Friday, June 02, 2023

I asked ChatGPT to plan a trip to DC to see how it went.


Can AI be trusted to guide us through monuments, museums and more? I tried Bot’s itinerary in my hometown.

ChatGPT recommends lunch at Union Market in Northeast DC (Photos by Andrea Sachs/The Washington Post)


Hello, ChatGPT. We haven’t officially met, but I’ve heard a lot about you. It’s good to get to know you.

“Hello! It’s nice to make your acquaintance as well. How can I help you today?”

I know you’re incredibly busy writing high school essays, editing, giving relationship advice, and doing other AI tasks, but I have a favor to ask. I was wondering if you could plan a trip to DC for me.

“no way! Washington DC is a wonderful destination with lots to see and do.

ChatGPT, as you may have heard, is the latest AI darling. Or the enemy, depending on your stance on cognitive engineering. You can ask anything and there will usually be an answer. If not, it will be politely reduced.

Based on the request, the platform can perform travel related functions. It acts as a vacation planner, tour guide, or friendly guest providing directions, although not always accurately.

“Using ChatGipt as a travel advisor can be the best use of these platforms,” ​​said Anton T. Dahbura, associate director of the Certified Autonomy Institute at Johns Hopkins University. “I think it works for tips or planning.”

I wanted to try Chat GPT’s travel-planning capabilities in my hometown of Washington. My plan was to follow a generated itinerary to determine whether it was an inspired and reliable advisor or just as frustrating as an out-of-print guidebook. As a longtime DC resident, I have over 20 years of local information stored in my head. But I haven’t been a tourist in my own backyard in years, so I’m basically a Washingtonian reborn.

I quickly learned that chatgpt suffers from a few flaws such as outdated content. The information fed on September 2021 is generally unaware of events that have occurred in the past 17 months. Asked about D.C. restaurants that opened last year, he said, “As an AI language model, I don’t have access to real-time data, and my training only extends to 2021.” It offers up-to-date dining information, including Comfort, Eater DC and Trilist DC.

Additionally, Vincent Kontzer, director of the Collaborative AI Lab Foundation at Carnegie Mellon University, cautioned that chatGPT falsifies information, a function of the program, not intentional obfuscation. He likens the technology to a college student who stumbles on an exam. Instead of leaving a blank, the examinee shortens the answer.

“[ChatGPT] It feels more accurate than writing anything down or saying ‘I don’t know,'” Kontzer said. “While he tends to get better at organizing other itineraries, some aspects can still be viewed as a nightmare.”

To begin with, “How would I spend a day in DC?” I wrote a simple and straightforward question. Chatgpty responded in his signature conversational style, suggesting seven moves in a row. It’s also timed for food, because unlike bots, humans need to eat.

I didn’t ask for a schedule for the chatgpt contest, so I checked back in for advice on getting started. time.

Me: “When is the best time to visit the monuments?”

“If you want to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the morning or evening when there are fewer people.”

“How early?” To answer that question, I relied on my own experience – and sleep schedule.

At 9:00 am I started where most tourist tours start: at the National Mall.

Chatgpt, probably aware of physical and time constraints, didn’t bother suggesting I visit. Each Monuments and memorials. He mentioned three signs, so I went to climb the 87 steps of the Lincoln Memorial and celebrated number 16 a few days after Presidents Day.

At the Washington Monument, I stood among faithful families waiting for an elevator to zip them up to the observation deck. I consulted ChatGPT on how to raise a ticket. It sent me to an attraction website. Instead, I turned to the ranger and asked.

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On my way to the Capitol, I detoured to my second stop, the Smithsonian Museums. For my limitations (or me anthropomorphs) again highlighted three museums on the mall. I chose the National Air and Space Museum, which reopened on October 14th after being closed for months. ChatGPT was aware of the renovation project, now in its fourth year, but I had to dig elsewhere to find out about the eight new and renovated galleries and grab a free entry ticket.

While waiting in line to get into the museum, I hit up ChatGPT for advice on sights. He recommended six, three of which—the Wright Flyer, the Apollo 11 command module, and Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis—were on display. I gave ChatGPT a break so I could swing by myself.

I, in After reading about a man who flew over Los Angeles in 1982 with helium-filled weather balloons attached to a lawn chair, I asked: “What happened to Larry Walters?”

