I have a database of Shakespeare character deaths that I use for various projects (doesn’t everybody?) I need to make a comparable one for characters who survive. But not everybody, just enough to balance the list. Hey, I thought, I’ll ask ChatGPT to help me with it. Or, wait, better – I’ll ask Google Bard.
It’s all in the wording, apparently
This screenshot is the result of my whittling down a number of surprisingly poor answers. I asked, “can you name 10 well known characters from Shakespeare plays who don’t die at the end” and it could not. Told me it’s only a language model. To put it differently, I asked, “who are some popular Shakespeare characters that die at the end,” same answer.
So I thought maybe it was having an issue with “popular.” Then I asked, “can you name any Shakespeare characters” and it happily gave me a list of the “most famous” ones. Lastly I tried, “name a Shakespeare character that dies at the end,” and, again, an error message (“I am not programmed to assist with that”).
Eventually we ended up at the screenshot above. Can you tell me whether someone is alive at the end? Yes. Can you tell me whether someone dies? No.
What about the other guy?
For the record, ChatGPT did just fine:
Stick to the comedies, Google. They have a lovely dance at the end, maybe a nice wedding.