Mar 1, 2023 Episode 140
People go crazy for ChatGPT – we explain what chatbots are, Africa’s Goliath frog being saved, Italy’s oily coffee
LEELA: This week ChatGPT, giant African frogs, India’s “fool’s leather,” and Italy’s oily coffee. Mmmmm.
OPENING STING – LEELA: “Hey, hey, hey. Listen up. New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – the news pool for curious kids.
MAMA: And, come on, a lot of adults like it too. You know who you are!
LEELA: I know who I am! I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and, as ever…
MAMA: She’s joined by me – the big story explainer and sound effects finder – otherwise known as… Leela’s mom.
LEELA: This week, we decode ChatGPT – we’ll tell you what the GPT actually stands for.
We’ll also tell you about the mission to save the biggest frog on earth (shivers).
And, ciao! Have you heard about the new coffee on the menu at Starbucks in Italy?
Well, you gotta listen to the end to find out.
OK, first up, it’s the…
BIG NEWS STORY STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The big news story of the week!”
MAMA: So, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about something called ChatGPT. And, you might have just thought it was an ordinary chat box.
LEELA: Which is something adults yell at when they’re doing online transactions, like booking tickets or banking.
MAMA: Yeeeees… Okay, Let’s start there, then. So chatbots are when a company, like say a bank or an appliance store, puts up a little notice on their website saying something like, “what can I help you with” or “get help now.”
LEELA: Lies, all lies. I mean, that’s what I hear some adults I know say…
MAMA: Right, so once upon a time you might be forgiven for thinking it was a real person at the end of the chat answering your questions. Alas.
MAMA: Deliberate misconception, perhaps. Basically, those are chatbots.
LEELA: Ie, a chatting robot.
MAMA: Yes, it’s simply a computer program that uses AI (artificial intelligence) to simulate as in act like a real conversation with a real human. But it quickly becomes apparent it is not, because it rarely offers any help at all. I mean sometimes, it might.
MAMA: Now, ChatGPT is a free app, launched three months ago, and it blown up the internet it’s also a chatbot that engages in human-like dialogue based on a prompt or question. But instead of just being able to answer or not questions about a single business or entity.
LEELA: It knows everything!
MAMA: Okay no, it doesn’t. But it knows a lot, so it’s seems way more sophisticated then you’re average banking chatbot
LEELA: Pinkies out!
MAMA: Yes, it’s more sophisticated it’s designed to respond in a natural, intuitive way and has many uses – but it still not human.
LEELA: So, you can ask it anything – like here, may I have your phone?
MAMA: Okay here you go…
LEELA: What is Newsy Pooloozi? OMG – it knows us!
MAMA: Okay sort of… Let’s see It says, “Newsy Pooloozi is a website and mobile app no we’re not an app that aggregates news and videos from around the web.” No, we don’t. We’re not news aggregators, which just gathers the latest news stories from various sources, we break news stories down, we explain, we give examples and we’re funny. I mean, sometimes. I mean well, we try.
LEELA: Lies… These things are all lies…!
MAMA: Let’s type in How did Common Sense Media rate the Newsy Pooloozi the news podcast for kids? Oh, that’s better. Here, let’s turn on the speaker.
CHATGPT: The Newsy Pooloozi news podcast for kids received 5 out of 5 stars on Common Sense Media.
MAMA: And we’re in 3 of the top ten lists.
LEELA: OK, let’s try again then my science fair project: “What is invisible ink, what is it used for and how can you make it at home?” Though my science project is more than that
MAMA: Okay alright. Let’s see what it is says
MAMA: “Invisible ink is a substance that is used to write or draw on a surface and is not visible to the naked eye until it is exposed to a specific type of light. This type of ink can be made at home by mixing lemon juice with baking soda.”
LEELA: Hmmmm. Not very informative.
MAMA: Right. But how you frame your question is important. If you ask it to write 200 words about invisible ink and how it’s made. Let’s see okay you’ll get a lot more. See… Ohhh look at this
LEELA: Oh, wow that’s Impressive. I could have just… (coughs) Now I know why my teachers are worried, right – kids will just use ChatGPT instead of doing their own research and writing?!
