AI and the Breakfast Burrito Challenge

The AI (Artificial Intelligence) “revolution” has created quite a stir. Some people are screaming bloody murder about it, some are embracing it as the next technological wonder, and some are just trying to ignore that it exists. I was in the trying-to-ignore-that-it-exists camp until Ann decided to dive in and not only try it out but, heaven forbid, actually blog about it.

So I was forced to acknowledge the raging media blitz about AI and try to make sense of it all. I’m not going to get into such hot button topics as cheating on college essays, generating fake news, job displacements, or the other pressing issues that have been raised by this surge in AI hype. To keep things simple (and within the my brain’s limited capacity to understand AI technology), I thought it might be enlightening to do a little test drive with the rockstar of AI apps, ChatGPT and see how it handles one of my signature breakfast dishes – Andy’s Breakfast Burritos, which features finely diced zucchini. [Editor’s note: If you want to see how ChatGPT does with Dan Dan Noodles you’ll have to read Ann’s blog.]

I started by tossing a soft ball question to ChatGPT. Because we’re dealing with artificial intelligence here, I asked it to create a “breakfast burrito recipe with artificial ingredients plus finely diced zucchini.” I figured that asking about artificial ingredients would be fair; after all ChatGPT is a form of artificial intelligence. Here’s the list of ingredients it suggested:

To insure that ChatGPT wasn’t trying to pull the wool over my eyes, I looked up each of the “artificial ingredients” using the (now vintage) Google search engine to see if the ingredient did indeed exist. What these ingredients may taste like is another story. Evidently there are no artificial substitutes for tortillas, zucchini, or salt and pepper in ChatGPT’s cyber world. So far the AI wonder app seemed to be holding its own.

The secret ingredient in my breakfast burritos: finely chopped zucchini

Next I asked a hardball question. As many of you know, I have an unnatural obsession with puns (which I confessed to in a previous Andy’s Corner). Hoping that maybe I would find fertile new ground for my passion I asked ChatGPT if it could generate some zucchini puns. ChatGPT responded with:

Sure, here are a few zucchini puns:

  1. Why did the zucchini go to the party? Because it heard there would be a squash!
  2. What did the zucchini say when it saw a bigger zucchini? “I’m in a pickle now!”
  3. Why did the zucchini cross the road? To get to the farmer’s market!
  4. How do you make a zucchini laugh? Tell it a cucumber joke!
  5. What do you call a zucchini with a drum? A squash band!
  6. Why don’t zucchinis like to dance? Because they’re too squashed!

I hope these zucchini puns bring a smile to your face!

“Bring a smile to my face?” I don’t know about you, but I consider these some of the worst puns I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard lots of bad ones. I didn’t even bother to include the list of terrible burrito puns generated by ChatGPT.

Maybe ChatGPT would do better on the “artistic” side of my breakfast burrito challenge. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I engage in a little food sculpturing with the zucchini whenever I make my burritos. It’s one of the private kitchen games I play when cooking or cleaning (a topic I covered in an earlier Andy’s Corner). I only use the outer part of the zucchini for cooking and compost the ends and inner core. But before putting these zucchini scraps in the compost bin, I create something “artistic” with them.

To see if AI technology could help with that I turned to DALL-E 2, which was developed by the same folks who brought us ChatGPT but focusing on artistic creations (you undoubtedly noticed that Ann used DALL-E 2 in her blog today). I asked Dolly (as I affectionately call her) to create a “face made from a zucchini peeled into a pentagon shape with a cap made from the end of the zucchini.”

Before showing the results I thought it would be instructive to use this opportunity to do a variation of what’s called a Turing Test, which, simply put, is used to see if people can distinguish artificial intelligence creations from human creations. Below are photos of three sculptures created by Dolly and one by yours truly. Can you pick mine out? You will find the answer at the end of this blog.

I’m not sure what this all says about Artificial Intelligence, but I do know that as dazzling as this technology may seem, when faced with my breakfast burrito challenge, it wasn’t that intelligent. And more importantly, it lacked of a sense of humor and struggled to create a plausible zucchini sculpture. I wouldn’t go so far to suggest, as some do, that AI should stand for Artificial Ignorance, but I would say that we needn’t worry too much about AI taking over the world. That is, of course, unless AI figures out how to do good puns.

I thought it would be appropriate to close with this ChatGPT generated haiku

Warm and comforting,
Wrapped in a soft tortilla,
Burrito bliss waits.

[Click here to solve the zucchini sculpture quiz]


    • theRaggedys says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. I always toast my tortillas over an open flame (we have a gas range – don’t tell anyone) prior to assembling the burritos, but I can imagine that grilling the finished product would be a nice touch. To be sure I asked ChatGPT about this and got this response: “Grilling a burrito after assembling it can be a delicious way to add flavor and texture to the dish. Grilling can help to crisp up the tortilla, melt the cheese, and create a delicious char on the outside of the burrito.” Hmmm – you didn’t by any chance happen to consult ChatGPT before sending your commend?


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