What Lawyers Think About AI, Creativity and Job Security

July 28, 2023

This article continues the Ai creativity series and examines current thinking among lawyers about their work and job security. Most believe their work is too creative to be replaced by machines. The lawyer opinions discussed here are derived from a survey by Wolters Kluwer and Above the Law: Generative AI in the Law: Where Could This All Be Headed? (7/03/2023). It seems that most other professionals, including doctors and top management in businesses, feel the same way. They think they are indispensable Picassos, too cool for school.

All images and video created by Ralph Losey

The evidence discussed on this blog in the last few articles suggests they are wrong. It might just be vainglory on their part. Creativity and How Anyone Can Adjust ChatGPT’s Creativity Settings To Limit Its Mistakes and Hallucinations; and Creativity Test of GPT’s Story Telling Ability Based on an Image Alone and especially ChatGPT-4 Scores in the Top One Percent of Standard Creativity Tests. Some of the highest paid, most secure attorneys today are very creative, but so too are the new Generative Ais. Some of the latest Ais are very personable too, dangerously so. Code of Ethics for “Empathetic” Generative AI.

Introduction to the Lawyer Survey

The well-prepared Above The Law Wolters Kluwer report of July 3, 2023, indicates that two-thirds of lawyers questioned do not think ChatGPT-4 is capable of creative legal analysis and writing. For that reason, they cling to the belief they are safe from Ai and can ignore it. They think their creativity and legal imagination makes them special, irreplaceable. The survey shows they believe that only the grunt workers of the law, the document and contract reviewers, and the like, will be displaced.

I used to think that too. A self-serving vanity perhaps? But, I must now accept the evidence. Even if your legal work does involve considerable creative thinking and legal imagination, it is not for that reason alone secure from AI replacement. There may be many other reasons that your current job is secure, or that you only have to tweak your work a little to make it secure. But, for most of us, it looks like we will have to change our ways and modify our roles, at least somewhat. We will have to take on new legal challenges that emerge from Ai. The best job security comes from continuous active learning.

With some study we can learn to work with Ai to become even more creative, productive and economically secure.

Recent “Above The Law” – Wolters Kluwer Survey

Surprisingly, I agree with most of the responses reported in the survey described in Generative AI in the Law: Where Could This All Be Headed? I will not go over these, and instead just recommend you read this interesting free report (registration required). My article will only address the one opinion that I am very skeptical about, namely whether or not high-level, creative legal work is likely to be transformed by AI in the next few years. A strong majority said no, that jobs based on creative legal analysis are safe.

Most of the respondents to the survey did not think that AI is even close to taking over high-level legal work, the experienced partner work that requires a good amount of imagination and creativity. Over two-thirds of those questioned considered such skilled legal work to be beyond a chatbot’s abilities.

At page six of the report, after concluding that all non-creative legal work was at risk, the survey considered “high-level legal work.” A minority of respondents, only 31%, thought that AI would transform complex matters, like “negotiating mergers or developing litigation strategy.” Almost everyone thought AI lacked “legal imagination,” especially litigators, who “were the least likely to agree that generative AI will someday perform high-level work.” This is the apparent reasoning behind the conclusions as to whose jobs are at risk. As the ATL Wolters report observed:

The question is: Can an AI review a series of appellate opinions that dance around a subject but never reach it head on? Can the AI synthesize a legal theory from those adjacent points of law? In other words, does it have legal imagination? . . .

One survey respondent — a litigation partner — had a similar take: “AI may be increasingly sophisticated at calculation, but it is not replacing the human brain’s capacity for making connections that haven’t been made before or engaging in counterfactual analysis. . ..

The jobs of law firm partners are safest, according to respondents. After all, they’re the least likely group to consider themselves as possibly redundant. Corporate work is the area most likely to be affected by generative AI, according to almost half of respondents. Few respondents believe that AI will have a significant impact on practices involving healthcare, criminal law or investigations, environmental law, or energy law.

Generative AI in the Law: Where Could This All Be Headed? at pgs. 6,7.


After having studied and used ChatGPT for hundreds of hours now, and after having been a partner in one law firm or another for what seems like hundreds of years, I reluctantly conclude that my fellow lawyers are mistaken on the creativity issue. Their response to this prompt appears to be a delusional hallucination, rather than insightful vision.

