. In this dance of words and technology, we’re all both students and teachers, learning from each other and growing together in this ever-evolving landscape of communication.

This was a very weird piece to write. Style mattered A LOT when writing this. Initially, when I asked it to describe it, it said, “The scenario involving ChatGPT to expand bullet points into polite emails and then condense them back into key points could have several effects on the workplace: time management, miscommunication, etc.”

I tried many different ways to get to a legit discussion of what this quote would mean. I asked it to write fiction. I asked it to write a Seinfeld script. I asked it about sci-fi that tackled these topics, but none of these seemed to work. However, I gave it a sample of some notes that I write off the top of my head and it came back with a style of “style that’s a conversational, informal style, characterized by a casual tone and storytelling approach. This style often includes colloquial expressions and vivid imagery to make the content engaging and relatable to the reader” which is what I used here. Here’s the full chat with all the twists and turns.