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The Bangkok Podcast

Jul 9, 2024

Greg and Ed perform an interesting test of the current state of AI: can you actually trust what different AI’s have to say about Bangkok and Thailand? Greg uses ChatGPT, while Ed is a Google guy through and through, so Gemini it is. The first question involves a bit of Thai history: exactly when and for how long did Thailand use a red flag with a white elephant? Proper research reveals the correct answer is 1855-1917, but ChatGPT misses by a wide mark, with an answer of 1917 to 2017 (!). Gemini does considerably better, with an answer of 1855-1916. 

ChatGPT does better with the next straightforward question: Is Bangkok a province of Thailand? The technically correct answer is ‘no,’ because Bangkok is designated as a ‘special administrative area’ in the Thai system of government. Both AI get the answer right, with Gemini possibly providing a more thorough explanation. 

The challenge continues, with questions about Japan and Thailand in World War II, directions in Bangkok, and the history of Southern Thailand. Both AI models do an okay job but also clearly make some factual stumbles. So the lesson of the day appears to be that AI might be helpful as a general background research tool, but always check your facts and don’t count on it 100% - especially when it comes to trying to understand Bangkok!

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