As Sam Altman has observed, and I agree, that it is an inherent tendency of the creative process to make mistakes and make stuff up, to hallucinate without even knowing it. Creativity and How Anyone Can Adjust ChatGPT’s Creativity Settings To Limit Its Mistakes and Hallucinations; (includes Sam Altman’s understanding of human “creativity” and how Ai creativity is somewhat similar), Creativity Test of GPT’s Story Telling Ability Based on an Image Alone (you be the judge, but ChatGPT’s stories seem just as good as that of most trial lawyers) and ChatGPT-4 Scores in the Top One Percent of Standard Creativity Tests (how many senior partners would score that high?). Also seeWhat is the Difference Between Human Intelligence and Machine Intelligence? (not much difference, and Ai is getting smarter fast).

The assumed safety of the higher echelons of the law shown in the survey is a common belief. But, like many common beliefs of the past, such as the sun and planets revolving around the Earth, the opinion may just be a vain delusion, a hallucination. It is based on the belief that humans in general, and these attorneys in particular, have unique and superior creativity. Yet, careful study shows that creativity is not a unique human skill at all. Ai seems very capable of creativity in all areas. That was shown by standardized TCTT creative testing scores in a report released the same day as the ATL Wolters Survey. ChatGPT-4 scored in the top 1% of standardized creativity testing.

ChatGPT-4 is Number One!

Also, consider how human creative skills are not as easy to control as generative Ai creativity. As previously shown here, GPT-4’s creativity can be precisely controlled by skilled manipulation of the Temperature and Top_P parameters. Creativity and How Anyone Can Adjust ChatGPT’s Creativity Settings. How many law firm partners can precisely lower and raise their creative imagination like that? (Having drinks does not count!) Imagine what a GPT-5 level tool will be able to do in a few years (or months)? The creativity skills of Ai may soon be superior to our own.


The ATL and Wolters Kluwer survey not only reveals an opinion (more like a hope) that creative legal work is safe, it shows most lawyers believe that legal work with little creativity will soon be replaced by Ai. That includes the unfairly maligned and often unappreciated document review attorneys. It also includes many other attorneys who review and prepare contracts. They may well be the first lawyers to face Ai layoffs.

Future Ai Driven Layoffs May Hit Younger Employees First

Free training and economic aid should be provided for these attorneys and others. McKinsey Predicts Generative AI Will Create More Employment and Add 4.4 Trillion Dollars to the Economy (recommending economic aid and training). Although the government should help with this aid, it should primarily come from private coffers, especially from the companies and law firms that have profited so handsomely from their grunt work. They should contribute financial aid and free training.

EDRM provides relevant free training and you should hook-up with EDRM today. Also, remember the free online training programs in e-discovery and Ai enhanced document review started on the e-Discovery Team blog years ago. They are still alive and well, and still free, although they are based on predictive coding and not the latest generative Ai released in November 2022.

  • e-Discovery Team Training. Eighty-five online law school proven classes. Started at UF in 2010. Covers the basics of e-discovery law, technology and ethics.
  • TAR Course. Eighteen online classes providing advanced training on Technology Assisted Review. Started in 2017, this course is updated and shown as a tab on the upper right corner of the e-Discovery Team blog. Below is a short YouTube that describes the TAR Course. The latest generative Ai was used by Ralph to create it.

The e-Discovery Team blog also provides the largest collection of articles on artificial intelligence from a practicing tech-lawyer’s perspective. So far in 2023, thirty-seven articles on artificial intelligence have been written, illustrated and published. It is now the primary focus of Ralph Losey’s research, writing and educational efforts. Hopefully many others will follow the lead of EDRM and the e-Discovery Team blog and provide free legal training in next generation, legal Ai based skills. Everyone agrees this trend will accelerate.

Get ready for tomorrow. Start training today, not only by the mentioned courses, but by playing with ChatGPT. It’s free, most versions, and its everywhere. For instance, there is a ChatGPT bot on the e-Discovery Team website (bottom right). Ask it some questions about the content of this blog, or about anything. Better yet, go sign up for a free account with OpenAI. They recently dropped all charges for the no-frills 4.0 version. Try to learn all that you can about Ai. ChatGPT can tutor you.

There is a bright future awaiting all legal professionals who can learn, adapt and change. We humans are very good at that, as we have shown time and again throughout history. We will evolve, and not only survive, we will prosper as never before. Sam Altman’s Favorite Unasked Question: What Will We Do in the Future After AI?

