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  • Writer's pictureThe Butler

What does chatGPT know about wine?

Since its release on November 30, ChatGPT, the OpenAI software, has been impressing the world with its writing capabilities. We wondered what an artificial intelligence could know about a sensitive subject like wine.

ChatGPT is a revolutionary conversational tool that automatically generates text from simple questions asked by a user. This artificial intelligence is already changing our lives and could well turn our relationship with information upside down. Fed by millions of texts, the robot is able to answer the most difficult questions, thanks to complex statistical models that select the most probable sequence of words.

What does ChatGPT know about wine?

We asked it. "Hello! I know a lot about wine, such as its production, classification, aromas and characteristics, famous production regions, grape varieties, food pairing methods, etc. Wine is a complex and exciting product, which involves many factors, such as climate, soil and production techniques. I'm here to help you learn more!". Darn it!

ChatGPT's cordial, almost deferential tone

Past the astonishment of discovering how much ChatGPT understands what he is told, we continue the conversation in a decidedly cordial, almost deferential tone for this new tool sure of his knowledge. We ask him if he really thinks that wine is all about precise, informative answers, if that's not a bit of a cheesy way to look at viticulture. "It's true that wine is often considered a subjective subject, as opinions about flavors and aromas can vary greatly from person to person. However, there is also objective knowledge about wine, such as production techniques, producing regions, grape varieties, harvest years, food pairings, etc. This knowledge can be conveyed in an accurate and informative way. In addition, personal opinions and preferences about wine are often influenced by cultural and personal factors, so it is important to keep in mind that the perception of wine can be subjective. I'm here to pass on factual and reliable information, but I understand that opinions about wine are often subjective."

Is ChatGPT really effective?

Vexed by this presumptuous answer from the first of the class, we decide to go on the offensive, like a father playing soccer with his children and decides not to let them have the ball. But tell me ChatGPT, how can you teach me about wine when you don't drink? Instantly, the machine goes on the defensive. "As a language model trained by OpenAI, I do not have the ability to drink wine or feel its effects. However, I can convey information about wine using my knowledge gained from many sources. I am designed to provide accurate and informative answers to any questions asked of me: the different types of wine, producing regions, grape varieties, production methods, food pairings, etc." Although we must resist the feeling of fear that we will soon be replaced by the machine, we are forced to note, with some relief, that ChatGPT gave the same answer three times to three different questions.*

We quickly dismissed the hypothesis that our questions were not precise enough for the machine and moved on to the trick question. I would like to drink an orange wine with an overcooked gratin dauphinois, what do you recommend? "Orange wines are often associated with fruity and tart flavor profiles, and can be produced using white grapes that have been macerated with their skins to give the wine an orange color. Gratin dauphinois cooked to perfection with a creamy, melting texture can be paired with a dry, fruity white wine for a harmonious pairing. To accompany your gratin dauphinois, I suggest you try an orange wine from the Loire Valley region of France, such as Loire wines made from grape varieties like chenin blanc or sauvignon blanc. These wines often have aromas of exotic fruits, citrus and peaches, as well as a crisp acidity that can counterbalance the creamy texture of the gratin dauphinois. Ultimately, the pairing of wine and food will depend on your personal preferences for flavors and textures. So it's always best to taste different wines and pair them with different dishes to find the combinations that appeal to you the most."

Is ChatGPT a sort of Parker Guide 2.0?

With ChatGPT, the conversation is just beginning. GPT makes mistakes, today many, tomorrow less and less, thanks to machine learning - progress through error correction. We can therefore imagine that, in the near future, the software will be an excellent informative tool, a learning machine. However, the major problem remains this presumptuous way of providing an answer with aplomb, and we can already fear that GPT is trying to impose itself from the top of its omnipotence as a sort of Parker Guide 2.0, a normative machine with formidable power, which would put the appropriate forms of politeness to make any fiction pass for reality.

To put it another way, GPT already excels on theoretical questions, but it still goes way off track as soon as the questions suggest a feeling, a sentiment or an opinion. To tell the truth, the tool is currently reminiscent of an extraterrestrial who has accumulated an extraordinary amount of knowledge about human life, but has no life experience, or of a sort of gifted child who speaks confidently about something that is not his or her age. Alcohol, let's remember, is forbidden to minors.

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