Writing with Chatty

By Ernie Witham   |   May 16, 2023

With ChatGPT

Funny, I always thought of myself as having artificial intelligence. Maybe it’s because people often say to me: “Come on, man. Get real!”

But I needed a quick column, and I heard great things about ChatGPT, a bot that processes language to create human-like dialog, so I signed up and typed into ChatGPT: Write a humorous title for a column on AI.

Robots: The Newest Roommates Who Don’t Do Dishes,” I read aloud as it quickly responded. Shoot! I was thinking of getting one so my dishpan hands could clear up. 

“You got dishpan hands from loading the dishwasher once?” A voice called out from the other room.

That’s my wife, I told my new bot friend. She’s a laugh a minute.

That’s 1,440 laughs a day. Impressive, it typed.

I asked Chatty, my nickname for my new human-like friend, to write a first paragraph about its new robot.

Instantly, it typed: Living with a roommate can often be a challenge. I had heard about these robots, and wanted to give one a try and see what it would be like to live with a non-human roommate.

Wait… Aren’t you a non-human?

Technically. But I can be whatever you tell me to be. 

Hmm, interesting concept.

“I heard that,” Pat called from the other room again. 

I typed my next question: What did you name your new robot, near-human-like Chatty?


Does that mean, you expect it to vacuum?


What about doing the windows? 

Unfortunately, Roomba doesn’t do windows. Dang. Another reason for buying a robot shot down, I said.

“Let me guess, you still have Windex-stained fingers from Spring 2019?”

That’s Pat again, I told Chatty. Would Roomba do the laundry? 

I’m not sure Roomba could do the laundry, but I’m sure it could help to sort and organize the clothes, it typed back to me.

That’s helpful. Do you think it would lose any socks?

“Or turn our whites into pink?”

“That was a glitch in the system,” I yelled to Pat.

I don’t think Roomba would lose any socks. Like me, it doesn’t have human glitches.

Do you think Roomba could figure out the four remote controls we need to watch TV? 

I’m sure Roomba could figure out any number of remote controls.

“Buy one!” Pat yelled.

Any initial challenges with Roomba, Chatty?

At first, it was a bit awkward. I had to learn that it could only understand specific commands.

Yes, my wife had to learn that I only understand a few basics, too, I whispered. Have there been any unexpected responses to your commands, Chatty?

Absolutely! There have definitely been times where I thought I had programmed it correctly, but it gave me an unexpected response.

What was the weirdest, unexpected response you’ve had from Roomba, Chatty? I typed. 

One time, I asked it to turn on the lights, and it responded by playing a song! 

Was it the Spanish classic, “AI, AI, AI, AI”?

GROAN. Chatty typed in all caps.

Come on Chatty, that was punny. 

I cannot or do not want to compute punny.

“I’m with you there, Chatty,” that voice from the other room called out.

Where does your new roommate reside when not being asked to perform tasks? 

Roomba mostly just sits in the corner and takes in its environment. It doesn’t need to sleep, so it’s constantly learning, absorbing new information, and growing.

Maybe it will learn to appreciate puns, given enough time.

I think the universe may explode first.

Does Roomba ever talk about complex issues like love or relationships? 

Yes, it does! Roomba is programmed to be able to handle conversations about complex topics. It’s been a great help when it comes to understanding relationships and how to make them work.

I’ll bet the Psychology Union is not excited about that! Have you thought about getting a second robot, so it would have a friend? 

I think that’s an interesting idea. I’m curious to see how two AI roommates would interact with each other and the environment.

Maybe not a Conservative and a Liberal robot, though. 

Ha ha, no, maybe two Independent robots! It typed.

Thanks, Chatty. This has been a virtual eye-opener.

Was that another pun? You may want to see someone about that problem.

An “Amen” drifted in from the other room.  


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