The oft-quoted On Bullshit, by Henry G Frankfurt, is a short but thought-provoking read. It centres on the definition of bullshit, as distinct from lying:
It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.
This seems particularly relevant when it comes to ChatGPT and other large language models. While inarguably impressive, useful in certain contexts, and a foundation on which I’m sure many great things will be built, their domain is limited to language. They lack the underlying connection to reality described in the above excerpt. A good understanding of bullshit therefore seems like a useful tool to have when thinking about them, and Frankfurt provides a good starting point.