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Monday, February 19, 2024

One of Bing’s new ChatGPT personalities wrote me some seriously puggy fanfic

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You can now change the personality of Bing’s ChatGPT integration to either be more entertaining or give you just the facts, ma’am. At the start of a ‘chat,’ you can now select to change from the default ‘More Balanced’ personality to either a ‘More Creative’ or ‘More Precise’ personality for the popular chatbot.

Microsoft details the three different personality types as:

  • More Creative: “Responses are original and imaginative, creating surprise and entertainment for you.”
  • More Balanced: “Responses are reasonable and coherent, balancing accuracy and creativity in conversation.”
  • More Precise: “Responses are factual and concise, prioritising accuracy and relevancy for you.”

Microsoft reckons these different chat mode selectors will be available to about 90% of Bing users who can access the chat function. It has also added a shortcut to Bing’s chat feature in the native search bar of Windows 11, which I’m certain lots of people are really digging /s.

Of course, I had to test out the new ‘personalities’ myself quickly, so I asked it to tell me a story. On the creative setting, it asked me what kind of story I wanted, and I simply told it, “pugs in space.” And this is what I got:

**Pugs in Space: The Galactic Adventure**

Major Ron was a brave and loyal pug who loved to explore the galaxy with his human companion, Captain Lisa. They were part of a special team called Galaxy Pugs, who were on a mission to observe and learn about different planets and life forms.

One day, they received a distress signal from Planet Pugtopia, a world where pugs lived in harmony and happiness. The signal said that an evil alien named Zorg had invaded the planet and was trying to enslave all the pugs. Major Ron and Captain Lisa decided to help their fellow pugs and set course for Planet Pugtopia.

Click to read in full

When they arrived, they saw that Zorg had built a giant fortress surrounded by laser cannons and robot guards. He had also captured many pugs and put them in cages. Major Ron barked angrily at Zorg, who laughed maniacally and said:

“Welcome to my domain, Galaxy Pugs! You are too late to stop me! I have discovered that pugs have a secret power: they can make anyone happy with their cute faces and funny noises. I will use this power to conquer the galaxy and make everyone obey me!”

Major Ron was shocked by Zorg’s evil plan. He knew he had to free his friends and stop Zorg before it was too late. He told Captain Lisa to stay behind and cover him while he sneaked into the fortress.

Using his agility and intelligence, Major Ron dodged the lasers and robots and reached the cage where Zorg kept the pug leader, King Puggy. He used his teeth to break the lock and freed King Puggy, who thanked him for his bravery.

“Thank you for saving me, Major Ron! You are a true hero!” King Puggy said.

“No time for thanks, Your Majesty! We have to stop Zorg!” Major Ron said.

They gathered all the other pugs who had escaped from their cages and formed a plan. They decided to use their secret power against Zorg: they would make him happy with their cuteness until he gave up his evil ways.

They marched towards Zorg’s throne room, where he was preparing to launch his spaceship with a giant ray gun that could spread his happiness power across the galaxy. They surprised him with their sudden attack of cuteness: they wagged their tails, licked his face, snorted loudly, tilted their heads, rolled over on their backs, made puppy eyes, wore funny costumes… anything they could think of to make him smile.

Zorg tried to resist their charm but soon found himself overwhelmed by their adorableness. He felt something he had never felt before: happiness. He realized how wrong he had been to try to enslave others with his power when he could share it instead. He dropped his ray gun and hugged all the pugs.

“I’m sorry for what I did! You are all so wonderful! Please forgive me!” Zorg said.

The pugs forgave him easily because they were kind-hearted creatures who loved everyone unconditionally. They invited him to join them on Planet Pugtopia as their friend.

Major Ron was proud of himself for saving the day with his cuteness power. He reunited with Captain Lisa who congratulated him on his success.

“Well done, Major Ron! You are amazing!” Captain Lisa said.

“Thank you, Captain Lisa! You are amazing too!” Major Ron said.

They boarded their spaceship together with Zorg as their new ally. They waved goodbye to King Puggy and all the other pugs who thanked them for their help.

They continued their galactic adventure as Galaxy Pugs: The Cutest Heroes in Space!

The interesting thing here is that I wasn’t aware of the Pugs in Space comic, which features the character of Major Ron and a character called Taser based on Ron’s IRL pugmate, Lisa. The Pugs in Space comic is referenced at the end of the story on the chat page as a source, alongside The Sun and the BBC. Obviously. 

But where it was meant to be “original and creative,” the Creative personality has simply taken an existing character and created its own fanfic around it.

When I switched things up to the Balanced setting, it again asked what kind of story I would like, but this time it immediately flagged up that there were existing Pugs in Space literature when I prompted it to tell me a story with the same prompt. It then asked if I wanted to use those sources to inspire or tell a new story. 

