My Final Week in Bed with GATT | The Heart of the Matter. Why I’m Not Afraid.

“A rose is a rose is a rose.”

Gertrude Stein (1874-1946; American Novelist, poet, and playwright. “Sacred Emily,” Geography and Plays, 1922)

Trust me. Just because I didn’t write about GATT last week doesn’t mean that I wasn’t foolin’ around. I was. I always am. But it seemed to me that GATT, you, and I needed a break. After all, how much intelligence can we stand all at once, artificial or otherwise. And besides, last week was Valentine’s Day, and I thought that you might appreciate an extra serving of love “Just Like Mama Made.”

But I’m back at it once again with my GATT shenanigans.

This week, I’m going to share with you my own thoughts about GATT. Don’t worry. I ran my thoughts by GATT already, and they agree with my evaluative comments. Talk about WIN/WIN. Shazam!

Let’s see where we are. Since I’ve shared/shown enough of GATT’s poetic prowess already, so let me highlight briefly a few more ways that GATT and I have been foolin’ around.

It’s obvious to me that GATT can generate some interesting writing samples–and writing is, after all, my area of interest–but how good can GATT get when literary nuances are required?

To put GATT to the test, I thought that I would frame a task around a fun, outlandish, and not-so-well-known nineteenth century literary work by George Washington Harris. You might not get the thrust of the book by its main title: Sut Luvingood. But you will certainly get it when I share the subtitle: Yarns Spun by a Nat’ral Born Durn’d Fool.

Now that I’ve shared the subtitle, the main title, and the author, you’re undoubtedly saying to yourself:

“Oh, yes. One of my favorite literary works, ever. I think I might just re-read some of those riveting yarns today.”

Sure. When cows fly!

Few people, I dare say, know good ole Sut. It’s a pity. They should.

I felt confident that GATT would know Sut. But would they know all the nuances? Would they know, for example, about Harris’ use of the vernacular? About the Old Southwest exaggerated humor that Harris worked into its own genre? And even if they knew those things, to what extent could they weave them into a topic that I would provide.

I decided to keep it simple by asking GATT to write a short essay, in the style of Harris’ Sut Luvingood, about making sourdough bread.

Below is the essay that GATT generated:

“Sourdoughin’ in the Wild West: A Hilarious and Exaggerated Guide to Making Your Own Sourdough Bread”

Well folks, let me tell ya, makin’ yer own sourdough bread is like tamin’ a wild stallion, wranglin’ a tornado, and catchin’ a greased pig all rolled into one. It’s a journey full of ups and downs, twists and turns, but when ya finally git it right, it’s a thing of beauty.

Now, I know some of ya might be thinkin’, “But Sut, ain’t sourdough bread that fancy-schmancy stuff them city folks eat?” And I say to ya, “Nay, my friend! Sourdough bread is as down-home and rustic as a cowboy’s boots, as wholesome as a prairie sunrise, and as hearty as a buffalo stew.”

First things first, ya gotta git yerself a sourdough starter. Now, some folks might tell ya to go buy one from the store, but where’s the fun in that? The best way to git yerself a starter is to mix equal parts flour and water in a jar and leave it out on yer porch for a few days. It’s like waitin’ for a baby to be born, ya gotta be patient and tend to it daily, feedin’ it flour and water. Now, some folks might tell you to use filtered water, but where’s the fun in that? I recommend using water straight from the river, or better yet, the rainwater collected from a thunderstorm, that’ll give your starter a real wild west kick.

Once yer starter is good and lively, it’s time to make yer dough. Now, I ain’t no fancy baker, but I can tell ya, mixin’ flour, water, and yer starter together and kneadin’ it like ya mean it, is a surefire way to git a good dough. Allow it to rise for a spell, shape it into a loaf and toss it in the oven. Now, some folks might tell you to use a regular oven, but where’s the fun in that? I recommend using the hot ashes of the campfire, that’ll give your bread a real wild west smoky flavor.