MAMA: Exactly. But you know… Teachers aren’t dumb. They can type in questions to the app and compare your answers you know. Plus, the app sounds, well, like a bot.
LEELA: But experts say that in a few years they’ll be more sophisticated, and it will be harder to tell human from bot, right?
MAMA: Maybe. So, But I’d say there’ll probably be more pop-quizzes in classrooms then homework reports – more old fashioned, offline examines or maybe even oral examinations, where you’re questioned by your teacher to find out if you really know your stuff.
LEELA: Ohhhh… Hey, what’s the GPT stand for anyway?
MAMA: Good question, well so ChatGPT was developed by OpenAI, that’s a tech research company “dedicated toquote ensuring that artificial intelligence benefits all of humanity.”4 The “GPT” stands for Generative Pre-training Transformer.
MAMA: Hilariously when I typed in “What does generative pre-training transformer mean” it came back with a question mark. And then a bunches stuff including transformer in general reinforced to the process of pre training a machine learning model, so it is better able to learn and generalize a data.
LEELA: What, I don’t think it’ll be writing our episodes and creating kid podcasting content anytime soon. I mean, I hope not…
MAMA: Well, it’s AI trained using reinforcement learning from human feedback in other words the more we use it, the smarter it gets. There’s already loads of talk about it putting a lot of people out of work. And now all the big tech giants are racing to develop their own versions and make it the best. So, this is likely just the beginning.
LEELA: Makes alien, robot noise.
MAMA: Alright. Let’s shift gears completely have a little of this…
NATURE STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The call of nature. Get on your safari suite. Or squeeze into your scuba gear. And get ready to hop into a jeep. Or submarine. Submarine. Because Mother Nature is calling! Nature.”
MAMA: So, we’ve probably all heard of the biblical story David Versus Goliath – Goliath the Philistine giant who was defeated by a young David.
LEELA: Who used his slingshot.
MAMA: Exactly. So, it’s no wonder that the world’s largest living frog is also called Goliath.
LEELA: Another frog story? Mama, you’re torturing me!
MAMA: Yes, these frogs from the central African country of Cameroon grow to be the size of a cat.
MAMA: Or should I say ribit
LEELA: Oh, God. How can they compare frogs to cats and please tell me they do not leave central Africa.
MAMA: Well not really… For decades, the goliath frog has been hunted.
LEELA: Oh, phew!
MAMA: Leela – everything has its place we can just get rid of the things we don’t like. But get this – they were hunted sometimes to be killed for food…
MAMA: And, sometimes, because people wanted them as pets. Here, sweety-sweety.
LEELA: (shivers) Give me a cat as a pet any day! Better frog
MAMA: Yes, so because this big pet trade in Cameroon and neighboring Equatorial Guinea, plus those who like to snack on the massive frog, well that means they’re now classified as endangered.
LEELA: Oh, thank heavens.
MAMA: (coughs) Oh, and did I also mention its habitat beside rivers and streams is also being destroyed. And before I hear another sigh of relief from you Leela – these frogs are valuable to the local ecosystem, as they prey on insects that damage much needed crops.
LEELA: OK, OK. As long as they stay in Africa.
MAMA: And that’s why a team of conservationists are now working to persuade hunters to become citizen scientists and record sightings of the Goliath frog– maybe even take some pictures for you, Leela – rather than using Goliath for food.
MAMA: That’s not all. In fact, they’re working with locals to set up snail farms instead to provide an alternative food source. Yummy, huh?
LEELA: I’ll stick with chicken and bean burritos please.
WORLD WRAP STING – LEELA: “What’s that? I’ll tell you what. That’s the halftime bell! Which means… it’s time to hear what’s making news around the rest of the world. Hold on tight, it’s around the world in 80 seconds.”
MAMA: In Greece a passenger train hit a freight train killing over 30 people. It is the deadliest rail crash to occur in the Mediterranean country in recent years.
