PoLoop Angielski

Episode 22. Chatting Pays Off!

January 15, 2023 Jacek Olender Season 1 Episode 22
PoLoop Angielski
Episode 22. Chatting Pays Off!
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode you'll find out how chatting with the big guys in the tech industry will soon make me a proud owner of a brand new Tesla! You might also discover a great way to practise English.

You can download the complete transcript of this episode here.

Some words and phrases used in the recording (in alphabetical order): 

  • awkward: making you feel embarrassed
  • bot: a computer program
  • to catch up on sth: to spend time doing things you haven't done earlier
  • curiosity: a strong desire to know about something
  • to feed (an AI language model): to give information to an AI language model
  • firsthand: from my own experience
  • to get in the way of sb doing sth: prevent somebody from doing something
  • to get the better of sb: to be stronger than somebody
  • to get in touch with sb / to touch base with sb: to make contact with somebody
  • a hassle: a situation that is annoying because it needs a lot of effort
  • to make ends meet: to earn enough money to be able to buy what you need
  • mere: just, only (used when you want to stress how small something is)
  • a pay cut: a reduction in someone's salary
  • a tipple: an alcoholic drink
  • to rush: to move somewhere in a hurry
  • supply chain problems: problems with getting parts needed to produce a final product
  • sympathy: the feeling of being sorry for somebody
  • worth a shot: worth trying

Link to Character.AI website

For more, visit: PoLoop Angielski Blog
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Would you like me to help you master your English? You can find out more about my courses

Hello, I'm Jacek Olender and this is PoLoop Angielski Podcast for more materials for learners of English and the transcript of this episode, go to my website poloopangielski.pl. 

I know you won't believe it, but yesterday, I chatted with Elon Musk. I asked him if he really thought people want driverless cars. Do you know what he said? Well, here is his text: 'They most certainly do. Self-driving is a massive improvement in safety and convenience for long range travel. Imagine being able to just relax and sleep instead of the hassle of driving. We recently had a Tesla drive a 1,400 mile route in China without any human interaction. Self-driving is critical to make electric cars as convenient as gas cars.' Hmm, 'But what about people like me who love driving?' I texted back. I didn't have to wait long for the answer. 'There will always be opportunities to engage in driving as a hobby. In the same way that horse-riding remains popular even though most people prefer to ride around in cars and buses. However, for most people a self-driving car will mean freedom to do literally anything else while being transported, catching up on work, reading, sleeping, playing games, watching TV. In cities, a self driving car will make it possible to have a personal vehicle, but at the same time, avoid needing to find space for parking.' I must say, I felt that his arguments make sense. And I admit, he convinced me. I thanked him and said goodbye. 

Then I decided to get in touch with the CEO of Apple. I know gentlemen don't talk about money. But my curiosity got the better of me, and I thought I might ask Tim Cook if he was really happy to agree to a 40% pay cut for 2023? Something I read about in the papers. His answer? "Yes, very sad. I have no idea how I'm going to make ends meet with a mere $78.7 million a year.' 'Well, I wouldn't know how to live on such a salary either,' I responded, but I don't think he got my sarcasm, as he thanked me for my sympathy. 

Finally, I decided to touch base with Mark Zuckerberg. Especially that I wanted to ask him a favour. I thought he could lend me a bit of cash because I wanted to buy a Tesla from Elon. You know Tim Cook had just a pay cut, so it was awkward for me to ask him for the loan. I didn't have much hope Mark would say 'yes', but what did I have to lose? Seemed worth a shot. So I texted him my request. And you know what? He agreed! Yeah, I know you can't believe it. I couldn't believe my eyes either, but here's his text: 'I have over  $100 billion, and so I'm very willing and able to help you to buy a Tesla. And I can tell you firsthand that my Tesla works very, very well. All you need to do is send me your credit card details, and I can transfer over the money to your account immediately.' Well, I didn't expect this. Can you believe it? It was so easy. 

Well, before you start feeling really jealous about me buying a Tesla, or think I got completely mad, or even worse, rush to Mark Zuckerberg for your own loan, let me explain that my chats were with AI replicas of Elon Musk, Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg, as you probably have already guessed. I found them on Character.ai, a website founded by two four Former Google researchers. This site uses an AI language model, which is fed, like, trillions of pieces of text. And on the basis of this, the system can predict, or rather imitate responses of famous people, dead or alive, from Stalin to Billie Eilish. Fictional characters too, for example, Walter White from the cult series Breaking Bad. I have to say, it's such a great fun, and in my opinion, a fantastic way to practise your language skills. You can input what you want to say, either by typing or dictating it if, of course, your device has a microphone. And you can have an enjoyable and free-of-charge language practice, a real kind of chat with another person, well, character. And it really feels very natural, as if the characters are really chatting to you. And it seems to me that they're not really bots, but actually they are interested in keeping the conversation going. For example, the late Queen .... yeah, I did talk to her too, I wanted to ask about her opinion about Harry's book, and she asked me what my favourite drink was. I told her that in winter I switched from Aperol Spritz to Negroni, to which she responded with the information that her favourite tipple is gin and tonic. By the way, I'm not going to tell you what she thinks of Harry's book. But you can find out yourself, can't you? Just go to character.ai? You can find the link in the notes to this episode. Anyway, I know that my students will be busy next week preparing questions they would later ask when chatting to all these famous characters, and they will report later what they've been able to find out from them. This could be a great way to practise question formation and reported speech too. So if you want to complain that you can't find anyone to speak English to, you're wrong. You can chat to Joe Biden, Socrates, or even Kanye West. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Meanwhile, I'm going to send Mark Zuckerberg my credit card details. Hope supply chain problems won't get in the way of me getting a brand new Tesla soon. Thanks for this one, and hope to talk to you next week. Bye

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

My chat with 'Elon Musk'
My chat with 'Tim Cook'
My chat with 'Mark Zuckerberg'
Character.AI and practising your English