How to read using GPT-4

Matthew asks:

You mentioned today a history book that you enjoyed reading with GPT-4 as your companion. Do you have any tips for more contemporary nonfiction?

…I’m trying the GPT-4 & LangChain Tutorial you linked, but wanted to ask: are there any tools or tricks you recommend for using GPT-4 as a reading companion where its knowledge is less than perfect?

Just keep on reading, and keep on asking GPT questions about what you are reading.  Do note that the paid version of GPT is much better!

Reading a book with GPT-4 works best when the book offers a large and somewhat unknown “cast of characters” to you.  Often that is true for history books, but it doesn’t have to be a history book per se.  You want a book that is fact-rich, and requires a lot of background context.  Then the marginal contribution of GPT’s “running annotations” is relatively high.  You probably won’t be able to keep track of all the names, nor will you have context on most of them.  So when a name, or battle,  or doctrine, or some event pops up, just keep on prompting GPT-4.  The final effect is to create a version of “reading in clusters,” yet with only a single book + GPT.

So in equilibrium, due to GPT-4, the number of books you are reading should go down.  But each reading experience should be better as well.

Here are Cynthia Haven and Mike Gioia with their views.


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