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March 30, 2023

There’s a Bot in the Sandbox.

This blog has been partially programmed by chatGPT.

Warning: This post contains nerdy content.

New people read my blog when friends or other internet content link to a particular post; some of them become subscribers to the free email which is generated whenever there’s a new post. I thought it would be helpful to have a popup about the email option if someone lingers on a post long enough to indicate that it is interesting to them. The blog is hosted on a platform called TypePad so I asked chaptGPT 3.5 whether it was possible to implement a popup on that platform.

The answer was reassuring and plausible:

“Yes, it is possible to have a popup on your Typepad blog. Typepad provides a feature called ‘Popup Window’ that allows you to create a pop-up window on your blog.

“To create a popup on your Typepad blog, follow these steps:  ...”

The steps sounded very logical. The problem is that the TypePad popup window feature described here is an illusion (that’s what it’s called when AI lies to you).

However, I then got a paid subscription from OpenAI which allows me to query the chatGPT 4.0, the latest and greatest product from the company. The answer I got from 4.0 was excellent JavaScript code which, with just a few adjustments, I was able to implement on Typepad even though I am very rusty on JavaScript and haven’t made changes to my Typepad code in years. If you follow a link like this one to a post and linger for 10 seconds, up pops:


It nicely goes away if you click the x or anywhere outside the message itself. Good work, chatGPT.

This capability does not put all coders out of work, but it is already making us more productive. If I didn’t have access to chatGPT 4.0, I wouldn’t have written this from scratch the way I did back in 1963 (not a typo) when I was first programming; I’d have googled and almost certainly found a good prototype for what I wanted like this entry on stackoverflow. chatGPT “learned” from entries like this on the web and gave me a very customized answer to my particular question.

Coders who want to stay competitively productive will learn to use this new tool for leverage. At the same time (here’s where it get’s interesting), chatGPT will be learning more from new code, which it may have helped write, which we post. This isn’t essentially different from the open-source community continuing to learn from and enhance community code – except now there’s a bot in the sandbox.

See also: A Chat with ChatGPT

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