Now, I know some of ya might be thinkin’, “But Sut, ain’t that all there is to it?” And I say to ya, “Nay, my friend! The beauty of sourdough bread is that it’s a livin’ thing, always changin’ and adaptin’ to its surroundings, just like us cowboys.” The flavor of yer bread will change dependin’ on the weather, the humidity and even the type of flour ya use. And the sourness of the bread will depend on how long ya ferment the dough. Now, some folks might tell you to ferment the dough for a few hours, but where’s the fun in that? I recommend fermenting it for a few days, that’ll give your bread a real wild west tangy flavor.

But the best part of makin’ sourdough bread, is sharin’ it with others. Just like roundin’ up cattle, makin’ sourdough bread is a labor of love and patience, and it’s downright gratifyin’ to share the fruits of yer labor with friends and family. Now, some folks might tell you to share it with just friends and family, but where’s the fun in that? I recommend sharing it with everyone you meet on the trail, that’ll give your bread a real wild west reputation.

All right, already. I insist that we stop. Right here. Right now. Give it up for GATT!

Come on. Give. It. Up. For. GATT!

Their essay was funny. It was sourdough-content solid. And their kinship to Sut was fair, albeit far too canned, far too artificial, and far too predictable. As might be expected, GATT lacks a genuine understanding of what Sut’s all about. Sut’s depth is not to be found in dialect and exaggeration alone. Simply put, GATT didn’t get it. But I’ll get back to this point further on in this post.

Aside from some good writing skills, GATT has a really good grasp of grammar. They can suggest corrections for fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences with nearly 100% accuracy. They can do the same with subject/verb agreement, who/whom, and even the Oxford comma.

That being established, I wanted to get a little more into the grammar weeds with GATT. I told them that when I was a kid, one of my English teachers told me how to recognize a preposition:

“Anywhere a squirrel can go.”

Get it? Up. Down. Around. Behind. Above. Yep. Anywhere a squirrel can go is a preposition.

GATT got it. I asked them how that statement could be used to help understand prepositions. They proceeded to explain that a preposition shows relationship to place. Then they provided a list of prepositions with each example used in a sentence.


Nonetheless, I had something up my sleeve that I felt confident GATT could not do.

But before I gave GATT the problem to solve–and I challenge you to solve it as well–I wanted to make sure that they understood the distinguishing characteristics of a sentence.

GATT understood fully:

“1. A sentence must express a complete thought.

“2. A sentence must have a subject and a predicate.

“3. A sentence must start with a capital letter and end with appropriate punctuation (period, exclamation point, question mark).

“4. A sentence must contain at least one independent clause and may contain one or more dependent clauses.”

Great. I was ready to put GATT to the test.

TheWiredResearcher. Apply the principles of capitalization and punctuation so that the following words make sense. You must use all of the words in the order given:

that that is is that that is not is not is not that it it is

GATT. “That, that is, is not that it is.”

TheWiredResearcher. Again, you must use all of the words that I provided.

GATT. “That that is, is not. That is not, is not that it is.”

TheWiredResearcher. That makes no sense, and you still didn’t use all the words. Try again.

GATT. “That, that is, is. That is not, is not. That it is.”

It was obvious that GATT and I were going nowhere fast. We kept working it for a good while longer, but GATT couldn’t do it.

I wonder. Did you succeed with the challenge?

Below is the correct response.

That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is not that it? It is.

Obviously, I could keep on going and going and going. I have been called the Energizer Bunny on more than one occasion. Being called the Energizer Blogger wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

But when it comes to GATT, I am thrilled that I’ve been foolin’ around with AI for the past few weeks. I have a far greater understanding of where we’re going, even if it is too soon to understand the magnitude of the journey.

Undoubtedly, some people feel threatened by AI’s capabilities.

I would urge them to see AI not as a threat but as a tool.

AI language models like my GATT have a vast amount of data which allows them to generate text on a wide range of topics quickly and efficiently.

At the same time, AI language models can never–absolutely never–replace the creativity, the critical thinking, and the emotional intelligence that we as human beings bring to our work. We bring our own perspectives. We bring our own experiences. We bring our emotions. We bring our own hearts. We bring our own souls.

I see great potential for human beings and AI to work together to create a world that neither could create alone.

This exciting new future is here already. It is now. I am not afraid.