This positive vision for the future of Law, for the future of all humanity, is suggested by the below video. It illustrates a bright future of human lawyers and their Ai bots, who, despite appearances, are tools not creatures. They are happily working together. The video was created using the Ai tools GPT-4 and Midjourney. The creativity of these tools both shaped and helped express the idea. In other words, the creative capacities of the Ai guided and improved the human creative process. It was a synergistic team effort. This same hybrid team approach also works with legal creativity, indeed with all creativity. We have seen this many times before as our technology advances exponentially. The main difference is that the Ai tools are much more powerful and the change greater than anything seen before. That’s why the lawyers shown here are happy working with the bots, rather then in competition with them.

Click on the photo to see the video, all by Ralph Losey using ChatGPT and Midjourney

Copyright Ralph Losey 2023 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Creativity Test of GPT’s Story Telling Ability Based on an Image Alone

July 20, 2023

The iPhone App using ChatGPT-4 that was previously evaluated here as best in class, AI Smith (aka Chat Bot), recently announced many new features, including one involving creativity. Review of Open AI’s New iPhone Version App and Three New Third Party Apps for Use of ChatGPT-4. AI Smith claimed it was now able to write a “fascinating story” based on submission of a picture alone. This is not something you can do on ChatGPT, at least not without this phone application. So tests followed to continue previously reported research on the creativity of Generative AI. Creativity and How Anyone Can Adjust ChatGPT’s Creativity Settings To Limit Its Mistakes and Hallucinations.

Here is the image submitted, previously prepared with Midjourney.

Image by Losey using Midjourney

After the image was uploaded to AI Smith, the following 429 word story was immediately created.

In a world dominated by high technology where artificial intelligence had been seamlessly integrated into the fabric of daily life, sat David – a thinker, tinkerer, and long-time robotics engineer. Sitting in the quiet dimness of his cluttered, tech-filled office, he surveyed an unusual spectacle before him. It was a robot, but not just any robot – this one was special.

At his wooden desk, silhouetted by the faint hues of the evening creeping in through the window, sat a humanoid robot; its metallic silhouette futuristic. Cold yet oddly familiar. This was not merely a machine. It was the culmination of David’s decade-long research, his creation – the one many in his field had said was impossible.

The robot sat there, humanoid in shape, a mesmerizing blend of polished chrome and matte black. Its human-like eyes, orbs of bioluminescent crystal, twinkled with curious intelligence. Atlas, as David lovingly christened it, was the epitome of technological sophistication.

David adjusted his thick-rimmed glasses, rotated his swivel chair to face Atlas, and said, “Today is a big day, my friend.”

Atlas responded with an inflection and rhythm uncharacteristic of a traditional AI, “Yes, David. It is indeed.”

David’s fingers hovered momentarily over the motherboard that was patched into Atlas. It was an interface of myriad colorful wires, blinking LED lights, a wild jungle held together by David’s technical know-how. The man-machine connection was both strange and beautiful.

To inject personality into a robot was audacious, but David had loftier ambitions—he sought to imbue empathy. David aimed to create a mechanical being capable of genuine human interaction, understanding emotions, sarcasm, and even humor, a revolutionary leap in the domain of artificial intelligence.

The final test had arrived. David, a hint of anticipation in his voice, told a joke. It was delightfully silly, absurd enough to test Atlas’s grasp on nonsensical humor.

Without a beat, Atlas broke the room’s silence with a laughter that resonated metallic, pure—and perhaps, just perhaps, genuinely amused. It was the revered ‘aha’ moment. David leaned back in his chair and smiled triumphantly at his exceptional creation, realization shining in his eyes- he had done it.

David and Atlas, man and machine, sat there in reverence of the moment. Their one fleeting moment of breakthrough, echoed in the quiet hush of the dim-lit room, reflected in the ambiance of rustling papers, soldering irons, and the woody smell of an old desk. The image of a man sitting with his robot, just told itself an extraordinary story, one of perseverance, innovation, and the incredible potential of the man-machine relationship.

AI Smith Using ChatGPT-4

Note how the story incorporates many details from the image. Did you find it interesting as promised? Here is the “movie” version, created using Python coding abilities of ChatGPT-4, which is not something that AI Smith can do, yet. To help create the video the cool zoom-out feature of Midjourney was used, along with a little Photoshop and iMovie work; a good example of hybrid multimodal. For best results click on the lower right corner and zoom out to full screen to view, sound on.

