It’s impossible for a party correspondent at Tatler, where evenings turn to mornings at Annabel’s and 5 Hertford Street and society scoops equal salary, to get much sleep. Until now.
‘Have you heard of ChatGPT?’ asks my financier friend (her hours are late, too – but less sleuthing, more trading). ‘I haven’t written an email for weeks. I let it do all my work – it’s incredible.’ Of course I have. It’s impossible to miss the dystopian coverage of an AI platform that can answer, as a human would, any question you give it – for free. I type into its search bar, ‘What is ChatGPT?’ and it types back, ‘Think of it as a new friend who can have a conversation with you and help you learn new things.’ Thank you, chatbot. One MailOnline headline reads: ‘Will ChatGPT take my job?’ I fear for us all.
The next morning, I return to Tatler HQ, where I was promised a glittering social life, a renaissance as an It girl – endless nights at the city’s most exclusive parties. But this is tempting. I’ve been to three events this week; I’ve got mascara and spare heels in my desk drawer. ‘More society scoops!’ demands my editor. I’m off to a Bafta soirée in two hours. I think of my friends with their feet up, ChatGPT writing on their laptops…
So I begin to type: ‘Explain Tatler as if I were a five-year-old’. ‘Tatler is a magazine for grown-ups. It has pictures of pretty clothes and fancy houses, and stories about famous people who have a lot of money.’ OK, so it understands. I try something harder: ‘Write about Tatler as if you were Evelyn Waugh.’ ‘Tatler is a magazine that has long been a staple of English society. It’s a publication that has chronicled the lives and antics of the upper echelons of British society for over three centuries, and it is a magazine, that I, as Evelyn Waugh, find to be a fascinating read.’ Hmm, it needs some editing (don’t we all).
But can it pass with Tatler wit and flair? Surely that’s what I am here for: colourful copy and insider jokes. I ask it for one; it replies: ‘Why did the socialite bring a ladder to the party? So they could reach the top of the guest list.’ It’s a start, but I think I can do better. Now for something more specific: ‘Write a joke told by Paris Hilton to the Duchess of Norfolk.’ ‘Hey Duchess, do you know what socialites say to each other at parties? “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name… I was too busy catching up on Instagram.”’ Well, it looks like I don’t need to go out tonight. It’s a D for effort, but wouldn’t you give my scoops an A*?
This feature first appeared in the April issue.