ChatGPT for Social Interaction Evaluation

The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
Sydney J. Harris

Interestingly, ChatGPT (3.5, ) does some pretty good evaluation of some social situations. I asked it to evaluate something that bugged me:

My Input
Would it be okay to tell an employee who has done the course for seven years, improved it from a small exercise unit to a fully fledged lecture, wrote a 500 pages script, that he is no longer doing the course. Without first getting his opinion, because another professor wants to do the course to solve a teaching load problem (in the sense that the professor needed to do an additional course and found that course the easiest and most appealing)?

In the scenario described, where an employee has dedicated significant time and effort to developing a course over seven years, it would generally not be considered appropriate to inform them that they are no longer teaching the course without first consulting them and discussing the decision. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Respect for Employee’s Contributions: The employee has invested considerable effort in developing and teaching the course over many years. They deserve to be treated with respect and consideration for their contributions.
  2. Professional Courtesy: It is professional courtesy to involve employees in decisions that directly affect their roles and responsibilities, especially if those decisions may have a significant impact on their work and career.
  3. Transparency and Communication: Open and transparent communication is essential in organizational decision-making processes. Employees should be informed about changes that affect them and given the opportunity to provide input and feedback.
  4. Recognition of Expertise: The employee’s expertise and experience in teaching the course should be valued and taken into account when making decisions about course assignments.
  5. Fairness and Equity: Assigning courses based solely on teaching load considerations, without considering the contributions and qualifications of individual faculty members, may not be perceived as fair or equitable.
  6. Morale and Engagement: Involving employees in decision-making processes and recognizing their contributions can enhance morale, engagement, and job satisfaction within the organization.

In summary, while addressing teaching load issues within the professor’s round table is important, it should be done in a manner that respects the contributions and professional dignity of all faculty members, including those who have invested significant time and effort in developing courses. Consulting with the affected employee, discussing the reasons for the decision, and exploring potential solutions collaboratively would be more appropriate and respectful approaches in this situation.

Hmm, so even a machine agrees that this behavior was … not good. Then again, ChatGPT is a softy.

Reminds me a bit of books like «What Men with Asperger Syndrome Want to Know about Women Dating and Relationships» (Aston, 2012). Might sound strange, given that some things should be obvious, but it is not that easy if you have to consciously learn social rules. A bit like learning to greet fellow students in school each and every day. Made no sense to me. I saw them yesterday or last Friday, I will see them again tomorrow or on Monday, I know who they are, they know who I am, why do I need to greet them?

Yeah. That attitude might be hard to understand, but social interaction is not always logical. I guess there was a reason why I was not popular at school.

ChatGPT actually gives a pretty good cognitive explanation for it:

My Input
As a student in school, why do I need to greet fellow students each and every day. Mades no sense to me. I saw them yesterday or last Friday, I will see them again tomorrow or on Monday, I know who they are, they know who I am, why do I need to greet them?

Greeting fellow students each day may seem like a small and repetitive gesture, but it serves several important purposes within a school community:

  1. Fostering a Positive Environment: Greetings contribute to creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere within the school. When students greet each other, it helps to establish a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect among classmates. This positive environment can enhance students’ overall well-being and make the school experience more enjoyable for everyone.
  2. Building Relationships: Daily greetings provide opportunities for students to build and maintain relationships with their peers. Even brief interactions like saying hello or asking how someone’s day is going can help students connect on a personal level. Over time, these small gestures can lead to deeper friendships and a stronger sense of belonging within the school community.
  3. Promoting Social Skills: Engaging in daily greetings helps students develop important social skills such as communication, empathy, and respect for others. These skills are essential for success both inside and outside of the classroom, as they enable students to navigate social interactions effectively and build positive relationships with people from diverse backgrounds.
  4. Creating a Sense of Routine and Structure: Daily greetings can also contribute to the overall structure and routine of the school day. By starting each day with a simple yet meaningful interaction like saying hello to classmates, students establish a predictable pattern that helps them transition into the learning environment more smoothly.
  5. Demonstrating Courtesy and Respect: Greeting others is a common social convention that demonstrates courtesy and respect for those around us. By acknowledging their classmates with a friendly greeting, students show that they value and acknowledge the presence of others in their shared learning environment.