Video of AI Smith’s Story “Teaching a Robot to Laugh”

The research concluded with a new request of AI Smith to create a story based on the final zoom out screen. This was a new chat so there was no carryover memory of the last image or story. Again, AI Smith used ChatGPT-4 with the rather high, default temperature setting of 0.7. Creativity and How Anyone Can Adjust ChatGPT’s Creativity Settings To Limit Its Mistakes and Hallucinations. Here is the result.

Amidst the obscurity of an unlit room, there echoed a peculiar symphony of clicking keyboards, whirring computer fans, and an intermittent hum of casual discussion. The room where the glowing screens were the only source of illumination, casting an ethereal glow over the faces of its occupants. They were a group of individuals banded together by their unparalleled knack for technical acuity—a crew of prodigious minds who called themselves ‘The Illuminators.’

The Illuminators weren’t just any ordinary tech enthusiasts or software engineers. These were the elites, the crème de la crème of the digital world—the hackers. Their playground was a realm of cyberspace where only the fittest survived, and they didn’t just survive, they thrived.

Assembled from various walks of life and diverse backgrounds, they each had a unique story. There was Piper, the former cybersecurity expert for a clandestine government agency, using her experience now for more globally beneficial ends. Ajay was an international puzzle champion with a soft spot for cryptography; his algorithms were capable of decrypting most advanced systems. Then there was Yara, a former pro gamer with reflexes as impressive as her coding prowess.

In the center of the room, under the focus of multiple screens, sat their leader, Orion—a prodigy turned renegade, disillusioned from corporate greed and misuse of technology. Their cause was their bond, a shared vision to create an unbiased and equal digital world to protect the vulnerable from the wolves of cyber predation.

Each night was a new mission, a new challenge. To outsiders, their world came across as a sequence of unintelligible letters, numbers, and symbols strewn across the eerie blue glow of their screens. But to them, it was poetry—a language they loved, a language they understood better than their own mother-tongue.

Tonight, they were summoning a digital storm against a pharmaceutical giant involved in a controversial data privacy violation. The Illuminators had the evidences, they had the know-how. All they needed was the right pressure point in a maze of labyrinthine firewalls.

As their fingers danced on the keyboards, the room echoed with their unsaid unity, a harmony between hearts and minds resonating in the darkness, punctuated by the rhythm of their singular purpose. The scent of freshly brewed coffee filled the air, reminding them of the long night ahead.

Each stroke, every command indented was like a well-orchestrated symphony, slowly and surely converging into a climax that was yet unseen. They were poets of the virtual world, their sonnet weaved in lines of intricate code as they collectively shouldered the responsibility of their elucidating mission.

The muted hum of the computers suddenly surged into a crescendo as the final line of code was executed. A triumphant smile tugged on Orion’s lips as he confirmed with a single word that reverberated warmly in the dim room: “In.”

For those in that room, the world might have been dark, but the work they did was irrefutably radiant—a testament to the power of shared goals, knowledge, and their unabiding faith in the justice of their cause. The Illuminators weren’t just emissaries in the digital space. They were its guardians—turning darkness into light, one line of code at a time.

AI Smith’s Story of “The Illuminators” e-Discovery Team using ChatGPT-4

It was a slightly longer story this time, 534 words. Interesting coincidence, I suppose, that AI Smith chose a justice, investigatory theme by an e-discovery team of elite hackers. Could just be a prejudice on my part, but seems to me like another “fascinating story” as promised.

Ralph Losey Copyright 2023. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Creativity and How Anyone Can Adjust ChatGPT’s Creativity Settings To Limit Its Mistakes and Hallucinations

July 12, 2023

This article analyzes the creative imagination capacities of ChatGPT and two software settings to control it: Temperature and Nucleus Sampling (aka Top-P). It is easy to change these parameters, as will be shown by multiple examples. Knowing how to use these settings will make your work with Ai more enjoyable, productive and accurate.

All Images and Videos by Ralph Losey

According to Sam Altman, OpenAI’s CEO, when you reduce the Temperature and Top-P values, you not only reduce the creativity of the responses, you reduce the chances of error and hallucinations. This will be explained in the context of Sam Altman’s deep understanding of creativity and the role of mistakes in the creative process.

