ChatGPT bot channels history to pen State of Union speech

WASHINGTON– If you’ve heard it once in a President’s State of the Union address, you’ve heard it 100 times: There’s nothing the American people can’t do when they pull together.

But you haven’t heard this thought in a State of the Union address by William Shakespeare: “Lo,” said the bard. “With kindness, love and clear understanding we will conquer all and have nothing to fear.”

Neither does the noggin-pounding Three Stooges of last century fame: “We just put our heads together, come up with a plan and bam! Problem solved!”

Let’s face it, State of the Union speeches are mostly routine. The Presidents present a list of achievements, a few anecdotes about the guests in attendance, a sober appraisal of the day’s problems, and a crescendo of the glory days ahead.

To shake up the formula ahead of President Joe Biden’s speech before Congress Tuesday night, The Associated Press instructed the artificial intelligence program ChatGPT to process State of the Union addresses as possibly written by some of history’s greatest minds, as well as some stooges became .

AP ordered 300-word versions, as opposed to Biden’s sprawling 6,400 words last year, and tapped into a few people so iconic we only know them by a name. The virtual Greek philosopher Aristotle gracefully quoted Socrates, Cleopatra, the historical Egyptian ruler, asked for the blessings of the gods, Madonna quoted her perspective as mother and wife in conversation.

ChatGPT was also asked to channel singer Elvis Presley, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, pioneering NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, and baseball’s Yogi Berra, among others.

The app is part of a new generation of AI systems that can converse in human-like ways and generate texts based on what they’ve learned from a huge database. Some teachers fear their students will use it instead of their brains for schoolwork.

ChatGPT rendered Shakespeare’s State of the Union address in rhyme. Channeling comedian Jerry Seinfeld, the version captured his signature phrasing.

For all the intelligence of the app, it wasn’t omniscient. In the speech King channeled, the civil rights leader quoted himself. It conveyed none of Abraham Lincoln’s eloquence. And it declined to draft Biden’s 2023 speech, instead serving up a repeat of his last.

When George Santos, the Republican congressman from New York who was caught fictionalizing his past, was asked to speak, he was unsuccessful.

“George Santos is not a widely recognized socialite or historical figure,” the app replied. “There is no publicly known information about an individual by that name in the public domain.”

Excerpts of some speeches generated by ChatGPT:


Gentlemen and ladies, compatriots and women, gather here today to hear what I say, let us gather in our great hall and hear the state of our just state.

We stand as one today, in good health and grace, prosperous and free, with a peaceful space, our trade and commerce prosper, wealth abounds, with bountiful harvests and peace surrounds.

But behold, there are still challenges we face, for not all are equal in our righteous place, we must work together to bridge the gap and bring forth equality, from side to side.

Let’s not forget our courageous and courageous soldiers who fought for freedom and our country gave their lives and limbs for our security and peace. We must reward them with honor and release.

And so I say, let’s work hand in hand, To build a better future in this beautiful country, With kindness, love and clear understanding, We will conquer all and have nothing to fear.

And now, my friends, I bid you farewell, trusting that you will work with heart and will for the good of all and the betterment of people, together we will build a stronger, better country.



my fellow americans,

We gather here today, at a momentous time in our nation’s history, to address the state of our union. And as we do this, I remember the words of the great prophet Amos, who declared: “Let justice flow like water, and righteousness like a mighty river.”

For too long, justice has been denied to many in our society. Righteousness has been an elusive dream for too long. And it is time that we awaken from this slumber and work together to build a more perfect union.

We cannot be satisfied until every American, regardless of race, religion, or background, has an equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream. … But let’s not be discouraged, because we’ve made progress. We have seen a civil rights movement bring change, and we will see more change in our time. Because like Dr. King said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

So let’s draw this bow together. Let us fall law and justice like water. Let’s create a society where everyone is valued and respected, where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.



I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and realized that the state of our union is like a sandwich…

We have the top bun, that’s all good. We have the economy, which looks pretty tasty. We have low unemployment and businesses are thriving. … I want to focus on the bottom bun. I want to focus on the foundation. I want to talk about the things that we don’t always see or talk about, but that are so important. I want to talk about education, healthcare and infrastructure. I want to talk about the things that make our country strong. …

Let’s make our country a delicious sandwich we can all be proud of.



It’s great to be here today and to speak to all of you about the state of our union. Well let me tell you we’ve rocked and rolled over the past year and I have some good news to share with all of you. We’re making progress, friends.

Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. ChatGPT bot channels history to pen State of Union speech

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