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ChapGPT and the mighty mitochondria

I’ve been — as have many — poking around on ChatGPT. In the last 24 hours, three people in three completely different circumstances enthusiastically encouraged me to check it out, plus mentions of the tool having been popping up all over the internet in the last month or so. So off to to create an account I went.

ChatGPT is impressive in that it can do what it does: generate answers to whatever question you want to ask it, write content in various styles, write computer code and more. After asking about 20 inquiries of it, I thought there was a bit of blandness to the answers. More than a bit.

As the essayist in this video-blog commentary, “The Real Danger of ChatGPT,” said, it produces B- high-school English-calibre work at best. I agree with his assessment.

oh, yeah

Where I enjoyed it most was asking questions. I was toying around in my head last night about a story taking place on another planet, so I asked (among other questions) —

  • What would happen to the human body in an environment of 1.37 g / gravity?
  • What grubs have the most fat and protein in them?
  • How many planets are considered human-habitable?

One of the people who mentioned ChatGPT today said she used it to generate interview questions for a story she was writing. So I decided to ask ChatGPT to generate interview questions for a interstellar space traveler going through a wormhole. These were some of them. Nothing I couldn’t have figured out myself.

  1. How does your civilization discover and study wormholes?
  2. Have you encountered any other intelligent life forms or civilizations during your wormhole travels?
  3. Are there any limitations or challenges you face when it comes to wormhole travel, and how are they addressed?

a sonnet for a beneficial bacteria

I asked it to write a sonnet about a bacteria that helped save the world by providing better nutrients for food.” IDKY. That just popped into my mind.

A single cell, yet oh so small and bright,
A microbe born to help, not cause despair.
A helper, in the fields, day and night,
It helps our crops to flourish everywhere.


With powers to improve the soil so well,
It provides the plants with vital trace,
A helper to the farmers, it can tell,
How to grow food with a better grace.


It helps our food to be more nutritious,
Providing health to all, far and wide.
It’s a savior, in a world so auspicious,
A helper, for the future to abide.


Oh, mighty bacteria, we do implore,
To keep on helping, forevermore.

With a footnote of: This sonnet is a work of fiction, as there is no known bacteria that can help save the world by providing better nutrient health for food. However, there are some beneficial microorganisms that can help improve soil health and crop yields.

my beloved mitochondria

Then I asked: write a poem appreciating my mithochondria.

Oh, tiny powerhouses, within my cells,
My dear mitochondria, how you shine.
You keep my body working, feeling well,
You’re the reason why my heart beats in time.


With your constant energy production,
You keep my body moving, day and night.
You’re my constant companion, my salvation,
In your work, there is no end in sight.


You’re the reason why I can run and play,
And dance and sing, and laugh with all my heart.
You’re the reason why I can live today,
And why my future will be bright and smart.


Oh, dear mitochondria, my gratitude,
For you, is never ending, ever renewed.

A slight tweak

Then a slight change in the request, this time asking for a poem about the mighty mitochondria.

The mighty mitochondria, the powerhouse within,
Providing energy for cells to spin.
A dance of electrons, a flow of ATP,
The mighty mitochondria, a vital part of me.


In every cell, they work with might,
Converting fuel to energy, day and night.
A symphony of enzymes, a choreographed show,
The mighty mitochondria, making life glow.


They are the spark that lights the fire,
The energy source that never tires.
The mighty mitochondria, so small yet so grand,
A vital piece of the living organism’s band.


From the simplest organism to the most complex,

The mighty mitochondria are truly the best.

A wonder of nature, a marvel to see,

The mighty mitochondria, the energy of you and me.


With a footnote of: A poem expressing appreciation for the work of the mitochondria in the body, how they play an important role in the production of energy, and how they make all the functions in the body possible, to be healthy and active.

tasty grubs

And then, “write a poem about a delicious grub people love to eat.”

A wriggling creature, plump and full of meat,
A grub so tasty, it’s a delicacy.
A treat for all, a true gastronomic feat,
A flavor, that will live on in memory.


With soft and tender texture, it’s a treat,
A perfect snack, or part of a grand feast.
Roasted, fried, or even in a stew, so sweet,
A flavor, that will put one’s taste buds at ease.


It’s nutty and delicious, rich in protein,
A food, that’s loved by all, young and old.
A staple, in many a cuisine, so keen,
A delicacy, that’s worth its weight in gold.


Oh, tasty grub, we do implore,
To keep on satisfying our taste, forevermore.

With a footnote of: It’s worth to remind that different cultures and societies have different ways of looking at the consumption of grubs, and in some places grubs are considered a delicacy while in others they are not consumed. If you’re interested in consuming grubs, it’s best to consult a doctor or a specialist before doing so. (Comes with it’s own consult-a-doctor warning!)


The footnotes to each AI-generated content were interesting. It made sure to let me know that mitochondria, for example, didn’t have feelings and wouldn’t really understand a poem or sonnet written to them. For the grub sonnet, I was informed that some cultures consider grubs food, and some don’t. Yep, got that.

Overall, it’s interesting that it can do what it can do. I know the tool and capacity will get better, but at the moment, I concur with the essayist in “The Real Danger of ChatGPT” in that its results are B- high-school level writing … at best.

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