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Jan. 27, 2023

ChatGPT and the Power of Relationships

ChatGPT and the Power of Relationships

OpenAI is a research laboratory located in San Francisco, CA. Founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman in 2015, OpenAI is a nonprofit research company that aims to direct and develop artificial intelligence (AI) in ways that benefit humanity as a whole.

In November 2022 (just 2 months ago), OpenAI released an AI artificial intelligence chatbot system, called ChatGPT, an incredibly powerful tool that has been taking the world by storm. Essentially, it is an interactive and generative model that allows you - the user - to input questions about essentially anything and everything, and in seconds, it spits back text-based responses in essay format.

Here are some examples of its uses: You can ask it to write complicated coding for a website, you can ask it to write an essay, you can even ask it to tell you a motivational pump-up speech. And so much more.

In terms of knowledge and intelligence, ChatGPT can outperform any human being, no question. But it is extremely important to be mindful, that, no matter how normal and popular this new revolutionary world of A.I. becomes, at the end of the day, it is a machine. And as such, it cannot provide that element of relationships that is crucial and imperative for the happiness and ultimate success of mankind.

Amazingly, in a conversation with ChatGPT, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Ph.D. asked it "Why do you have to be so cold? You are breaking my feelings." ChatGPT responded as follows: “I apologize if my previous responses seemed cold or unempathetic. It's important to understand that I am not capable of reciprocating those feelings, and that building healthy relationships with real people who are capable of emotional connection and mutual understanding is the best way to find emotional fulfillment."

Perhaps, it's not a coincidence that during this launch and hype of ChatGPT to the public scene, there was yet another exciting breakthrough that recently hit the news. The Harvard Study of Adult Development - the longest in-depth longitudinal study on human life ever done (over 80 years!) on what makes people flourish - revealed that "Good relationships lead to health and happiness.” Simply astonishing. The secret to a happy and healthy life, says Robert Waldinger, leader of this "breakthrough" study, is "having good and warm connections with others."

The timing of these two revolutionary and breakthrough matters is just too perfect. It’s almost as if the Harvard study is meant to serve as a reminder for us that as great, wonderful, and powerful the AI chatbot system can be, it can never and will never replace that which humans need most. Real, genuine, emotionally charged and spiritually uplifting relationships is something that machines cannot replicate. ChatGPT cannot (which it even admits!) nurture a relationship with a human being.

We often hear of the phrase, "Knowledge is Power." And while this may be true, there is something, now backed up by scientific evidence, that is even more powerful than knowledge and intelligence. It's called: Relationships. Relationships are the most powerful tool that we can utilize and harness to flourish in life.

Here are the three areas of relationships that we can strive to work on and improve:

  1. Man to Himself
  2. Man to Man
  3. Man to G-d

Man to Himself

Although it may sound funny, it is imperative that we work on the relationship that we have with our own selves. The Torah says, “Love your friend like yourself.” We are being taught a lesson about the importance of having internal love for oneself. Self-value and self-respect are prerequisites for a person to be able to live with meaning, confidence, and purpose.

So often when we look at ourselves in the mirror (whether physically or figuratively), we think negative thoughts and jump to false conclusions about who and what we are. Let us improve our relationships with ourselves by learning to love and respect our unique identity and life mission.

Man to Man

The Hebrew word for life is חיים, which, interestingly enough, is written in the plural form. Jewish wisdom teaches us that a true-life worth living is a life of giving and connecting to others. A life of importance and quality is a life that is not singular-based, personal, and egocentric; rather, a truly meaningful life is when a person lives a plural-based life – hence, חיים – an existence that allows space for others to grow and develop.

When we connect with others in a genuine way, when we help others and allow others to help us, it creates a beautiful sense of purpose in our lives and instills within us feelings of tremendous value and care.

Man to G-d

The more we work on our relationship with ourselves as well as with others, the more we realize that this world has a function and a purpose, and in turn, this opens us up more to work on our relationship with G-d, the Creator of the Universe.

Every day we have the great opportunity of connecting with G-d and building a stronger relationship. It has been said that “when we study Torah, G-d is talking to us, and when we pray, we are talking to G-d.” Either way, through Torah study or prayer, we have the ability to connect directly with G-d on a deep and meaningful way.

But there is another way to connect to G-d. That is, by emulating Him. You see, G-d has many attributes. He is Honest, Merciful, Giving, Strong, and Passionate, etc., just to name a few. When we emulate Him and act – on our human level – in these G-dly ways, we are actually building a deeper relationship with G-d Himself.