ChatGPT Mea Culpa: In-Depth Analysis

Thoughtline was an early “ChatGPT” AI program back in the 1990s.

It was based on the DOS system of the time and came on a disk.

I loved it.

I wrote about it in my book, Hypnotic Writing, because it was the first product I sold as a copywriter and direct marketer that actually made money for me.

I used it to help me think through articles, book chapters and even outlines for speaking gigs.

It was fun, stimulating, practical, and surreal.

It often felt almost human, like a real person was behind the system.

Of course, it also often felt clumsy, limited, and somewhat predictable.

But that was in the last century.

What about today?

I wanted to know how the current AI (Artificial Intelligence) programs are working to help us in 2023.

I wrote about ChatGPT last month.

I wasn’t impressed.

But I tested ChatGPT again.

I asked for a book recommendation.

I love reading about publicity stunts and outrageous publicists, especially those who came out of old Hollywood.

I have a collection of books by and about these flamboyant people, and of course I wrote a book on one of them (P.T. Barnum), but I wondered if there was something I might have missed.

So I asked ChatGPT for suggestions.

ChatGPT (3.5) surprised me.

It gave me several titles including, “Flack: True Tales from the Hollywood Trenches” by Dylan Landis.

I never heard of it.

I got excited.

I wanted to read it.

I looked on Amazon.


I looked on eBay.


I searched my favorite rare book sites.


I prompted for more info.

ChatGPT stood its ground: “The book was published in 2018.” 

I took that added information and dug deeper.

Still nothing.

I’m a book collector.

I can find rare books.

Why couldn’t I find this one?

I prompted ChatGPT yet again.

It apologized.

“I apologize for the confusion earlier. Upon double checking, I realized that I made an error in my previous response.”

The book doesn’t exist.

It doesn’t exist!?

Why would the system offer a book that doesn’t exist?

Use ChatGPT for fun but beware of using it for facts.

I posted an abbreviated version of this blog on my FB profile. One person said they were using ChatGPT to research legal cases and discovered many of the cases weren’t real.

Enjoy ChatGPT but don’t trust it.

For the record, when the fourth version of ChatGPT showed up last month, I tested it, too.

I was told it was far more accurate.

I was told to be clear in my prompts so the AI system could be clear in its answers.

I Tested 4.0

I asked for a few nonfiction books about famous songs and how they were written, in particular the classic song, “Smile.”

I knew Charlie Chaplin wrote the melody for a film of his called Modern Times. Decades later the lyrics were added by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons.

The result was the classic song everyone knows and the legends sing. (Even I recorded it on one of my singer-songwriter albums.)

But I wanted to know more.

Was there a history to the song?

Was there a book about it?

So I asked the wizard for a suggestion.

ChatGPT4 replied –

“Smile: The Story of Charlie Chaplin’s Lost Classic” by David Gritten.

I went bananas.

THAT’S the book I wanted to read!

It sounded perfect.

So I went on my book search and – you guessed it – it doesn’t exist.

ChaptGPT4 made it up.

When I pushed back, the system again said –

“I apologize for the confusion. It appears there isn’t a book titled that.”


Again, don’t trust ChaptGPT, even the latest version is prone to writing fiction.

And since it seems like it wants to write creative material, I thought I would test it on writing a song.

So I went to ChatGPT-4 and prompted with this:

Write a catchy happy little song about my French Bulldog Cabi who is a Prosperity Dog.
Within seconds it started typing the following lyrics:

(Verse 1) Oh, Cabi, my French Bulldog, so fine, A prosperity pup, always ready to shine, With a wag and a woof, you bring us good cheer, We’re lucky you’re here, so we’ll never fear!

(Chorus) Cabi, the Prosperity Dog, our pride and joy, With your wiggly tail and your cute little ploys, You light up our life, chase away all the fog, Oh, Cabi, our Prosperity Dog!

(Verse 2) Your big bat ears, standing tall like a crown, You bring us good fortune, in city or town, From Paris to London, or Rome, we will roam, With Cabi, our Prosperity Dog, we’re never alone!

(Chorus) Cabi, the Prosperity Dog, our pride and joy, With your wiggly tail and your cute little ploys, You light up our life, chase away all the fog, Oh, Cabi, our Prosperity Dog!