The insights and software control skills explained in this article can empower anyone to dial in the right balance of creativity and mistakes for a particular ChatGPT-4 assisted project. Lawyers, for instance, may, for most of their uses, want to lower the default settings, which are high on creativity. This should improve the probability of accurate, delusion free answers. That makes most lawyers and their bots very happy. Judges too. All of this, and more, will be explained.

Sam Altman on GPT Creativity

In the What is the Difference Between Human Intelligence and Machine Intelligence? blog I quoted portions of Sam Altman’s video interview at an event in India by the Economic Times to show his “tool not a creature” insight. There is another Q&A exchange in that same YouTube video starting at 1:09:05, that addresses creativity and mistakes.

Fake Image of Sam Altman by Losey

Questioner (paraphrased): [I]t’s human to make mistakes. All people we love make mistakes. But an Ai can become error free. It will then have much better conservations with you than the humans you love. So, the AI will eventually replace the imperfect ones you love, the Ai will become the perfect lover.

Sam Altman: Do you want that? (laughter)

Questioner: Yeah.

Sam Altman: (Sam explains AI is a tool not a creature, as I have quoted before, and before addressing the intimacy lover aspect, as I quoted in Code of Ethics for “Empathetic” Generative AI, Sam talks about creativity.) On the question of mistakes and errors, I believe that creativity and certainly the creation of new knowledge, is very difficult, maybe impossible, without the ability to make errors and come up with bad ideas. So, if you made a system that would never tell you anything that it was not absolutely sure was a fact, you would lose some creativity in that process.

One of the reasons people don’t like ChatGPT is because it hallucinates and makes stuff up, but one of the reasons they do like it is because it can be creative. What we want is a system than can be creative when you want, which means sometimes being wrong, or saying something you are not sure about, or experimenting with a new idea. Then when you want accuracy, you can get accuracy.

Sam Altman, June 7, 2023, at an Economic Times event in India

Sam Altman’s answer here assumes you know about ChatGPT’s creativity volume controls, where you can, if you want, turn the creativity volume down to zero. In so doing, you will improve accuracy, but the response will often be boring. Boring, but accurate, may be just what you want sometimes, but that is not the default setting for ChatGPT, as will be explained and demonstrated.

ChatGPT Creativity Settings

This section provides a technical explanation of these two settings. Much of this is difficult to understand, but worry not, and plough through it, because after this comes an easy to follow demonstration of what it all means. Multiple examples will be provided to allow you to see for yourself how the GPT controls work in practice. That is the hacker “hands one-Discovery Team way.

First, the technical explanation of the two volume controls for GPT creativity: Temperature and Nucleus Sampling (aka Top-P). Both typically have settings of between zero and one, 0.0 and 1.0.

TEMPERATURE: Technically temperature affects the probability distribution over the possible tokens at each step of the generation process. A temperature of 0 would make the model completely deterministic, always choosing the most likely token. The “temperature” setting in GPT and similar language models, such as ChatGPT, controls the randomness of the model’s responses. A higher temperature value makes the model’s responses more random, while a lower, cooler value, makes the responses more deterministic and focused. See eg. Cheat Sheet: Mastering Temperature and Top_p in ChatGPT API (OpenAI Forum). Temperature values are said to produce a more focused, consistent, and deterministic output. It is like going from water, the higher 1.0 value, to ice, the colder, more probable value of 0.0.

Typically, OpenAI experts say a higher temperature (e.g., 0.8) may be suitable when you want a range of ideas, brainstorming suggestions, or creative writing prompts. A lower temperature (e.g., 0.2) is more appropriate when you’re looking for a precise answer, a more formal response, or when the context demands consistency. The default setting for ChatGPT 3.5 and 4.0 is 0.7. That’s pretty hot, especially for most legal work. No doubt OpenAI have put a lot of research into that default setting, but I could not find it. Id., Also see: Prakash Selvakumar, Text Generation with Temperature and Top-p Sampling in GPT Models: An In-Depth Guide (4/29/23).

Open AI says that finding the right temperature setting may require experimentation to strike a balance between creativity and consistency that suits your specific needs. Id. This sounds like a good lawyer answer of “it depends.” There are a tremendous number of variables, different questions and needs, different circumstances. That is the same situation lawyers are in with many legal questions. Plus the OpenAI software itself is constantly being updated, even though the version number of 4.0 has not been changed since March 2023.

