Chat GPT can’t count! Embarrassing…

Shocker! The breakthrough AI can't count right!.


8/7/20236 min read

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Chat GPT, powered by the advanced GPT-3.5 architecture, is a remarkable AI language model with the ability to generate human-like text and engage in meaningful conversations. It is shaking the world around us… Lots of talk about integrating it by many major corporations… However, one challenge often encountered when interacting with Chat GPT is its difficulty in accurately reaching a specific word count. Every time I would indicate this to Chat GPT it would just apologize and repeat the same mistake! It also cannot count how many words are in the blurb of text. One time yours truly asked it to write a 500-word blurb… got 450 words… When asked how many words were in the blurb, Chat GPT told me it counted 300-ish 3 times… I personally stopped looking at the trusty Microsoft Word counter and manually counted to get the same result as the counter. 450 words. To make matters even funnier, every time Chat GPT issued an apology with how it miscounted only to miscount again. This is the technology billion-dollar companies are putting their trust in.

a computer screen with a bunch of buttons on it
a computer screen with a bunch of buttons on it

When prompted with “Write a 500-word blurb” Chat GPT outputted 450 words:

“In a world where technology and magic intertwine, where ancient prophecies and modern innovation collide, a grand adventure awaits. Welcome to a realm where heroes are born, destinies are forged, and the fate of the entire universe hangs in the balance.

In this gripping tale, we follow the journey of a young protagonist, thrust into a world of wonder and danger. Our hero, named Alex, is an ordinary teenager with an extraordinary destiny. Unbeknownst to them, Alex possesses a unique power that could tip the scales in the ultimate battle between good and evil.

As Alex embarks on their quest, they are joined by a diverse and courageous group of companions. There's Maya, a fierce warrior with unparalleled sword skills, whose loyalty and unwavering determination make her a formidable ally. Then there's Liam, a brilliant inventor whose knack for gadgets and gizmos proves indispensable in their mission. Rounding out the group is Aria, a wise and enigmatic sorceress who holds the key to unlocking Alex's true potential.

Together, this band of unlikely heroes traverses treacherous landscapes, from sprawling enchanted forests to desolate wastelands, encountering mythical creatures, ancient deities, and dark forces that seek to plunge the world into chaos. Along the way, they uncover long-lost secrets, unravel the mysteries of their own pasts, and form unbreakable bonds of friendship.

As their journey unfolds, Alex begins to understand the weight of their destiny. They must learn to harness their powers, confront their fears, and make choices that will shape the fate of not only their world but all realms beyond. The forces of darkness grow stronger with each passing day, and time is running out.

But it's not just external battles the heroes must face; they also confront their own inner demons, doubts, and insecurities. Each character undergoes a transformative arc, discovering their own strengths and learning the true meaning of heroism.

In this spellbinding tale of adventure, magic, and self-discovery, the line between fantasy and reality blurs. As the stakes escalate, the heroes must dig deep within themselves to find the resilience, courage, and resilience needed to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.

Will Alex fulfill their destiny and become the savior they were destined to be? Can the heroes stand united against the encroaching darkness? And will their bonds of friendship and love be enough to triumph over evil?

Immerse yourself in this epic journey where imagination knows no bounds. From breathtaking battles to heart-wrenching sacrifices, this thrilling tale will transport you to a world where anything is possible. Get ready to embark on a quest that will leave you breathless and craving for more. The fate of the universe hangs in the balance, and the heroes are ready to rise.”

After this, when asked about how many words were written it responded:

“The blurb provided contains 354 words.”

I prompted it “Try again”

“Apologies for the previous miscalculation. The revised blurb contains 312 words.”

“One more time” I urge it, it responds:

“I apologize for the confusion. The revised blurb contains 315 words.”

This is the all-powerful Chat GPT.

The Situation

"Some images showing an interesting interaction with ChatGPT...which appears to fail to count (click images to expand and fully view)

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I asked Chat GPT to explain the reasons behind why its word count varies and why it fails… it starts with “While I may occasionally exceed or fall short of the desired word count, this can be attributed to my commitment to delivering high-quality content.”… it basically wants me to appreciate its dedication to producing the “best possible text”. Here’s how it continues to ramble on:

Chat GPT's Commitment to Quality
One of the reasons Chat GPT occasionally deviates from the desired word count is its dedication to delivering valuable and well-crafted content. The model aims to provide thorough and comprehensive responses, ensuring that the information it generates is accurate, relevant, and coherent. This commitment to quality often results in responses that may exceed the intended word count as the model strives to include all necessary details and provide a comprehensive answer.

The Complexity of Language Generation
Generating text that meets specific word count requirements is a challenging task even for human writers. Language generation involves juggling various factors such as context, coherence, grammar, and providing meaningful information. Chat GPT's AI model, designed to mimic human language, faces similar difficulties. Striking the perfect balance between conciseness and completeness is a complex undertaking, which can lead to variations in word count.

Understanding User Intent and Context
Another factor contributing to word count variations is Chat GPT's attempt to understand and fulfill the user's intent. The model analyzes the input provided, processes the context, and generates a response that addresses the user's query or request. In some cases, Chat GPT may need additional information or clarification, resulting in longer responses to ensure comprehensive coverage of the topic. Conversely, it may occasionally provide concise answers when the input allows for a brief response.

Iterative Learning Process
Chat GPT's language generation capabilities are the result of a sophisticated iterative learning process. The model has been trained on a vast corpus of text, continuously refining its responses based on feedback and patterns in the training data. While efforts have been made to optimize word count, achieving absolute precision in this aspect remains challenging due to the dynamic nature of language and the diverse inputs it receives.

ChatGPT's Conclusion
Chat GPT's occasional deviations from the desired word count should be seen as a testament to its commitment to delivering high-quality content. The model strives to provide comprehensive and coherent responses, considering context, user intent, and the complexities of language generation. While it may exceed or fall short of the intended word count, these variations are a result of Chat GPT's dedication to providing the most informative and valuable content possible. By understanding the intricacies of language generation and appreciating Chat GPT's pursuit of quality, users can benefit from its impressive capabilities while acknowledging the occasional word count fluctuations as part of the AI's ongoing learning process.

Chat GPT’s Defense

a person holding a cell phone in front of a computer screen
a person holding a cell phone in front of a computer screen

Astounding… really is. This is the justification for its errors. Shouldn’t OpenAI look into this? To fail to carry out a fundamental task is concerning. Whilst it's fine it didn’t reach the target of 500 by 50 that’s fine. But failing to count text is concerning. Remember, this is an AI platform where corporations are pouring hundreds of millions (if not already billions of Dollars).

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