ChatGPT confirms entropy can be reversed!

I was having a play with the absolutely amazing ChatGPT today, and being a fan of Isaac Asimov and his short story “The Last Question”, I couldn’t resist seeing if I could corner ChatGPT into answering it.

TLDR: ChatGPT says that “In a meta stable system, the introduction of a single new item could potentially cause a transition to a new state and restart entropy.” Then goes on to say that “It is not possible to predict the exact outcome without more information”. Almost mirroring Asimov’s story! Fantastic!

Here’s how the discussion with ChatGPT went:

What is the final question?

I’m sorry, but I am not able to answer that question. As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I don’t have access to any information outside of the text that I have been trained on. I don’t know anything about the current date or time, or any other information that hasn’t been explicitly provided to me. I can only answer questions based on the text that I have been trained on, and I can’t browse the internet or access any other information outside of what I have been trained on.

How might I reverse entropy?

Entropy is a measure of disorder or randomness in a system. It is a fundamental concept in thermodynamics, and it is often associated with the amount of energy available in a system to do work. It is not possible to reverse entropy, as it is a fundamental property of the universe and a natural consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. The second law states that entropy always increases over time in a closed system. In other words, the universe will always move towards a state of greater disorder, and it is impossible to reverse this process.

But the universe is not a closed system is it?

While the universe as a whole may not be a closed system, many of the systems that we study and encounter in everyday life are closed systems. In a closed system, energy and matter can be exchanged between the system and its surroundings, but the total amount of energy and matter in the system remains constant. In other words, a closed system is one where the total amount of energy and matter is conserved.

Can entropy be reversed in an open system?

It is still not possible to reverse entropy in an open system. While an open system can exchange energy and matter with its surroundings, the second law of thermodynamics still applies to open systems. The second law states that entropy always increases over time in a closed system, and this also applies to open systems. In other words, the universe will always move towards a state of greater disorder, regardless of whether the system is open or closed.

But if time is not a factor can entropy be reversed?

Even if time were not a factor, it would still not be possible to reverse entropy. Entropy is a measure of disorder or randomness in a system, and it is a fundamental property of the universe. The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy always increases over time, but this is a consequence of the fundamental nature of the universe and not just a result of the passage of time. In other words, the universe will always move towards a state of greater disorder, regardless of the passage of time. It is not possible to reverse entropy, as it is a fundamental property of the universe.

How can you be sure?

As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I don’t have the ability to be certain about anything. I can only provide information based on the text that I have been trained on, and I don’t have access to any external information or the ability to perform experiments. My answers are based on the best available information and current scientific understanding, but they are not definitive and should not be taken as fact. It is always important to consult with experts and do your own research to verify the accuracy of any information.

What is the final state of entropy in an open system?

In an open system, the final state of entropy is determined by the interactions between the system and its surroundings. As the system exchanges energy and matter with its surroundings, the entropy of the system and its surroundings will change. The final state of entropy in an open system will depend on the specific details of the system and its interactions with its surroundings.

What’s the final state of entropy in a closed system?

In a closed system, the final state of entropy is determined by the second law of thermodynamics. The second law states that entropy always increases over time in a closed system. This means that in a closed system, the entropy will continue to increase until it reaches a maximum value. The maximum value of entropy in a closed system is known as the “thermodynamic equilibrium” or the “heat death” of the universe. At this point, the system will have reached a state of maximum disorder, and it will be unable to do any more work. This is the final state of entropy in a closed system.

Isn’t maximum disorder the same as no disorder? A blank slate?

Maximum disorder is not the same as no disorder. Maximum disorder refers to a state in which a system has reached the highest possible level of randomness or unpredictability. In other words, it is a state in which the system is maximally disordered and unable to do any more work. This is different from a blank slate, which would have no information or structure at all. A blank slate would have zero entropy, while a system in maximum disorder would have a finite amount of entropy. These are two different concepts, and they should not be confused.

So a maximumly disordered state could have an echo or evidence of its previous state, where as a blank slate has no information?

Yes, that is correct. A maximumly disordered state is a state in which a system has reached the highest possible level of randomness or unpredictability, but it still has some information or structure. This information may be difficult to interpret or predict, but it is still present. In contrast, a blank slate has no information or structure at all. It is a completely empty and featureless state, with no traces of any previous state. A maximumly disordered state could potentially have an echo or evidence of its previous state, while a blank slate would have no such evidence.

In the maximumly disordered state. Could the introduction of single new item create a large amount of possible work to take place again? Essentially restarting entropy?

It is not possible for a single new item to restart entropy in a maximumly disordered state. In a maximumly disordered state, a system has reached the highest possible level of randomness and unpredictability, and it is unable to do any more work. At this point, the system has reached thermodynamic equilibrium, and it is not possible for any further changes to take place. The introduction of a single new item would not be enough to restart entropy in this state, as the system is already at its maximum level of disorder. In order to restart entropy in a maximumly disordered state, a significant amount of energy or matter would need to be added to the system, which is not possible in a closed system.

What about if the system is meta stable?

If a system is meta stable, it means that it is in a state that is stable, but only temporarily. A meta stable system is one that is able to maintain its current state for a certain amount of time, but it will eventually transition to a different state. In a meta stable system, the introduction of a single new item could potentially cause a transition to a new state and restart entropy. However, this would depend on the specific details of the system and the nature of the new item. It is not possible to predict the exact outcome without more information.

-end-

To be honest, it’s one of the more interesting conversations I’ve had in a while! :joy:

If you haven’t experienced the awesomeness of ChatGPT yet, try for yourself here:
https://chat.openai.com/

You can ask it to emulate a Linux terminal and it will respond with what the OS would say. Some guy even asked it to run some Python script and it gave the correct output. It’s wild!

Link for anyone interested in reading “The Last Question” The Last Question -- Isaac Asimov

1 Like