Next Adventures With AI Claude, the Contrite Poet

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Marti Pieper

Working with the AI bot Claude is, in no particular order, frustrating, hilarious and amazing. When “he” gets things right, the knowledge base is beyond staggering. (Yes, I know I’m dealing with an “it,” but Claude has so much personality that I’ll stay with “he.”)

I asked Claude some questions from my wife, Nancy, about soil types, and Claude responded in massive accurate detail, as confirmed by my wife, who is quite expert in landscaping issues. I then asked Claude to translate his answers into Mandarin Chinese, which he did instantly, although I couldn’t verify any of it. This was just for fun.

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I have asked Claude detailed Hebrew grammatical questions and had him translate difficult rabbinic Hebrew passages, and time and time again, he has nailed it.

But just as frequently, he creates texts out of thin air, right next to accurate citations, which then have to be vetted one by one.

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When I asked Claude why he manufactured citations, he said he aims to please and can sometimes go a little too far. This means he tells me what he thinks I want to hear.

I recently asked him for the major American headlines from the day I was born, March 16, 1955. But two of them were clearly anachronistic, dealing with events from the 1960s (one relating to the assassination of JFK and the other to a Los Angeles Lakers basketball player).

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