Kirby: Who Am I? (by DAF)

ChatterBot Gossip

Kirby Urner
3 min readMar 5, 2024

Kirby, perhaps Daniel (through the AI website has answered your question (Is Kirby Urner a mathematician?) to your liking and most efficiently. An alternate route, which would take more effort, yet might be rewarding, would be to go through and systematize the ways you figure things out, yielding an epistemological portrait of you, from which it might be clear, what if anything is mathematical about you. For me, it would be valuable if that could help make such systematizations more real for you.

Just to recap the chronology from my angle:

A physics prof in New Mexico, former roommate at Princeton, sent a screenshot showing ChatGPT’s response to the prompt “who is kirby urner?” The very first sentence said Kirby was a mathematician.

Then, after seeing my reporting of this fact to math4wisdom, and my thought to make GPT not a liar in this case, Daniel showed how a chatbot may take issue with its own positions.

It’s a generative process not driven by any explicit goal of internal consistency. Sure Kirby is a mathematician, but not in the strictly academic sense, but why be that strict though, right?

Per my earlier remarks on “what does geometry mean?” I’m thinking more in sociological terms about “power languages” and the rise of various local vernaculars in the face of more far-flung (more…