Horsefeathers AI

I continue to use ChatGPT in different ways. I’ve read several posts where people ask it to write in the style of a specific writer. As a fan of the Marx Brothers, I thought I would ask ChatGPT to write about the complex topic of the crisis in higher education in their style.

I clicked the “regenerate” button to see if the responses would be vastly different. They weren’t. You can read three of them below. High tuition, student loans, irrelevant degrees, no job guarantees, low paid faculty and high paid administrators seem to be the topics that the AI preferred to weave into these “scripts.”

Describe the current crisis in higher education in the style of the Marx brothers.

First response

Groucho: Hey there folks, have you heard about the latest crisis in higher education?

Chico: You mean-a the one where students are paying-a more than ever but learning-a less than ever?

Groucho: That’s the one, Chico. It’s a real horsefeathers situation. The universities are charging students an arm and a leg, and what do the students get in return?

Harpo: (honks horn)

Groucho: Exactly, Harpo. They get nothing! Well, maybe a fancy diploma to hang on the wall, but that won’t get them a job.

Chico: And-a the professors, they’re not much-a better off. They’re working harder than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest, but their salaries are going down faster than a lead balloon.

Groucho: It’s a sad state of affairs, Chico. We need to find a way to make higher education affordable and valuable again. Maybe we could start a new university where the students actually learn something and the professors actually get paid what they’re worth.

Harpo: (nods vigorously)

Chico: Yeah, and we could call it the Marx Brothers School of Higher Learning.

Groucho: I like the sound of that, Chico. It’s got a real ring to it. And maybe we could teach classes in things like duck soup and animal crackers.

Harpo: (makes animal noises)

Groucho: And if anyone complains about the quality of education, we’ll just give them a good slapstick comedy routine.

Chico: Hey, that’s a great idea, Groucho. I think we might be onto something here.

Harpo: (hops up and down in excitement)

Groucho: Well, we better get cracking on this new university, boys. We’ve got a crisis in higher education to solve, and nobody can solve a crisis like the Marx Brothers!

Chico: Hey, maybe we can even get Zeppo to join us.

Harpo: (thumbs up)

Second response/regeneration

Groucho: Say, Chico, have you heard about this crisis in higher education?

Chico: What crisis?

Groucho: The crisis where students are drowning in debt and can’t find jobs, while universities are raising tuition and cutting programs left and right!

Chico: Ah, that’s-a no good.

Groucho: It’s like the whole system is run by a bunch of monkeys!

Harpo: (gesturing and honking horn)

Groucho: You’re right, Harpo, that’s not fair to monkeys. At least they don’t charge $50,000 a year for a degree in underwater basket weaving.

Chico: So what’s the solution, Groucho?

Groucho: We need to tear down the whole system and start over! Education should be a right, not a privilege for the wealthy elite.

Harpo: (nodding vigorously)

Chico: But how do we do that?

Groucho: Simple, we just need to organize a massive student movement that demands free tuition, debt forgiveness, and an end to the corporatization of higher education!

Harpo: (cheering and throwing confetti)

Chico: Hey, I like-a the sound of that. But can we still have a toga party?

Groucho: Of course we can, Chico. In fact, let’s make it mandatory for all colleges and universities! It’ll be a symbol of our rebellion against the status quo!

Harpo: (thumbs up and applause)

Groucho: So let’s all raise our glasses to the future of education, where everyone has an equal opportunity to learn and grow, and nobody has to sell their soul to the student loan devil!

Chico: Salud!

Harpo: (clinking glasses and making silly faces)

Third response/regeneration

Groucho: Well, hello there folks! It’s a pleasure to be here in this fine establishment of higher learning.

Chico: Hey, Groucho, what’s the matter with all these students walking around with their heads in the clouds?

Groucho: They’re not just walking around with their heads in the clouds, Chico, they’re walking around with their wallets in their clouds!

Harpo: honks bicycle horn

Groucho: That’s right, Harpo. Higher education used to be about learning and growing, but now it’s all about money, money, money! The tuition fees are so high, they’re reaching for the sky!

Chico: And what do the students get in return? A piece of paper that says they’re smart?

Groucho: Exactly, Chico! It’s like paying for a fancy piece of parchment that says you’re qualified to live in your parents’ basement!

Harpo: honks bicycle horn

Groucho: You’re right, Harpo. But it’s not just the students who are getting the short end of the stick. The professors are being overworked and underpaid.

Chico: That’s-a right. They gotta teach all day, grade all night, and then go home and eat a bowl of spaghetti!

Groucho: And don’t forget about the administration! They’re making all the big bucks, while the students and professors are left holding the bag.

Harpo: honks bicycle horn

Groucho: Well, that’s one way of putting it, Harpo. But the bottom line is this: the current crisis in higher education is a travesty. It’s time to get back to the basics and put the focus back on learning, not money. And if we can’t do that, well, then maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board and start all over again!

Chico: Hey, that’s-a not a bad idea! Let’s-a grab some pencils and some paper, and let’s-a get to work!

Harpo: honks bicycle horn and starts drawing on the floor

Subjects of Interest


Higher Education

Independent Schools


Student Persistence