The US city of Los Angeles will pay nearly $29 million dollars to the widow of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant because police took pictures of the scene of his deadly helicopter crash to use as tradable “souvenirs.”
In Iran nearly 700 schoolgirls are suffering from respiratory problems, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Many believe it’s from poisoned gas in an attempt to force their schools to shut down.
And the original versions of Roald Dahl’s children’s books will be kept in print after all. This follows anger over re-editing of his stories for today’s audience.
MAMA: And finally, let’s see what the lucky dip machine has in store for our last story of the week.
ODDBALL STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “Step right up, step right up… Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? An oddball, no doubt!”
LEELA: An odd drink to be precise.
LEELA: But first, let me ask you – what do mozzarella, parmesan, pizza, pasta and olives all have in common?
MAMA: I like to eat them all?
LEELA: You do not like olives
MAMA: I like olive oil.
LEELA: Besides that, please.
MAMA: Ok. You’d find them all at an Italian restaurant.
MAMA: Uhhh… They all come from Italy.
LEELA: Right. And, you know, Italians love their food so much, well, they just as soon drink it.
MAMA: What? Like a pizza shake or pasta smoothie or something. That sounds disgusting.
LEELA: No, no, that’s preposterous. But olive oil– well now that is finding its way inside another beloved Italian drink.
MAMA: Not prosec…
MAMA: Ohh Coffee? Olive oil coffee?! Oh, that can’t be right.
LEELA: Well, it’s on the menu an iced shaken espresso and a latte with olive oil “steamed with goat milk.” Or – to be precise – a cold brew coffee in which and I quote “a silky infusion of Partanna extra virgin oil with vanilla sweet cream foam… that slowly cascades through the beverage.”
MAMA: Wowzers, Well, I never… Who’s offering this?
LEELA: None other than the beloved Starbucks – the American coffee shop that was started in Seattle, Washington in 1971 and is now the biggest coffeehouse chain in the world. Some suspect it’s just a publicity stunt to get Italian patrons to one of their 20 shops in Italy.
MAMA: Oh yeah, but Italians are well known to prefer independent, family-run establishments over chains. Domino’s pizza shut down there recently, didn’t it?
LEELA: Yes, but others say it might – just might – work. Because Italians love their olive oil. Did you know the phrase “drink olive oil” trended last year. So, you never know. Then again, it might just be a pandemic thing.
MAMA: What’s the pandemic got to do with it?
LEELA: Yeah, buying olive oil was prohibited during the lockdown – ‘cos only essential oils could be bought. (laughs) Joke. Just a joke.
MAMA: That’s a pretty good one though!
FAB FACTS STING – LEELA: “And it’s time to wrap up the podcast with the top five fab facts heard today. Here goes…”
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 1 – ChatGPT is a chatbot that’s takes over the internet. What is a chatbot?
A computer program that uses AI (artificial intelligence) to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the internet.
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – And what does the GPT in ChatGPT actually stand for?
Generative pre-training transformer
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – A mission to save the biggest type of frog on earth, called the Goliath frogs, is launched. Where does this frog come from?
Cameroon in West Africa
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – An Indian company called “Phool” is making vegan leather out of flower waste. What does “phool” – spelt p-h-o-o-l – mean in Hindi?
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – Starbucks launches olive oil coffee drinks in its Italian outlets. When and where was the first one ever opened?
Seattle, Washington in 1991
Oh you know what I’m gonna say, if you want to test yourself later on, then go to the Lucky Dip Blog page of our website, newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and take this quiz
LEELA: Online in your own time! I repeat pool-o-o-z-i.com Chat GPT version. And that brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi!
LEELA: If you enjoyed this dip in the coolest pool of news and information then HIT that subscribe button on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Alexa or wherever you get your podcasts.
MAMA: While you’re at it… Give us a good rating. Or better still, leave us a review! Go on – we’ll read it out loud if you do…
LEELA: Alrighty then, see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!