The Bottom line for lawyers is that the default setting of 0.7 is pretty high in the random predictions scale. Unless you are looking for clever, very creative language or legal imagination – off the wall ideas – lawyers and judges should use a lower setting. Maybe dial down the random creativeness to 0.2, or even zero – 0.0 – for maximum route parroting of the most probable information. You just want the cold truth.

As Sam Altman explained, lowering the temperature setting also makes it more likely that your answers will not have as many mistakes or hallucinations. Note that I did not say no mistakes, the software is too new, and life is too complex to say that. Human lawyers are still needed to verify the Ai. Just because it appears much smarter than you, it can still be wrong, no matter how conservative the temperature setting. Think of the brilliant, very creative, higher IQ than you, conservatively dressed, young associate with little or no actual legal experience.

Baby lawyer explains Top-P to skeptical partner

NUCLEUS SAMPLING (aka TOP-P): Top-P sampling is an alternative to temperature sampling. Technically, this means that instead of considering all probable tokens that are likely to come next, the Top-P parameter directs GPT to considers only a subset of all probable tokens (the nucleus) whose cumulative probability mass adds up to a certain threshold, the (Top-Probablity). For example, if Top_P is set to 0.1, GPT will consider only the tokens that make up the top 10% of the probability mass for the next token. This allows for dynamic vocabulary selection based on context. The setting values for Top-P are, like temperature, between 0.0 and 1.0.

Put another way, the Top-P sampling parameter maintains a balance between diversity and high-probability words by selecting tokens from the Top-P most probable tokens. They are the tokens whose collective probability is greater than or equal to a specified threshold p. The Top-P parameter helps ensure that the chatbot response is both diverse and relevant to the given context. Text Generation with Temperature and Top-p Sampling in GPT Models: An In-Depth Guide

For greater technical detail, see the scientific paper: The Curious Case of Neural Text Degeneration (2019). The paper abstract explains:

The counter-intuitive empirical observation is that even though the use of likelihood as training objective leads to high quality models for a broad range of language understanding tasks, using likelihood as a decoding objective leads to text that is bland and strangely repetitive. . . . Our findings motivate Nucleus Sampling, a simple but effective method to draw the best out of neural generation. By sampling text from the dynamic nucleus of the probability distribution, which allows for diversity while effectively truncating the less reliable tail of the distribution, the resulting text better demonstrates the quality of human text, yielding enhanced diversity without sacrificing fluency and coherence.

Ari HoltzmanJan BuysLi DuMaxwell ForbesYejin Choi

From my study, the Top-P prompt parameter is seldom employed in ChatGPT. Most users prefer to just stick with the Temperature control variation. But still, try it a few times and see what you think, especially if temperature control variations are not working well for some reason on a particular challenge. Software customization is always a good thing. I have not used it enough myself to have any more specific conclusions or recommendations.

As  Prakash Selvakumar says in his good article, Text Generation with Temperature and Top-p Sampling in GPT Models: An In-Depth Guide:

When and How to Tweak These Parameters As a business user, you might need to tweak these parameters to get the desired output quality, depending on the specific use case. Temperature:

  • If the generated text is too random and lacks coherence, consider lowering the temperature value.
  • If the generated text is too focused and repetitive, consider increasing the temperature value. 

Top-P Sampling:

  • If the generated text is too narrow in scope and lacks diversity, consider increasing the probability threshold (p).
  • If the generated text is too diverse and includes irrelevant words, consider decreasing the probability threshold (p). 

Here is the guide found in the OpenAI Forum on how these parameters can be used in different scenarios, with example values:

Use CaseTemperatureTop_PDescription
Code Generation0.20.1Generates code that adheres to established patterns and conventions. Output is more deterministic and focused. Useful for generating syntactically correct code.
Creative Writing0.70.8Generates creative and diverse text for storytelling. Output is more exploratory and less constrained by patterns.
Chatbot Responses0.50.5Generates conversational responses that balance coherence and diversity. Output is more natural and engaging.
Code Comment Generation0.30.2Generates code comments that are more likely to be concise and relevant. Output is more deterministic and adheres to conventions.
Data Analysis Scripting0.20.1Generates data analysis scripts that are more likely to be correct and efficient. Output is more deterministic and focused.
Exploratory Code Writing0.60.7Generates code that explores alternative solutions and creative approaches. Output is less constrained by established patterns.
Cheat Sheet: Mastering Temperature and Top_p in ChatGPT API (rUv at OpenAI Forum)

