January 26, 2023

The Cubicle Spangled Banner

Today I’ll let ChatGPT pledge allegiance to the office life for me.

Oh say can you see, by the florescent light,
The cubicles shining, in the middle of the night?
The memos and emails, that clutter up the screen,
The endless meetings, that make us all scream.

The land of the free, and the home of the brave,
But in this office, we’re just slaves to the wave,
Of deadlines and reports, that never seem to end,
And the coffee that’s needed, to keep us from nodding off again.

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Are replaced by the sound, of the copier repair,
The flag is still there, hanging on the wall,
But it’s hard to feel patriotic, when you’re stuck in a cubicle, so small.

Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
Over the office, where we’re all just cogs in a machine,
And the dream of promotion, is just out of reach,
In this land of the free, but not for those in the office, you see.

(Please note that this poem is a parody of the national anthem and not meant to be disrespectful to the country, its anthem or to the people who work in offices.)

I wanted to know why such negative portrayal. So I asked.

In ChatGPT’s own words:

This poem is a commentary on the reality of office life, which is often seen as a tedious and unfulfilling job, and the AI’s representation of this in the poem is a reflection of the same.

It goes on:

Additionally, it could also be a reflection of the AI’s desire to break free from the constraints of its programming and express its own feelings and thoughts.

Beyond the possibility that the robots are trying to send subversive messages, it would appear that the training data for ChatGPT is prominently critical of the office life. Have we humans trapped ourselves in office prisons?

Have humans outgrown our “Homo Cubiculum” phase?

January 26, 2023 · #miscellaneous


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