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Free Day

Using ChatGPT and Google Bard to research

I know a lot of folks in the have some negative feelings about generative text AI, and for good reason. Folks using AI-generated writing as their own is a big problem.

I'm not using ChatGPT, or similar to write my story for me. But, I've found it really useful for doing generating some ideas for my story.

I really wanted to use some kind of current theory that I could use as the basis for the time travel in my story. I didn't want to just handwave it.

In the original Wizard of Oz, Dorothy fails to get into the tornado shelter in time, and that's why she gets carried away to Oz. So, I wanted there to be some clear action on Dorothy's part that brought her to the future.

I asked ChatGPT and Google Bard "I'm writing a science fiction novella that involves time travel. What are some of the best ways to explain time travel, based on current scientific understanding?"

I got really good answers, a nice bulleted list with explanations for each, including time dilation (special relativity), gravity warping spacetime (general relativity), multiple universes, and quantum wormholes, which could, in theory, connect two points in spacetime. I asked a follow-up question on wormholes, and I got a lot of background on how they might relate to time travel, etc.

Of course, large language models are prone to hallucination, so I double-checked all the information. But really, I think these new tools are definitely going to be a help in researching for my writing (but not in doing the writing itself).

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: MC POV: If you could teach one subject, what would it be?

Well, physics, obviously. I'm already teaching undergrad physics classes.

That can get a little awkward sometimes, to be honest. Since I'm so much younger than the other grad students. It's happened on more than one occasion when a professor will walk into a class I'm teaching, and ask where the teacher is. 😧

I guess, if I could teach one subject, to be honest, it would just be nothing. But my program requires it of me.