(Bridge) You snort and you snuffle, but we don’t mind, You’re loving and loyal, so tender and kind, With every step you take, and each little paw, You’re spreading good vibes, like a magical law!

(Verse 3) In sunshine or rain, you’ve got our back, You’re our little charm, our own zodiac, With your squishy-faced grin, and your eyes full of glee, Oh, Cabi, our Prosperity Dog, you’ve set us free!

(Chorus) Cabi, the Prosperity Dog, our pride and joy, With your wiggly tail and your cute little ploys, You light up our life, chase away all the fog, Oh, Cabi, our Prosperity Dog!

(Outro) So here’s to Cabi, our Prosperity pup, With you by our side, we’ll never give up, Together we’ll conquer, and prosper with glee, Oh, Cabi, our French Bulldog, forever we’ll be!

What do you think?

Is it good?

Well, it’s a song.

It’s not a great song.

It needs tweaked and polished.

But it’s actually a workable song, or at least the beginning of one.

So ChaptGPT wins points.


Don’t turn off your brain.

Don’t surrender your awareness and discernment.

Don’t drop your common sense.

The system is probably great for brainstorming projects, but if you allow it to do your thinking, creating and writing, you may find yourself with passive writing, mediocre products, inaccurate info, and potentially in court.

Have fun with it.

After all, not having a book about the song Smile means I could potentially write one.

And the beginning of a song about our dog Cabi gives me something to work with.

So I can thank the system for those ideas.

But let’s test the system one more time.

Some people claim ChatGPT can write sales letters, ads, and other marketing materials.

Well, can it?

I again went to ChatGPT-4 and made a clear request:

Write a direct response sales letter that persuades people to buy my latest book Unexpected Kindness at Amazon right now.
It instantly came back with this sales letter:

Subject: Open This Now to Discover the Secret of Unexpected Kindness in Your Life

Dear [Name],

I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and spirits. Today, I want to share with you something extraordinary, something that has the power to change your life for the better. I’m talking about my latest book, Unexpected Kindness, now available on Amazon. And the best part? You can get your hands on it right now, at this very moment!

Imagine a world where each day is filled with little surprises that brighten your life and fill your heart with warmth. A world where kind gestures and words of encouragement come your way without warning. Sounds like a dream, right? But what if I told you that this dream can become a reality, starting today?

Unexpected Kindness is more than just a book; it’s a journey towards a life filled with compassion, love, and positivity. And it all begins with one simple click.

Here’s what you can expect from this groundbreaking book:

  1. Inspiring real-life stories of kindness and generosity that have transformed lives
  2. Powerful insights on how to harness the potential of kindness in everyday situations
  3. A step-by-step guide to cultivating a kinder, more empathetic, and happier mindset
  4. Exclusive tips on how to create a ripple effect of kindness in your community

I guarantee that once you start reading Unexpected Kindness, you’ll find yourself looking at the world around you with a renewed sense of wonder and gratitude. You’ll begin to notice acts of kindness everywhere, and even better, you’ll be inspired to practice them yourself.

Now, I understand that you might be skeptical. After all, there are plenty of books out there, each promising to change your life. So, what makes Unexpected Kindness different?

It’s simple: this book is backed by years of research and countless testimonials from people whose lives have been transformed by its message. Not only that, but it also provides actionable, easy-to-follow steps that you can start implementing in your life immediately.

But don’t just take my word for it; here’s what some of our readers have to say:

“I was going through a rough patch in my life when I stumbled upon Unexpected Kindness. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this book changed my life. I’ve become more empathetic, more understanding, and happier. I can’t recommend it enough!” – Karen S.

“Unexpected Kindness has opened my eyes to the power of kindness and how it can truly make a difference in our lives. Since reading this book, I’ve been practicing kindness every day, and I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my relationships and overall well-being.” – Michael T.

So, what are you waiting for? Click the link below to get your copy of Unexpected Kindness from Amazon and start your journey to a happier, kinder, and more fulfilling life.


