I have zero coding skills, but I was able to coax ChatGPT to write a Drafts action for blogging

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Nice! It’s neat how these tools are letting so many more people help themselves, and quickly.

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Can it help me create Shortcuts? That would be awesome!

Probably! It’s text-based instructions, but it seems to know the names and uses of many of the actions after asking it a few things.

That would be a great first-party use of this tech, built directly into Shortcuts.

I found it helpful to point ChatGPT to documentation and examples.

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Agreed, this would be a great way for Apple to incorporate AI.

Boy, does Siri need help! Yesterday, I tried four different ways to get Siri to tell me the official time (Central) when spring begins. The closest I could get was the day. One would think this would be an easy thing for Siri to do. ChatGPT-4 was able to provide the information instantly: “ In 2024, spring begins with the vernal equinox on Wednesday, March 20th, at 4:06 AM Central Time (CT).”

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It can indeed. It’s helped me navigate some of the less familiar Shortcuts Actions like ‘Repeat with Each’, ‘Split Text’, etc. Typically I would explain what I wanted to do and then upload a screenshot of how I had started working on the Shortcut, and then it would tell me the next steps. Occasionally the suggestions haven’t worked, but when I indicated that, ChatGPT would suggest a workaround. Very handy.

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It seems ChatGPT-4 was a bit confused.

In the Eastern time zone, the correct time is 11:06 pm on March 19th. Which would be 10:06 pm Central time I believe.

ChatGPT, providing instant disinformation! :slight_smile:

Full Disclosure, we have just started using MS Github Copilot where I work. It can be scary good at times. And also make obvious rookie mistakes. Used correctly it can be quite useful.

What I typically do is explain to ChatGPT what I am trying to accomplish in Drafts, provide input/out examples, and then take an existing action, copy the code, paste it into ChatGPT, and indicate that Action does something similar. It’s been really handy for creating all kinds of text editing actions specific to my needs.

I’m guessing you won’t like the output for URLs that contain a port number in the hostname (but you can fix that by improving your “prompts” once more).

Who would you blame for this? Yourself or ChatGPT? (Just curious)

That’s similar to my approach. I’ve found I can just give ChatGPT the URL to an existing action and it figures out the rest.

I was about to point this out but @MevetS beat me to it by a day.

You always, always need to verify information you get from ChatGPT. It’s often if not generally wrong, and will absolutely just straight up fabricate things like sources and quotes.

Because that’s literally what it’s designed to do.

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I agree that it’s always important to check ChatGPT for accuracy. I once asked it to tell me about Chaim Potok’s In the Beginning, and it told me Potok didn’t write such a book. Um, I’ve only been teaching said novel for a decade!

In this case, though, I wonder if part of the discrepancy might have to do with location, since the time of the equinox varies by latitude as well as time zone. (Disclosure: I haven’t checked.)

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I am (or rather was since I’m now retired) a programmer. Occasionally ChatGPT is of use in kick-starting my use of a programming language I have little experience with — such as in the R statistical system — except that ChatGPT gets many things wrong. It omits to mention environmental setup or uses a function that does not work or it ignores a much simpler solution found via human assistants. Most useful as a natural language interface to the web-as-corpus but even then results need to be tested.

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I asked Perplexity to tell me about Mitch Wagner. It said I’m a technology journalist and editor, CrossFit athlete and prominent San Diego attorney.

All of those things are true—of three different people, all of whom happened to be named “Mitch Wagner.”

I know Drafts Actions are relatively simple, but as a nonprogrammer I’d be very leery of asking an AI to generate code I don’t have the skills to review.

That seems considerably riskier than, say, using open source packages from GitHub that aren’t signed by Apple, because then there’s at least some chance an unaffiliated programmer will review the code and raise a flag if there’s an issue.

See AI bots hallucinate software packages and devs download them • The Register

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