Would you trust a robot to plan your vacation?
Some online AI, such as the GP-2 model, can produce multiple paragraphs of seemingly coherent material when prompted. Machine-learning engineer Adam King took that technology a step further with Talk to Transformer, which answers user questions by pulling from the collected wisdom of the internet.
Can the high-processing algorithms of a bot beat the enthusiasm of a college-age river tour guide? Or, more importantly to me, a freelancer looking for the next great hot dog truck or a tacky new speakeasy the old fashioned way, in real life?
I tested “Talk to Transformer”’s knowledge of Chicago by feeding it questions that tourists and newcomers alike would have about the city.
The results are an uncanny urban canyon. Could someone find Talk to Transformer’s words on Chicago truly neighborly? Who are humans even to judge? But I believe its deep, or deep dish, insight on Chicago has artistic value.
See for yourself:
Talk to Transformer on Downtown Chicago
The best hotel in Chicago is a big and elegant hotel in the heart of downtown where every night the sun comes up for a long time.
If you walk underneath the Cloud Gate aka “The Bean” you will find a huge maze with many enemies to kill. But don’t worry. It’s a trap.
Driving around Chicago is like going through an episode of “Top Gun.” All these people are so excited about where a new bridge is going to be, but they all have no idea what to expect, and they’re so nervous, they’re terrified that they can’t pull over at all.
Talk to Transformer on Chicago’s Architecture
The skyline of Chicago resembles a giant ballerina—a giant bird with her head held high above the city’s majestic skyline. This is the bird, the Chicago skyline, which was born from the combined efforts of a number of people who wish to shape the shape of a nation’s future.
From the top of the Hancock you can see the entire town, as well as a few buildings (mostly the police station). The building in the center, where you can buy your equipment, is on the right. In the middle, you see what appears to be the entrance to the school district (it’s a prison!) Also, if you see a guard you might have to fight the guards.
Without the newspaper, the Tribune Tower will turn into The House of Whispers, a dark and scary mansion. There’s a rumor that you can’t see inside the house. What the hell is this mansion for? It’s the house of thieves.
Talk to Transformer on Deep Dish Pizza
If you love thin crust pizza, deep dish pizza will seem like the cake you made for your dad.
At the bottom of the deep dish lies the finest and strongest, the most ancient, the most perfect to begin with. The greatest and best, the richest and strongest, the youngest, the richest and the oldest.
The best deep dish pizza joint is probably Pizza Hut for its pizzatas. A great deep dish pizza is usually topped with some of the finest mozzarella cheese you ever tasted, for dipping everything from french fries to steak.
Talk to Transformer on Chicago Sports Culture
The best Chicago sports franchise is not a New York sports team or a Toronto sports team or a San Diego sports team. It’s Chicago!
If you’re a baseball fan, visiting Chicago is like visiting any other city—you’re not sure if you’ll see many Cubs. And while watching, you’re generally limited to familiar sights, like the historic Notre Dame buildings…to see the game, you had to walk around a long brick wall. That’s not a joke.
Your first visit to Wrigley will be like coming home when you are fourteen years old and everything feels so natural…It is a great place to grab some great drinks, order a free pizza, a free drink, take a walk, order some lunch, or even a free treat.
Talk to Transformer Compares the North Side to the South Side
The North Side and South Side of Chicago are divided by more than five years of conflict, including three recent “cold war” wars in China and North Korea. The western side remains relatively peaceful with most of the violence being localized but the east side remained in a state of anarchy and instability.
But if You’re Visiting the South Side, Talk to Transformer Recommends…
On Chicago’s South Side, visitors will discover its vibrant nightlife in places such as the historic South Side Brewery, the famed Grand Central Art Museum and the renowned Midway Airport.
Talk to Transformer on Chicago’s History
Gangsters in Chicago like to hang out in a bar and play dice. The bar patrons often have their own game of pool, table tennis, football or basketball. These games aren’t always fair.
Talk to Transformer Would Like to Tell You All About Lori Lightfoot
In April, Lori Lightfoot became the first person named after her son.
(I wanted to know more, so I adjusted the wording and gave TtoT progressively easier hints)
This past April, Lori Lightfoot became the first… US woman to fly at an altitude above 12,700 feet.
This past April, Lori Lightfoot became the mayor of… Boca Raton, Florida. She received two Democratic votes, but the Republican-dominated State Legislature blocked her bid and her race was thrown out. Since she lost, she has taken a hard line against the anti-Trump crowd, often criticizing them at events like the “Day of Action,” and trying to keep the media from seeing any pictures of her and her wife with Obama.’
Final Thoughts: Is this Talk to Transformer Advocating Against Itself?
What online bots like most about Chicago is the fact that it’s a city that’s so far from online—that’s why you won’t be able to find anything online about your city very often.
Where would we be without technology? Probably not at the Midway Airport.