Overall, while it may seem insignificant on the surface, greeting fellow students each day plays an important role in promoting a positive school culture, fostering relationships, and developing essential social skills among students.

Of course, ChatGPT can be wrong and overlook things. For example (slightly modified):

My Input
Please evaluate the following behavior by an administration: Employees complain about a lack of appreciation. The administration now wants to do a survey asking the employees how they show appreciation to their colleagues.

The administration’s response to employees’ complaints about a lack of appreciation by initiating a survey to understand how employees show appreciation to their colleagues can be seen as a positive step towards addressing the issue. Here’s an evaluation of this behavior:

  1. Proactive Approach: The administration’s decision to conduct a survey indicates a proactive approach to addressing employee concerns. By seeking direct feedback from employees, they demonstrate a willingness to understand the problem and find potential solutions.
  2. Employee Engagement: Involving employees in the process through a survey promotes employee engagement and empowerment. It gives employees a voice in shaping the organization’s culture and practices related to appreciation, fostering a sense of ownership and involvement.
  3. Identifying Existing Practices: The survey can help identify existing practices of appreciation within the organization. Understanding how employees currently express appreciation to their colleagues can provide valuable insights into what methods are working well and what areas need improvement.
  4. Tailored Solutions: Armed with data from the survey, the administration can tailor their approach to appreciation initiatives based on the specific preferences and needs of their employees. This targeted approach is more likely to yield meaningful results compared to generic or one-size-fits-all solutions.
  5. Cultural Shift: Implementing initiatives based on the survey results can contribute to a positive cultural shift within the organization. By prioritizing appreciation and recognition, the administration can foster a more supportive and collaborative work environment, which can have numerous benefits including increased morale, productivity, and employee retention.

Overall, while initiating a survey to understand how employees show appreciation may not directly address the issue of employees feeling unappreciated, it lays the groundwork for implementing more effective appreciation initiatives in the future. It demonstrates a commitment to listening to employees and taking their concerns seriously, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy and thriving organizational culture.

My Input
Shouldn’t the administration ask the employees from whom they do get little appreciation? Instead of asking them how they, the employees, show appreciation?

Yes, you’re absolutely correct. While understanding how employees show appreciation to their colleagues is valuable, it might not directly address the root issue of some employees feeling unappreciated. In this case, it would indeed be beneficial for the administration to also directly ask employees who feel underappreciated about their experiences and perspectives.
By directly soliciting feedback from those who feel they receive little appreciation, the administration can gain deeper insights into the specific factors contributing to their dissatisfaction. This approach allows the administration to better understand the dynamics at play and identify areas where improvements are needed.
Moreover, reaching out to employees who feel underappreciated demonstrates a genuine commitment to addressing their concerns and prioritizing their well-being. It sends a message that their voices are heard and valued, which can help build trust and improve overall morale within the organization.
In summary, while understanding how appreciation is currently expressed among employees is important, it’s equally essential for the administration to directly engage with those who feel unappreciated to effectively address the underlying issues and implement meaningful solutions.

Of course, I don’t know whether the administration already has that data and it’s appreciation from colleagues that is lacking, and not, let’s say from leadership or administration itself. (But I have a hunch. 😉 ).

So yeah, overall, an interesting perspective on social interaction. Although ChatGPT’s «softy» bias has to be considered. It can also only react to what you tell it. If the perspective and thus the information provided is biased — and I am the first to admit that mine is, like everyone else’s — it will follow the age-old computing rule: «Garbage In, Garbage Out». AI doesn’t change that.

Still, happy AI-evaluated social interaction.