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A ChatGPT-Powered Clock Exists, But You Aren’t Supposed To Use It As A Clock
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A ChatGPT-Powered Clock Exists, But You Aren’t Supposed To Use It As A Clock

by Low Boon ShenFebruary 2, 2024
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A ChatGPT-Powered Clock Exists, But You Aren’t Supposed To Use It As A Clock

A ChatGPT-Powered Clock Exists, But You Aren't Supposed To Use It As A Clock 34

Image: Matt Webb (Kickstarter)

You read the title, and thought this is a perfect example of what everyone calls an “oxymoron.” While it is technically a clock according to product developer Matt Webb, the Poem/1 clock is more akin to a text generator device which happens to generate a new poem every minute, than your regular run-of-the-mill three-hand clock.

Unsurprisingly, the poem generation part of the clock is plugged via ChatGPT’s API, which naturally requires an active internet connection to function. In the product’s Kickstarter page, he wrote: “Hey so I made a clock. It tells the time with a brand new poem every minute, composed by ChatGPT. It’s sometimes profound, and sometimes weird, and occasionally it fibs about what the actual time is to make a rhyme work.”

A ChatGPT-Powered Clock Exists, But You Aren't Supposed To Use It As A Clock

Image: Matt Webb (Kickstarter)

The device itself consists of a monochrome e-paper display powered via USB-C, and connects to the poem clock’s servers via Wi-Fi connection. This requires a total of 1,440 poems generated every day, but Webb says the potential API cost is covered in its $126 (~RM596) one-time, non-subscription price tag for a lifespan of 5 years.

However, large language models like ChatGPT have a common issue – hallucination. According to Ars Technica, hallucination occurs when the language model incorrectly prioritizes language cohesion over factuality, which is why you may see AI chatbots sometimes seemingly says things incorrectly with utmost confidence (and this can trick people into believing it as a fact, hence the disclaimers you see on these services).

A ChatGPT-Powered Clock Exists, But You Aren't Supposed To Use It As A Clock 35

Prototype unit with ChatGPT “hallucinated”, reporting incorrect time. Image: Matt Webb (Kickstarter)

As a result, the Poem/1 clock can sometimes report the time incorrectly as it tries to make the poem cohesive, like the one example above where the clock says 11:42 when it is not 11:42 on the actual time. “Don’t rely on this clock in situations where timekeeping is vital, such as if you work in air traffic control or rocket launches or the finish line of athletics competitions,” he jokingly wrote. At times, the clock also generates a completely made-up word to make the poem stick.

Pokdepinion: I can only describe this as an art piece, nothing more, nothing less.

About The Author
Low Boon Shen
Is technology powered by a series of tubes?