Asking ChatGPT About the Disquiet Junto

I asked ChatGPT ( a question and I received a response with two interesting errors. The first error is that the Portuguese word “junto” is not the origin of the name of the Disquiet Junto. Ben Franklin’s employment of the word, which he reportedly adopted from “junta,” when christening his 1727 club served as the source. It’s a humorous mistake because the word “disquiet” does come from the work of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa (and of course for Pessoa, the word wasn’t “disquiet”; it was “desassossego”). Second: SoundCloud no longer has “groups” functionality, and hasn’t for many many years.

I asked “What is the Disquiet Junto?”

I received the following response. I’ve underlined the two errors:

The Disquiet Junto is an online music community founded by Marc Weidenbaum in 2012. It is named after the Portuguese word “junto,” which means “together” or “joined.” The community consists of musicians, sound artists, and other creative individuals who participate in weekly music-making projects, each of which is designed to be completed in a short period of time, typically four days.

The projects, or “prompts,” are usually based on a specific set of instructions or guidelines, such as using a particular sample or instrument, working within a specific time constraint, or exploring a certain theme or concept. Participants create and upload their completed tracks to the Disquiet Junto SoundCloud group, where they can listen to and comment on each other’s work.

The Disquiet Junto provides a supportive and collaborative environment for musicians and artists to experiment with new techniques and ideas, explore new sounds, and connect with like-minded individuals around the world.

I can’t help but wonder if my having typed this correction here in public serves as a corrective: sluicing representative information so as to nudge whatever facts constitute the corpus from which ChatGPT derives its knowledge base.

. . .

Update: Whoa. A friend entered the same question into both Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s Bing, and a response from the latter included the following:

“It is named after a society that Benjamin Franklin formed in 1727, not after the Portuguese word ‘junto’ as some sources may suggest.”

It seems that in the couple hours since I made this original corrective post, a rival AI had parsed the information and folded it into its resources. And that phrase “as some sources may suggest” almost counts as snark — computer snark.

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