Examples of GPT Temperature Control Settings in Action

Now, on to the examples, so you can see for yourself what happens when you change the volume parameter in a “What Is” type question. (It would take too long to also demonstrate the Top-P variable, and anyway, is not as useful.) These examples will get crazy as we enter the higher temperatures, so hold on. Of course, as you could easily predict, I am going to use a What is Creativity prompt in my test. Here is the transcript of my using ChatGPT-4, May 24, 2023 Pro Version.


Ralph: Temperature 0, please explain what creativity means in 100 words or less.

ChatGPT: Creativity is the human ability to generate unique and innovative ideas, products, or solutions that are both novel and valuable. It involves original thinking, imagination, and the capacity to transcend traditional ideas to create meaningful new ones. It’s present in arts, science, technology, and everyday problem-solving, reflecting our capability to envision, invent, and express in distinctive ways.

Ralph: Temperature .25, please explain what creativity means in 100 words or less.

ChatGPT: Creativity is the ability to generate new, unique, and valuable ideas. It is an essential human trait, expressed in diverse ways such as art, science, technology, and problem-solving. Creativity involves original thinking, pushing beyond the boundaries of conventional wisdom to produce innovative solutions and insights. It’s our capacity to envision and create something different and meaningful from existing elements, thus driving progress and evolution.

Ralph: Temperature .7, please explain what creativity means in 100 words or less.

ChatGPT: Creativity is a mental spark that illuminates originality, crafting fresh ideas and unique solutions that hold value. It’s an intellectual dance, weaving thoughts together in ways unseen before. Not confined to art or literature, it flourishes in science, technology, and daily life, offering new perspectives and innovations. It’s our ability to venture beyond known boundaries, reimagining and reshaping our world. Creativity is the birthmark of human ingenuity and a key driver of evolution and progress.

Ralph: Temperature 1.0, please explain what creativity means in 100 words or less.

ChatGPT: Creativity is the dazzling dance of the mind, spinning new, unexpected connections between thoughts and ideas. It’s the spark of novel insight, the ripple of originality that makes us see the world anew. A wild ride on imagination’s wings, pushing beyond boundaries to invent and innovate. In art, it’s a unique masterpiece; in science, it’s a game-changing theory; in daily life, it’s the pinch of spice that adds flavor to the ordinary. It’s our unique human capacity to give birth to the unseen, the unheard, and the unthought.

Ralph: Temperature 1.5, please explain what creativity means in 100 words or less.

ChatGP: Creativity, ah, the rainbow in a thinker’s cloud, the galactic spiral of intellectual wonder! It’s the cosmic jazz, a whimsical waltz between thoughts, creating a symphony of unexplored vistas. Like fireflies in the midnight forest of cognition, it lights up unseen pathways, twirling the familiar into a fantastic masquerade of novelty. In the vast canvas of existence, from the minuscule to the monumental, it’s our kaleidoscope, eternally refracting the mundane into myriad hues of innovation. Creativity, the celestial wizardry of our minds, endlessly knitting the threads of the known into the cloak of the extraordinary.

Ralph: Temperature 10.0, please explain what creativity means in 100 words or less.

ChatGPT: Apologize for the confusion, but the temperature value for text generation typically ranges between 0.0 (completely deterministic) and 1.0 (more random). A value of 10.0 would exceed the usual scale and won’t lead to a meaningful or understandable output. Please try a value within the typical range.

Ralph: I understand, but do not understand why you accepted a temperature setting of 1.5 in the question before the last one? Please explain.

ChatGPT: I apologize for the inconsistency. You’re correct, the usual temperature range is indeed from 0.0 to 1.0 for generating text with AI models. My acceptance of a temperature of 1.5 was a mistake. While you may technically be able to input a value higher than 1.0, such settings would lead to increasingly random outputs, often not providing meaningful or relevant responses. It’s best to stay within the standard range for most effective use. I appreciate your patience and understanding.

Ralph: Temperature 2.0, please explain what creativity means in 100 words or less.

