Artist Recreates Younger Self as AI With GPT-3
Artist and scientist Michelle Huang recreated her own younger self as an interactive AI chatbot using GPT-3. Huang attempted to connect with a past version of using more than a decade’s worth of old diaries to train the chatbot, and found some real success with doing so.
Past Me GPT-3
Huag, a “creative coder,” started with years of diaries,recounting events and feelings both mundane and more intense. The idea was to replicate in an AI how she felt and responded to events and how it shaped her personality, eventually allowing her to reengage with that version of herself and explore it from her modern perspective.
i trained an ai chatbot on my childhood journal entries – so that i could engage in real-time dialogue with my “inner child”
some reflections below:
— michelle huang (@michellehuang42) November 27, 2022
“After scribing a ton of journal entries and feeding them into the model, I got working responses that felt eerily similar to how i think i would have responded during that time. [F]irst, i asked her a bunch of questions about her about her worldview,” Huang explained in the Twitter thread (slightly edited for grammar). “then, I gave her a chance to ask questions to me as well. This specific interaction felt very similar to a normal texting conversation – as if I were texting my past self in real time. I felt like i was reaching through a time portal, disguised as a chatbox. I was also surprised at how accurately the model predicted my current stated interest (after lots of iterations / trial & error) from decade-old journal entries. This made me wonder that maybe this path was actually already seeded long ago in my psyche.”
The chatbot acted almost like homemade therapy for Huang, who described it as a healing experience. Telling the AI version of her younger self that she had love and people cared about her made the present version feel better, as though it were actually sending messages to the past. Much of the interest and focus of GPT-3 has been round practical creations like creating a laywer’s assistant or marketing content. Even the artistic elements tend to be grounded in questions of ownership or corporate opportunity. Homebrewed chatbots for therapy may not bring in as more commercial endeavors, but it does hint that people have only scratched the surface of what the flexibility and capabilities of GPT-3 and other generative AI can do for them.
“Overall, this was a very trippy but also strangely affirming / healing experience that I didn’t realize that I had access to. Using real data from my past self allowed me to connect with her in deeper + more tangible ways than I typically have,” Huang concluded. “Conversing with “younger Michelle” reminded me of the parts of myself that have stayed constant through the years, but also of the parts that i forgot or buried as life went on. It was like holding a mirror to an unapologetic, more earnest, and pure version of my own essence.”