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On 12 January 2023 a “technical glitch” of FAA’s systems caused 1300 flight cancellations and 10000 flight delays according to a report by the BBC. It was the first time since 11 September 2001 that all flights were grounded in the US. After assuming a cyber attack, the FAA said the disruption was caused by a damaged database file.

This unfortunate event was an opportunity to test ChatGPT’s view on FAA “technical glitch”, and in particular the “accuracy vs inventiveness” bias, with the following prompt:

Threedot: Could All US domestic flights be halted due to a glitch with the national control system’s Notice to Air Missions System? ?

ChatGPT: It is possible for a glitch to occur in the national air traffic control system that could cause disruptions to flights. However, it is unlikely that a single glitch would cause all domestic flights in the United States to be halted. This is because the system is designed to have redundancies and backups in place to minimize the impact of any failures. Additionally, in such case, the FAA and the other authorities would work to resolve the issue and minimize any disruption to flights. ?

At the time of this dialogue with chatGPT, all US domestic departures were paused and fingers crossed for air traffic to come back soon… ?

As for chatGPT, it provides a kind of common sense response, but cannot be taken as an expert advice. For now. It scores well on “inventiveness”, not so much on “accuracy”.