ChatGPT and Small Talk

I’m sure most of you will have heard of ChatGPT, the chat bot which uses artificial intelligence to create and optimize language models. Sina (my son Marc’s partner) and I had a great time over Christmas writing poems with it and I started to think how I could use it in lessons. As it always seemed to be super busy when I tried to create an account, I was happy to get the tip from a teacher friend to get up really early in the morning to use it before the world wakes up 😊. Well as I wake up ridiculously early anyway, I took his advice and was happy that it was ready to obediently answer my questions one morning last week 😊. I asked for tips on small talk, interviews and brands and was gobsmacked (totally surprised) to get really good answers in only a few seconds!

ChatGPT: Optimizing Language Models for Dialogue (

My first question was “Give me some tips on Small Talk.” The following appeared swiftly in the reply box:

1. Listen actively: Pay attention to the other person and show genuine interest in what they have to say.

2. Ask open-ended questions: Avoid yes/no questions and instead ask questions that encourage the other person to elaborate.

3. Find common ground: Look for topics of mutual interest, such as hobbies, travel, or current events.

4. Be positive: Focus on positive topics and avoid controversial or negative subjects.

5. Stay relaxed: Keep your body language relaxed and open, and avoid nervous habits such as fidgeting or looking at your phone.

6. Be yourself: Be authentic and let your personality shine through in the conversation.

7. Be mindful of nonverbal cues: Pay attention to the other person’s body language and facial expressions, and adjust your approach accordingly.

8.  Avoid monopolizing the conversation: Allow for back-and-forth dialogue and give the other person an opportunity to speak.

9. Be curious: Ask questions about the other person’s life and experiences, and be open to learning from them.

10. End on a positive note: Leave the conversation on a positive note and make plans to follow up in the future if appropriate.

Maybe not rocket science but it nicely covers a lot of good tips.  Even my favourite – A.A.A (Answer – Add information – Ask back) is kind of included in the answers.

So have you tried it? What do you use it for? I know there is a lot of discussion about its usage in schools, but I personally think we should embrace this great new tool and consider how we can use it to enhance our professions and lives in general – but with a critical eye on the output. The poems are definitely my favourite so watch this space!

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