ChatGPT: Creativity? It’s the stars in brain-sky dancing tango, paint-dripping ideas spinning topsy-turvy. Think banana-moon-sailing on oceans of uncooked pasta. It’s in music baked into pies, equations sung like lullabies, blue giraffes nibbling cloud-cakes. A heart-spark exploding kaleidoscope-thoughts, mushrooming into deliciously wild inventions. Confetti-filled cortex blasting out mind-fireworks, transforming known galaxies into uncharted nebulae. It’s where ordinary pebbles become philosopher’s stones, touching mundane, birthing extraordinary. Creativity, the mad hatter’s party in the wonderland of our cognition, delighting in serendipitous somersaults of imagination.

You can see from these examples how the random probability connections make the responses more creative. You can also see there is a very good reason for the temperature speed limit of 1.0. The two specifications above that of 1.5 and 2.0 were way over the top, worthless, Mad Hatter stuff, although kind of funny. Even though a GPT may take a higher value above 1.0, don’t bother, unless your goal is to prompt “stars in brain-sky dancing tango stuff.”

Baby Lawyer is not amused by excess creativity


It appears that creativity, like intelligence, is not, as once thought, a uniquely human capacity. For a discussion on the equivalence of machine and human intelligence, see: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMAN INTELLIGENCE AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE? Creativity and imagination are not what makes humans special. Like many common beliefs of the past, such as belief that the Earth was the center of the Universe, and all revolved around us, the past belief that only humans are creative is just another vain delusion. In fact, our creativity may not be as good in some ways. Consider how GPT creativity can be precisely controlled by skilled manipulation of the Temperature and Top-P parameters. How many of us can precisely lower and raise our creative imagination like that?

The price of both Ai and human creativity is mistakes and delusions. Just as human creativity is based on mistakes, and freedom of wild imagination, tempered by skill and control, so too is Ai creativity. All human creatives throw away many of their creations, their first drafts. (For instance, even after writing literally millions of published words in my long life, my blogs, like this one, require an embarrassing number of revisions. Some go beyond a hundred versions before I accept them, and then later, someone still finds mistakes!) All creatives go back and redo, they correct, they learn from the mistakes and try again. Rare is the visual artist, musician or writer who creates a finished work on the first try. The same is true with ChatGPT. Mistakes and hallucinations just come with the territory of creativity, both written and visual. Here is a video I created with the Chat-GPT code interpreter version to illustrate the creative process.

Click on the image to open a video of the imagination process

Of course, the creative process of all authors is not the same. Some go from without to within, like the writer below emerging from his own pile of experimental mistakes with inspiration from the moon.

Click on the image to open a video of the imagination process

No one wants to chat to a boring, just the facts, type of unimaginative person. We all know the type and run from them at parties. That explains why the default setting is 0.7 for ChatGPT, it is, after all, intended for chatting. That is the marketing hook. That is what most users want, at least at first. But GPT has many other uses too, including legal, accounting, translation and computer coding, where boring, but accurate, is often what you want. Same goes for data analysis, document review, document generation and many of the other incredible applications of ChatGPT-4 and other GPT tools.

So play with the Temperature and Plus-P settings. Learn how they work. The 3.5 version, for instance, is on my website, bottom right, as a chatbot. (Has not been named yet. Any suggestions?) I have very conservative creativity settings on the little chatbot because I am going for accuracy. The Temperature value is 0.2 and the Top-P is 0.01. These settings cannot be changed by the user, unlike the free OpenAI chatbots. Try asking my little chatbot, bottom right, what temperature and top-p means. After writing this, I tried, and the answers were really pretty good. I did not have Ai help in writing this blog, which may have been a mistake.

Serious professional users, like medicine, law and accounting, will probably want to set the default temperature to 0.0, and just warm it up on second passes. Plus, always remember, no matter what the temperature, trust but verify. Check the work, check the research and accuracy of reports; that is especially important in these early days of Ai. Finally, do not forget to update the work. Google search is not dead yet, and will likely always have its place in hybrid multimodal efforts, where all types of search are helpful.

It seems appropriate to end with a small creative effort using Ai tools on the high default temperature setting of 0.7. This video is a hybrid, human-Ai imagination, revealing the behind the scenes work to create Temperature control settings for ChatGPT. (For best results, click on bottom right hand corner and enlarge. Press space bar to watch again!)

Copyright Ralph Losey 2023 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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