Is Architectural Criticism Pointless? Not According to AI

ChatGPT has no sensory organs, but it asserts that architecture is “a material and tactile experience.”

“Write a 25-word scathing critique of a new luxury condominium development,” I prompt ChatGPT, a text-generating AI tool. Within five seconds comes the response:

An overpriced, ostentatious eyesore that offers nothing more than empty prestige.

Now let’s take a more promotional tack. “Write a 25-word glowing review of a new luxury condo,” I type:

Luxurious and modern, this new condominium development is a modern masterpiece of innovative architecture, offering unparalleled style and comfort.

ChatGPT is a dialogue-based chatbot trained on text retrieved from the internet. It does for writing what Midjourney and Dall-E do for image production, generating coherent prose in response to prompts written in plain language. Now in beta, the tool was developed by OpenAI, a nonprofit organization co-founded in 2015 by Elon Musk, who has since left the organization’s board, according to The Guardian. It is currently free for anyone to use via an ordinary web browser.

“Is architecture criticism pointless?” I ask the preselected GPT-3 model, called text-davinci-3, not bothering…

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