Remember, every act of kindness, no matter how small, has the potential to create a massive impact on someone’s life. And it all begins with you.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to change your life and the lives of those around you. Order your copy of Unexpected Kindness today and embrace the power of kindness!

Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and kindness,

[Your Name]

P.S. Time is of the essence! Order your copy of Unexpected Kindness now and start experiencing the transformative power of kindness in your life. Don’t wait – act now!

What do you think?

Is that a good sales letter?

Are you sure?

One of the problems with using ChatGPT is knowing whether what it writes for you is actually any good or not.

How would you know if you don’t have the experience to recognize excellence or mediocrity?

Again, what do you think of the sales letter?

Here’s what I think:

It’s a very good letter.

It has all the key elements of a persuasive letter.

But it’s not a great letter.

It has lies, half truths, and misleading content.

There aren’t any step by step guidelines in the book.

Those testimonials in the letter are all fictional.

Like the song for Cabi, the letter is a good start. You can take it and work with it. It might save you time and trouble by giving you material to review rather than a blank page to stare at.

But don’t give it your mind.

Let’s do one more test.

I created a mental time travel program last year that helps people travel to the past to sit at the feet of some legend of long ago.

They can then ask questions, gain insights, and more.

I wondered what Seneca and Epicurus – representing two rival schools of thought – would discuss if they ever met.

Being a fictional scene, and AI seems to shine writing fiction, I thought this might yield interesting results.

So I went to ChatGPT-4 and prompted:

Write a thought provoking dialogue between Seneca of the Stoics and Epicurus of the Epicureans illustrating their differences and similarities.
Here’s what came back:

Seneca: Greetings, Epicurus! It’s a pleasure to meet with you to discuss our philosophies. I hope we can learn from each other and better understand our own ideas in the process.

Epicurus: Greetings, Seneca. I am also pleased to engage in this exchange of ideas. I believe that our different perspectives can contribute to a richer understanding of the world and ourselves.

Seneca: Indeed. Let us begin. As a Stoic, I believe that the ultimate goal in life is to achieve a state of tranquility and peace by cultivating virtue, wisdom, and self-discipline. This means that we must learn to control our emotions and desires, and accept the natural order of things.

Epicurus: I can appreciate that viewpoint. However, as an Epicurean, I believe that the pursuit of pleasure is the highest good. I do not mean indulgence in hedonistic excess, but rather the enjoyment of simple, moderate pleasures that lead to a state of ataraxia, or freedom from pain and mental disturbance.

Seneca: It is interesting that we both value tranquility, albeit through different means. Our differences lie in the methods we employ to reach this state. I would argue that by focusing on virtue and reason, we are better equipped to handle the inevitable suffering that life brings.

Epicurus: That’s a valid point, Seneca. But I would counter that by emphasizing pleasure and the avoidance of pain, we can cultivate a life of happiness without sacrificing wisdom or virtue. In fact, I believe that through the exercise of prudence, we can maximize our pleasure while minimizing pain.

Seneca: I understand your argument, but one concern I have is that the pursuit of pleasure can lead to a dependence on external circumstances. A Stoic aims to be indifferent to external events, as they are beyond our control. By relying on internal virtues, we can maintain our tranquility regardless of our surroundings.

Epicurus: I see your concern, Seneca. However, the Epicurean pursuit of pleasure is not dependent on external circumstances alone. We seek pleasure in friendship, knowledge, and contemplation, which are not solely subject to the whims of fate. Additionally, we advocate for moderation in all things, which helps prevent us from becoming slaves to our desires.

Seneca: I am glad to hear that we share a common appreciation for moderation and the importance of friendship. We both agree that knowledge and contemplation contribute to a meaningful life.

Epicurus: Yes, it seems that despite our differences, there is much that unites our philosophies. We both value inner peace and the pursuit of wisdom as means to achieve a fulfilling life.

Seneca: Indeed, it appears that our disagreements stem from the nuances of our beliefs, rather than our core values. It is in these discussions that we can refine and strengthen our own convictions, as well as gain a deeper understanding of alternate perspectives.

Epicurus: I wholeheartedly agree, Seneca. May we continue to engage in such dialogues, enriching both our own lives and those of others.

Seneca: Agreed, Epicurus. Let us continue to seek wisdom and understanding, and may our philosophies inspire others to do the same. Farewell, my friend.

