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AI and Pi: Taking ChatGPT for a Spin

March 14, 2024
Artificial intelligence has evolved since the 1970s, and each iteration has been a new tool to try. How are you and your company using AI these days?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has infiltrated just about every aspect of our lives, and although it has been around for decades, the recent effect it’s had in everyday life has put the technology front and center in news and marketing alike.

In engineering, AI has been around and improved upon for decades—from finite element analyses used in the 1970s, to the more intelligent topology optimization of the early 2000s, to today’s generative design (think advanced software for additive manufacturing), to tomorrow’s generative AI (think large language models like ChatGPT).

New tools are fun to play with, and for someone who works with words every day, I thought it would be fun to take an LLM for a spin. So, what happens when you ask ChatGPT to tell you a story for mechanical and design engineers about Pi Day? This:

Once upon a time, in a factory bustling with whirring machines and soaring creativity, a group of mechanical and design engineers gathered on a special day—Pi Day. As they sipped their coffee, a discussion about the significance of Pi in their work took flight.

One engineer, known for his love of puzzles, challenged the group with a brain-teasing Pi-related riddle: “What do you get when you divide the circumference of a jack-o’-lantern by its diameter?” The room buzzed with excitement as the engineers put their minds to the test.

Amidst the playful banter, a seasoned engineer shared an interesting fact—did you know that Pi is an irrational number, meaning it cannot be expressed as a simple fraction? This unique property of Pi has fascinated mathematicians and engineers alike for centuries.

Another engineer, known for her knack for tying concepts together, drew parallels between the infinite nature of Pi and the boundless possibilities in design engineering. Just as Pi’s digits go on infinitely without repetition, so too does the creative potential in design engineering.

The riddle was eventually solved—the answer was “Pumpkin Pi”—eliciting laughter and applause. The engineers marveled at how Pi, a humble mathematical constant, had sparked such joy and camaraderie among them.

As they returned to their workstations, inspired by the spirit of Pi Day, the engineers found new motivation to push the boundaries of design engineering. They recognized that just as Pi's value continues endlessly, so too does their capacity to innovate and create solutions that shape the world around them. With a renewed sense of purpose, they dove back into their projects, eager to blend the magic of Pi with the precision of design engineering.

And so, on this Pi Day, the engineers celebrated not only a mathematical constant but also the infinite possibilities that await in their journey of exploration and innovation in the world of mechanical and design engineering. 

This was a fun exercise and a way to try out generative AI. In the spirit of Pi Day, I hope you take with you the spirit of this story—to stay curious and embrace engineering challenges with ingenuity; to approach problems with persistence; to sculpt solutions that echo the elegance of this mathematical constant; and to continue to shape a future where innovation knows no bounds.

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