The confrontation between ChatGPT software and philosopher Raphaël Enthoven in a "match" organized by a business and technology school revealed some interesting results. The subject "Is happiness a matter of reason?" was submitted to artificial intelligence to produce an essay in philosophy. ChatGPT scored 11/20, while Raphaël Enthoven achieved a perfect score of 20/20.
The essays were jointly evaluated by Éliette Abécassis, agrégée de philosophie and author, and a high school teacher known as "Serial Thinker" on TikTok. Although the entries were evaluated anonymously, Éliette Abécassis pointed out that it was possible to guess who had written what from the very first words.
ChatGPT's copy was criticized for its lack of a clear problem, its long, empty sentences and its lack of comprehensible content and arguments. Quotations were used in an attempt to shine, but this does not correspond to the essence of philosophy according to Lev Fraenckel aka "Serial Thinker". In addition, references to authors were weak and error-prone.
The school organizing the event, the Paris School of Technology & Business, had provided a detailed question to ask the software to respect classic essay forms. Reference authors were also suggested.
ChatGPT needs to rethink
ChatGPT briefly mentioned Aristotle, Kant, Freud, Nietzsche and Camus, but in a vague and brief manner. The conclusion of his copy indicated that there was no universal answer, but multiple paths to happiness, suggesting that happiness could be a matter of reason and much more.
Raphaël Enthoven pointed out that philosophers were among the professionals least likely to be replaced by artificial intelligence. He felt that the teaching of philosophy was not threatened, and asserted that it would have been possible to give ChatGPT an entire book of recommendations without turning it into a philosopher. The human's copy, written in an hour and a half, concluded on the urgency and interest of thinking of reason itself and its activity as happiness.
This confrontation between artificial intelligence software and a philosopher raises interesting questions about AI's ability to truly engage in philosophical debates and produce profound reflections. Although ChatGPT showed some skill in writing an essay, it clearly lacks the essence of philosophy and the ability to develop coherent, clear arguments.