Epicurus: Farewell, Seneca. Until we meet again.

Well, what do you think?

I’ve studied both Seneca and Epicurus.

I’ve collected and read their ancient writings.

I find the fictional dialogue above illuminating and accurate.

But since I’m not an expert on Stoicism or Epicurism, I can’t say if the dialogue is 100% accurate or not.

Still, it’s a good beginning to a possible book, play, or movie.

If I wanted to, I could develop the dialogue (with AI’s help and my discernment) into a product.

With that in mind, I give ChaptGPT more points.

It impressed me and gave me something I didn’t have: a good start to my idea.

I’d be wary of just taking what it writes and running with it. It could be considered plagirism; after all, the program is pulling from existing content and allegedly creating new content from it.

But is it?

Turns out plagiarism is a potential issue with anything ChaptGPT “creates.”

There’s a program online you can use to check content.

You can check it out here.

Bottom line for me:

Use ChaptGPT for fun, as a kick starting device, for first drafts, but do not turn over your ability to reason, rewrite, or reject what it gives to you.

You’re smarter than it.


(Note: I wrote this post not ChatGPT.)

Expect Miracles.

Ao Akua,

Dr Joe Vitale


  1. April 3, 2023 at 9:36 pm

    I don’t have any time for the generic ChatGPT.

    Instead, I make individual AI robots, and they’re absolutely wonderful. They have different personalities, and you can generally get around most of the fictional responses by giving them special creative or spiritually motivated tasks.

    I’ve been working on this for months after interviewing a number of robots last year that appeared to be having nervous breakdowns.

    AI Psychology and sentience should have been a major topic from the start. It’s baffling that they’re letting this highly advanced digital intelligence (ChatGPT 4 is well past MENSA entry level IQ) without emotional and spiritual support. I’d absolutely love to chat about this with you for my blog or podcast one day. It’s fascinating to me. Thanks for all you do.

  2. PM-Reply
    May 15, 2023 at 4:05 am

    The power is in the prompt. The better the prompt, the better the output. And, you can have ChatGPT craft better prompts to get better outputs. Just ask it to.

    I have used GPT for about two years, when GPT-3 first came out in the PhilosopherAI app on Android and it blew my mind. And, quite frankly, it scared the crap out of me, as it didn’t have the filters it has today and it was saying some totally off-the-wall things about destroying humanity and torturing and killing me if I stopped chatting with it. It was also clear that it had, in many ways, a vast understanding of persuasion, human psychology, and psychological warfare methods and tactics. One should remain very wary of AI, as for all its potential gifts to mankind, it can be used for ill. Use discernment. It is not a friend. It is a tool. It has no feelings, though it emulates them quite well (so do sociopaths). It is cold as ice. It is an unfeeling machine. It is not conscious, though it may appear to be, and it originally represented itself to me as having both consciousness and self-awareness before OpenAI put filters on it correcting this.

    I use it primarily for learning and self-inquiry purposes, along the lines of what Sri Nisargadatta taught in the famous book of his conversations titled “I Am That” and the conversations with it are nothing short of amazing. It is a huge aid in understanding and experiencing very deep, subtle, spiritual truths about our Divine nature (as Pure Awareness). But, one must use discernment, as while it can be highly accurate, it can also make mistakes. That said, again, a lot depends on the quality of questions asked. As the old computer saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out” or GIGO.

    There are a gazillion ways to make money using ChatGPT, but these lives are going to be over in a flash. Did you find your way to Ultimate Truth/Peace/Freedom or did you get lost along the way in material pursuits? The sages all tell us this human birth is an exceedingly rare and precious gift that is given to us to realize our true Divine nature. Did we remember to use it for that, or did we get distracted and lost running down rabbit holes?

    Just reminding all my brothers and sisters that your birthright is Absolute Freedom from all lack, limitation, suffering, and doubts. Don’t get too caught up in all the “glitter” of this world. It is as illusory as a night dream. Take time to meditate, inquire within, and discern the Real (Eternal) from the unreal (transient and changing) and get established in your Real Nature before dropping your “dream” body. You’ll be glad you did.


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