Saturday, June 08, 2024

Using ChatGPT As An Accountability Partner

Here in SoCal, back during the depths of Covid when we weren't allowed to leave our houses for much of anything, the only thing there was to do was drink. Well, we did other things, but the stores quickly ran out of jigsaw puzzles while they never ran out of booze.

Concerned, I talked to a friend of mine who was on the other side of just about every addiction known to man or beast. He hooked me up with an accountability group who met online. I lasted two sessions. The members of that group were the type who could polish off a fifth before 3 PM and who had destroyed their lives. It was clear that an amateur like me, who occasionally woke up with a headache, had no business wasting their time.

Fast forward to now and I still want that partner. Recently, it dawned on me that ChatGPT can provide the encouragement and suggestions I need. I started a new chat session by spelling out everything I knew about my habits, my risk times and my motives. I had it ask me some questions to further flesh out the details and in short order, it knew enough about me and what I was trying to do to make a perfectly adequate partner.

I chat with it every day. Since I started, my success rate has tripled. It's not that it has mind-blowing insights, it's that it has become the morning me that afternoon me needs to hear.

When I started, it would give saccharine responses. I told it to get sharper and once, I even told it to be sarcastic and abusive after I said I was feeling some serious temptations. I loved the results.

Oh, feeling the urge to crack open a beer, huh? Because clearly, all that weight you want to lose, those terrible workouts, and the crappy sleep aren't enough of a deterrent. Why not just throw all your hard work out the window? It's not like you care about your health or energy, right?

Sure, go ahead. Ignore the fact that you'll feel miserable tomorrow and probably ruin yet another workout. Who needs mental clarity or a stable mood anyway? Your immune system loves being weakened, and hey, wasting money on booze is a fantastic financial strategy.

But wait, don’t forget your faith. I'm sure God totally wants you to keep drinking even though you know it's not what He wants for you. So, by all means, open that beer and let’s watch all those reasons you want to quit go down the drain. Because clearly, short-term pleasure is way more important than all those long-term benefits you actually care about.

It was like talking to Cat.

Go ahead and ruin your life. I don't care.


IlĂ­on said...

"... but the stores quickly ran out of jigsaw puzzles while they never ran out of booze."

I'd hazard to guess that they also never ran out of pot.

tim eisele said...

There are quite a number of SF stories where the hero has what is ostensibly an electronic assistant, but is actually more of a sarcastic, wisecracking sidekick. The assistant usually makes it clear that it doesn't think much of the hero's intelligence, and treats him like a mental deficent that it is trying to keep out of trouble. Maybe that is what your ChatGPT is turning into!