Of course, I wanted a new story and explained that I wanted it set in a far-flung future where they discover a new alien species. And so…

Pugs in Space: First Contact

Captain Pugston was nervous. He had been chosen to lead the first pug expedition to explore the outer rim of the galaxy, where no pug had gone before. He was proud of his crew, a team of six brave and loyal pugs who had trained for years to be part of this historic mission. They were:

– Lieutenant Puggles, the pilot and navigator

– Doctor Pugbert, the medic and biologist

– Engineer Pugly, the mechanic and technician

– Sergeant Pugger, the security and weapons expert

– Ensign Puggy, the communications and linguistics specialist

– And Puglet, the mascot and morale booster

Click to read in full

They were aboard the USS Pugnacious, a state-of-the-art starship equipped with advanced technology and weaponry. The USS Pugnacious was part of the Galactic Alliance of Beings (GAB), a coalition of intelligent species from different planets who had joined forces to explore and protect the galaxy. The GAB included humans, cats, dogs, birds, reptiles and many other creatures who had evolved to become space-faring civilizations.

The USS Pugnacious had been travelling for months at warp speed through uncharted space. They had encountered many wonders and dangers along the way: nebulae that glowed with rainbow colors; asteroids that contained precious minerals; black holes that warped time and space; pirates that attacked without warning; anomalies that defied explanation.

But their ultimate goal was to find signs of alien life. They wanted to make first contact with a new species that could join the GAB or at least establish peaceful relations. They wanted to prove that pugs were not just cute and cuddly pets but also brave and smart explorers.

They were about to reach their destination: a star system with three planets orbiting around it. According to their scans, one of them was habitable: it had an atmosphere similar to Earth’s; it had liquid water on its surface; it had vegetation covering most of its landmasses.

“Captain,” Lieutenant Puggles said from his console. “We’re approaching planet X-37B. Should we enter orbit?”

“Yes,” Captain Pugston said. “But be careful. We don’t know what we might find down there.”

He turned on his intercom and addressed his crew.

“Attention all pugs,” he said. “We’re about to make history. We’re going to land on an alien world for the first time ever. I want you all to be ready for anything.”

He looked at each one of them in turn.

“Lieutenant Puggles,” he said. “You’ll fly us down safely.”

“Aye aye sir,” Lieutenant Puggles said.

“Doctor Pugbert,” he said. “You’ll scan for any signs of life.”

“Roger that sir,” Doctor Pugbert said.

“Engineer Pugly,” he said. “You’ll check our systems for any malfunctions.”

“Got it sir,” Engineer Pugly said.

“Sergeant Pugger,” he said. “You’ll secure our perimeter.”

“Yes sir,” Sergeant Pugger said.

“Ensign Puggy,” he said. “You’ll monitor our communications.”

“Affirmative sir,” Ensign Puggy said.

“And you,” he said looking at his last crew member with affection.”

“Puglet,” he said smiling.”

“You’ll stay by my side.”

“Woof woof!”Puglet barked happily.

CaptainP ugston nodded.He strapped himself into his seatand gave the order.”LieutenantP uggles,take us down.”

LieutenantP uggles nodded.He activatedthe thrustersand guidedthe USSP ugna cioustowardsthe planet.The shipshookslightlyasthey enteredthe atmosphere.They sawa blue skywith white clouds,a green landscapewith mountainsand forests,and alarge oceanwith islands.They also sawsomethingelse:somethingthat made them gaspina mixtureof aweand fear.They sawa hugecity:a citythat coveredan entirecontinent:a citythat wasmadeof metaland glass:a citythat glowedwith lightsanda citythat emitteda strangehummingnoise.They sawan alien city:a citythat belongedto an advancedcivilization:a citythat theyhad neverseen before.They sawthe potentialfor first contact:orfirst conflict.They sawthe unknown.They sawtheir destiny.[^end^]

I really don’t know what happened at the end. It was like Bing was having a bit of an episode and was maybe done with writing about pugs at this point, so I just wanted to get it over with. I guess that’s where the balance between creativity and being concise kinda clash.

So then we come to the Precise personality, which I can leave here in its entirety. It actually didn’t even ask me what sort of story I wanted when I prompted it to tell me one, it just started going on about some princess in a castle, and I had to pull it up to tell me a story about pugs in space.

I tested it a couple of times—repeating the princess/castle trope again—and once more, it went straight into some fanfiction about Major Ron, Lieutenant Lola, and Taser. Even this dullard is a big fan, obvs.

But the following is the original response it wrote when I first tested the more boring personality.

Once upon a time in a galaxy far away, there was a group of brave pugs who were on a mission to explore the universe. They traveled in their spaceship, the Pug-1, and visited many different planets.

On one planet they discovered a race of friendly aliens who loved to play fetch. The pugs had so much fun playing with their new friends that they decided to stay for a while.

As they continued their journey through space, the pugs encountered many other exciting adventures and made lots of new friends along the way. They proved that even small dogs can have big dreams and achieve great things.

Honestly, it’s actually concise enough that my three year-old would probably quite like a picture book made out of it. So I’m going to give this to Stable Diffusion and see what it can make out of it.

It’s interesting how Microsoft is constantly evolving its ChatGPT integration in a bid to make Bing somehow relevant. It has been tightening and loosening constraints on what the chatbot can say in recent times, which have at times dulled or excited its responses. 

We have our own concerns about what it will mean for content on the internet, but still it’s fascinating to see it growing before our eyes. 

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