ChatGPT writes poems to tell the time

This clock uses ChatGPT to compose a new poem every minute to tell you the time in a more verbose fashion. It sits prettily on maker Matt Webb’s bookshelf, and has taken it upon itself to communicate in only the very most enthusiastic of poetry.

chatgpt poetry clock
I would argue that someone who has waited until 11:38 to start their day has indeed hesitated.
Photo from Matt’s Instagram

Liz brought this project to my attention, explaining that her favourite thing about it is that, while it can write poems, it sometimes hallucinates and gets the time wrong. We can’t all be good at everything. ChatGPT is also infamously loose with fact versus fiction; ask it to tell you the population living on Mars for an example of this.

How does it work?

An Inky wHAT e-ink screen from Pimoroni is the clock face, with a Raspberry Pi powering it and running OpenAI’s API to communicate with ChatGPT. ChatGPT is the poetry writer, and OpenAI’s API wrangles the poem out of ChatGP for the Raspberry Pi to display on the e-ink screen.

Raspberry Pi powered e-ink display
Raspberry Pi clock brain

Matt would’ve liked to use OpenAI’s GPT-3 to compose the poems as he rates its writing skills more highly, but the fact that ChatGPT is free to use clinched it.

Mainstream dreams

Matt told The Verge about plans to bring his poetic clock to the masses. There are two options he’d like to explore to give other makers the chance to build their own:

“First, providing a kit for hackers to build their own, and second, creating a commercial product that’s plug-and-play.”

The original clock is pre-programmed in ChatGPT to write “imaginative and profound” stuff, but Matt would like to explore the possibility of adding a tuning knob that lets you adjust the tone of the poems to better match your own mood. Sometimes you just have one of those days where upbeat people (or clocks) are insufferable and you just really wish you could be told the time in more macabre language.

I vote we all take a creativity break and use the comments section to submit our own two-line poems about the time. GO.

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