The world is abuzz with tales of the ChatGPT AI chatbot, and how it can do everything, except perhaps make the tea. It seems it can write code, which is pretty cool, so if it can’t make the tea as such, can it make the things I need to make some tea? I woke up this morning, and after lying in bed checking Hackaday I wandered downstairs to find some breakfast. But disaster! Some burglars had broken in and stolen all my kitchen utensils! All I have is my 3D printer and laptop, which curiously have little value to thieves compared to a set of slightly chipped crockery. What am I to do!
Never Come Between A Hackaday Writer And Her Breakfast!
OK Jenny, think rationally. They’ve taken the kettle, but I’ve got OpenSCAD and ChatGPT. Those dastardly miscreants won’t come between me and my breakfast, I’m made of sterner stuff! Into the prompt goes the following query:
The result was promising, it wrote an OpenSCAD module right in front of me. It looks valid, so into OpenSCAD it went. A nice tall cylindrical kettle, with a … er… lid. That should print no with problems, and I’ll be boiling the water for my morning cuppa in no time!
But I need a teaspoon and a mug too, I’d better do the same for those. On with the same queries, and duly code for a mug and a teaspoon were created. Fortunately the robbers haven’t taken the coffee, the sink, or the cooker, so I’m soon enjoying a reviving cup of morning coffee. This new technique for generating utensils automatically as I need them is straight out of Star Trek, I think I’ll never buy a piece of kitchenware again!
Having a bit of caffeine in my system, I felt it was time for a spot of Proper English Breakfast. Bacon and eggs are still in the fridge and the bread is on the shelf, so here goes, back to ChatGPT. I need a frying pan, a spatula, a plate, a knife, and a fork. This is going to be such a good breakfast!
Out come OpenSCAD models for a frying pan and spatula. The pan is maybe more of a griddle than a pan, but no AI coding chatbot is perfect, is it. The spatula is a two-piece affair with a chunky handle, very modern and contemporary styling. I like it. The plate boldly eschews a bottom and instead corrals the food with an angular edge, while the knife and fork follow the same chunky styling as the spatula.
I’m soon tucking into a fine breakfast thanks to my AI-generated utensils, ready for my day.
Perhaps Breakfasts In The Future Won’t Be Quite Like This
Of course, some of you may have noticed something a little avant-garde about my ChatGPT creations. Some might say they prioritise form over function to the extent of losing the latter, and I’d say yes, but it’s made a good joke pursuing them for the last few paragraphs. I’ve put all the stuff in a GitHub repository for you to look at if you want, and it’s soon pretty obvious that while ChatGPT has mastered a few basic OpenSCAD features such as union, translate, and difference of cylinders, it’s got no idea what a kitchen utensil looks like.
Of course, ChatGPT isn’t an image-trained AI in the way that Dall-E is, so one might argue that it shouldn’t be expected to have any idea what a mug looks like. Perhaps I should ask it, with the query “Tell me what a mug looks like”.
A mug is typically a cylindrical shaped container with a handle, used for drinking hot or cold beverages such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. The top of the mug usually has a slightly flared or rounded shape to make it easier to drink from, and the bottom of the mug is flat so that it can be placed on a surface. The handle is attached to the side of the mug, usually near the top, and is used to hold the mug securely while drinking. The material of the mug can vary, but mugs are commonly made from ceramic, glass, metal, or plastic. Some mugs have designs or patterns on them, and some have logos or images printed on them. Mugs can come in various sizes, from small espresso cups to large travel mugs, and the design and features of mugs can also vary widely.
So much for the “ignorance of mugs” defence, from that reply it seems to have a pretty good handle on muggishness. But we’re told an AI is only as good as its training, so perhaps the real point here is that it has several descriptions of mugs in its makeup, but no tutorials on how to generate a model from a text description. At last, something that requires a bit of meat-based intelligence!
We’re in the middle of an AI hype storm, and it’s right to push the boundaries of all these tools because they have within them some remarkable capabilities. Next time you meet someone who’s drunk just a little too much of the Kool-Aid though, ask them this question. Can it help you make breakfast with no utensils?
Header image: Joadl, CC BY-SA 3.0 AT.