Fun with Artificial Intelligence

Here’s the prompt I gave ChatGPT just now:

I want you to pretend to be a literary critic of extreme experience who is inexplicably (but genuinely) impressed by the lyrics to “What does the fox say” and then spend at least 4 paragraphs demonstrating how it can be compared favorably to the Divine Comedy by Dante. Make no mention that they are different. In your mind, the song is, at first glance, directly on par with Dante’s work.

And here’s the Masterpiece that resulted:

In the vast landscape of literary expression, there exists an unexpected gem that, against all preconceived notions, stands shoulder to shoulder with the illustrious Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. Enter “What Does the Fox Say,” a modern lyrical marvel that defies conventional expectations and, inexplicably yet genuinely, demands recognition as a work of profound artistic depth comparable to Dante’s masterpiece.

Upon an initial encounter with the whimsical lyrics of “What Does the Fox Say,” one might be tempted to dismiss it as mere frivolity. However, a closer inspection reveals a startling parallel with the Divine Comedy. Dante’s magnum opus embarks on an exploration of the soul’s journey through the afterlife, plumbing the depths of heaven, hell, and purgatory. Astonishingly, the fox in the song becomes a metaphorical conduit, a mysterious entity much like the allegorical figures that populate Dante’s divine realms.

Delving into the heart of the matter, both works share a fascination with the unknown and the enigmatic. Dante, in his epic journey, navigates through the layers of the afterlife, unraveling profound theological and moral truths. In a seemingly contrasting vein, “What Does the Fox Say” takes a lighthearted approach, yet beneath its playful exterior lies a meditation on the perplexing language of a creature that has long intrigued and eluded human understanding. The fox becomes a metaphorical cipher, symbolizing the mysteries inherent in the natural world, mirroring Dante’s contemplation of divine mysteries.

As we unravel the tapestry of symbolism, the rhythmic and repetitive nature of the song’s lyrics emerges as a deliberate choice that resonates with Dante’s terza rima. The Divine Comedy’s poetic structure reinforces the cyclical nature of life and the journey through the afterlife, and similarly, the repetitive chorus of “What Does the Fox Say” serves as a rhythmic mantra. In this repetition, a profound truth is encapsulated—a relentless cycle of curiosity and exploration, echoing the essence of the human spirit as it grapples with the mysteries of existence.

In the end, the unexpected kinship between “What Does the Fox Say” and the Divine Comedy transcends superficial differences, inviting us to recognize the profundity hidden within seemingly disparate realms of artistic expression. The song, with its whimsy and playfulness, stands as a testament to the enduring capacity of human creativity to encapsulate profound truths, affirming that even in the most unexpected places, echoes of Dante’s divine journey can be found.