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This is a crosspost from   Cleve’s Corner: Cleve Moler on Mathematics and Computing Cleve Moler is the author of the first MATLAB, one of the founders of MathWorks, and is currently Chief Mathematician at the company. He writes here about MATLAB, scientific computing and interesting mathematics.. See the original post here.

My Chat with Ernie, a Chinese Chat Bot

I recently had an opportunity to chat with Ernie, the Large Language Model currently under development at the Chinese internet search giant, Baidu. As I expected, Ernie's responses are in Chinese. I don't speak Chinese, so I have asked Google Translate for the response in English.


Embarrassingly Parallel

One of my questions that Microsoft's ChatGPT answered incorrectly was

   Who coined the term "embarrassingly parallel?"

Ernie's response to the same question was

Goggle translate:

   Who coined the embarrassing word parallel?

Well that's a very unfortunate misunderstanding. And, it's just repeating the question. That's an old trick; the mother of all chat bots, Eliza , used it over sixty years ago.


One of the questions I often ask when I meet someone for the first time is

  Do you use MATLAB?

Earnie's reply was

Google translation is

  I think I love you.

Well, that's nice, but doesn't really answer my question.

Cleve's Corner

Can a chat bot assist with writing this blog? I don't expect help with the MATLAB code, or with the graphics, or with any mathematics. How about the prose, if it isn't too technical.

Here is the opening sentence of the post I made a few weeks ago.

   The 4-by-4 matrices in the panels on the following screenshots
   are at the heart of computer graphics.

I asked Ernie how that would look in Chinese. Ernie responded with

When Google translates that back to English, we get

   The 4×4 matrix in the screenshot panel below is at the heart of
   computer graphics.

Ernie decided to make the sentence singular, which happens to shorten it. But I am afraid that isn't much help for this blog.


I have already described my chat with ChatGPT. This Chinese competitor is certainly not an improvement. For now, I will continue to produce this blog the old fashioned way, without any "help" from AI.

Get the MATLAB code

Published with MATLAB® R2023a