Although his flight was dangerous and put himself and others at risk, Walter’s story has become part of aviation legend and is still cited today as an example of man’s desire to fly and explore.

A bold and uncharted frontier, indeed.

Dumplings and Leonardo da Vinci

Lunchtime, but first I had to figure out how to get from the National Mall to Union Market in Northeast DC chatgpt. The site and remember: the red line does not leave here. After consulting the metro map, I took the green line and transferred to Gallery Place.

The bot redeemed itself in part with the International Food Hall of Fame. With a few hiccups, it has eliminated several vegan dining options: DC Empanadas is permanently closed; Chaia is in Chinatown; And the Indian Spinach Paneer Crepe is not a plant based DC Dosa. After cutting down the list, I was left with shiitake and scallion dumplings, either Laoban Dumplings or Korean Tofu Tacos at Takorian – or both, since ChatGPT doesn’t judge.

After lunch I headed to the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum for the first time. I approached the information desk and inquired about the location of the Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci paintings; Two artists stood out on my journey. “All we have here is American art,” the volunteer told me.

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I cursed ChatGPT, then checked my schedule and apologized. Human error. I had to go to the National Gallery of Art a few blocks away.

In the west building, I followed the map to the second-floor galleries of Italian art from the 13th to 16th centuries. As Moon took center stage, a figure of a woman with soft brown curls and pale skin sat on a pedestal encased in glass instead of hanging on the wall. A nearby sign states that the Ginevra de Benci painting is the only work of art by Leonardo in the Americas. But, unlike this other woman with an enigmatic expression, I didn’t have to stand on my feet to see her hairline on the wall of people. I could stand inches from her flawless face.

After rummaging through the Rembrandts rooms and finding no mention of ChatGPT (it’s okay; I’ve still seen half a dozen Dutch masters), I thanked the 4.30pm trip to Georgetown – the next suggested place. to browse. Of the four ways suggested, booking a ride was the easiest and fastest mode of transportation; Walking “30 minutes at your pace” was very misleading.

My goal here was to explore the shops and restaurants on M Street and Wisconsin Avenue NY. I wandered the main arteries with a renewed sense of wonder. My last visit was during the height of the epidemic and the protests. I am grateful to see crowded shops and packed restaurants; Without any compass in sight.

Dinner and moonlight shopping mall visit

I worked backwards for the last two stops.

ChatGPT recommended that the moonlight go around the monuments. A subsequent inquiry resulted in the names of several tour guides. At the beginning of this period, one did not offer a picnic; Another was sold due to unseasonably warm weather. I crossed enemy lines to ask Google and found an electric car tour that left at 8, then quickly returned to ChatGPT for restaurant recommendations in the Dupont neighborhood.

He failed this test. The restaurants were permanently closed elsewhere in the city (HipCityVeg) or in another state (Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant) (Beefsteak). I was in a hurry so I called from my pool of knowledge and booked Ala Diner which opened in March 2021. You have no excuse, ChatGPT.

United no longer charges parents to sit with their children on flights.

I found WeVenture Tours at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, near Judiciary Square. Our group of seven—a family of four from New York and a mother and young daughter from New Jersey—climbed in red vehicles called Tesla Minis.

Our guide, Nick, shared historical notes and stories as we passed the city’s most famous landmarks under a star-studded sky. We hopped on a variety of attractions including the Tidal Basin, the Washington Monument, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the White House.

For two hours, I kept ChatGPT silent. He had led me here, and now I was in good hands.

Chatgpt was an admirable tour planner, although there were a few hiccups. The itinerary is varied and interesting and appeals to first-time visitors and Washington residents alike. Of course, it ignores significant areas of the city, but a more detailed inquiry can fill in these gaps.

Johns Hopkins University’s Dahbura says that when asking ChatGPT for advice, your question shouldn’t be too broad or too specific. “It has to be somewhere in the middle,” he said. He added that the travel plan will not be the same as a local tour operator or friend who knows their likes and dislikes. For this reason, you may need to follow the second line of questioning – the strategy I followed.

After spending the day with chatgpt as my guide, I came to the conclusion that I will use the platform for new destinations, but I will add the information through Google searches or recommendations, someone who ticks the “no” box. robot”

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