Feb 14, 2023 - News

We tested ChatGPT's Austin knowledge. Here's how it did.

Animated gif of a computer screen that reads "A.I" with the "I" as a blinking cursor

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot that launched late last year, is poised to transform how we learn, work and live.

  • But it's also breaking the Internet because, to be honest, it's pretty fun!

Zoom out: ChatGPT is a free site that lets users pose questions and give directions to a bot. It's trained to respond with term papers, sonnets, recipes — almost anything.

Inspired by our colleagues at Axios San Antonio, we decided to test the chatbot's Austin savvy with a few questions about life here.

  • We found the Austin answers to be sharp and impressively fast, but in a bloodless, non-committal, probably-wouldn't-pass-a Turing-test kind of way.

🌮 First, we had to start with a perennial question: Where are Austin's best breakfast tacos?

  • The AI bot pointed us to Veracruz All Natural ("famous for their migas tacos"); Joe's Bakery & Coffee Shop ("classic"); Tacodeli ("fresh ingredients"); Tamale House East ("has a cult following").

💻 Define tech bro.

  • "A young, affluent, and often entitled male who is involved in the technology industry and displays stereotypical bro-like characteristics such as a lack of empathy, a sense of superiority, and a party-oriented lifestyle." Ouch.
  • Yes, but: "Not all individuals who work in technology fit this stereotype and the term 'tech bro' should not be used to make sweeping generalizations about all tech workers."

🍺 What's the best dive bar in Austin?

  • ChatGPT steered us toward The Jackalope ("cheap drinks and laid-back atmosphere"); The Grackle ("hipster vibe"); The Iron Bear ("a popular spot for the LGBTQ community, known for its strong drinks and lively atmosphere"); Shangri-La ("laid-back … good drinks, and live music"). Not bad.

🥶 Can Austin handle ice?

  • Austin can handle a freeze, but it may cause some disruptions and challenges for the city and its residents.

📓 What's the plural possessive of y'all?

  • The use of "y'all's" is a regionalism, and may not be understood or used in all areas. Thanks for that.

🥑 Is it okay to put peas in guacamole?

  • "Adding peas to guacamole is not a traditional preparation method and may not be appreciated by everyone. If you are serving guacamole to guests, it is best to consider their preferences and serve a traditional version, or offer both a traditional guacamole and a pea-based variation for those who enjoy it." Noted, Emily Post.

🤠 You're moving to Texas and have to decide between Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. Which place do you pick?

  • "As an AI language model, I do not have personal preferences or experiences."

✍️ Write a story about Texas politics in the style of Austin writer Lawrence Wright.

  • ChatGPT's first sentence: "Texas politics is a story of contradictions."

🏆 Is Axios Austin any good?

  • "If you're interested in technology, politics, and business news, and appreciate well-researched and well-written articles, you might find Axios Austin to be a good source of information." Yessir!

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