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I asked ChatGPT:

what is the next 29th February that is Monday?

It responded:

To find the next 29th of February that falls on a Monday, we need to consider the leap years in the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar has a leap year every four years, except for years that are divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400. This rule is used to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year.

The last leap year was 2020, and the next one will be 2024. To find the next 29th of February that is a Monday, we can start from 2024 and check each subsequent leap year. Let's calculate it:

  1. 2024: 29th February falls on a Tuesday
  2. 2028: 29th February falls on a Sunday
  3. 2032: 29th February falls on a Saturday
  4. 2036: 29th February falls on a Friday
  5. 2040: 29th February falls on a Wednesday
  6. 2044: 29th February falls on a Tuesday
  7. 2048: 29th February falls on a Monday!

So, the next 29th of February that will be a Monday is in the year 2048.

I was amazed by the details it gave me, and thought this is such a nicely done calculation and all. So, I checked the calendar in my computer and found that 29th February 2024 is actually going to be Thursday. Hmmm... this is actually not that great after all. So, I checked further to 2028 and 2032, and both next leap years are also wrong about the day it falls on. It may be confused with something; so I decided to try again with an easier prompt.

what day is the next 29th February?

It gave me this.

To determine the day of the next 29th of February, we can look at the leap years in the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar has a leap year every four years, except for years that are divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400.

The last leap year was 2020, and the next one will be 2024. So, the next 29th of February will be in the leap year 2024.

To find the day of the week for the 29th of February 2024, you can use a calendar or an online tool. When I check, the 29th of February 2024 falls on a Wednesday.

Again, it gave me another wrong day changing from Tuesday to Wednesday. Last time I checked, the correct day should be Thursday. So, I would like to conclude that ChatGPT hallucinates about calendar/dates more or less. Here comes the question.

How to make ChatGPT responses about calendar/dates accurate?

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  • Are you referring to OpenAI ChatGPT? Is this only about the apps or it's also about the OpenAI Chat API? Are you looking to include any stuff labeled "ChatGPT" (the Google Workspace Marketplace search returns dozens of apps when searching ChatGPT)? Related: "chatgpt" is the top tag. Do we want it to be used only on questions about the cross-platform application software from OpenAI?
    – Wicket
    Jul 20, 2023 at 5:03
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    @Wicket I'm referring to OpenAI ChatGPT.
    – holydragon
    Jul 20, 2023 at 5:59
  • Does it even have access to a calendar? Unless it had been trained on calendar information (both past and future) I don't think it has any way of finding what day any date falls on. If you give it some calendar information as its prompt and tell it to infer a day for some other random date based on that prompt, may be it can somehow infer the required date, but I dont know if even this kind of logic in built into the chatgpt web application
    – user13267
    Jul 20, 2023 at 6:48
  • I wonder if it can tell whether any given year is a leap year or not. If it can then some kind of calculation logic must have been built into it
    – user13267
    Jul 20, 2023 at 6:50
  • @user13267 It said in the last sentence that it checked though. I don't know what or where it checked but it made me laugh.
    – holydragon
    Jul 20, 2023 at 8:54

1 Answer 1

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If you are looking for precision from ChatGPT, you should show it what is precise and what is not precise.

The above is because ChatGPT can put one word after another according to language rules. Remember, ChatGPT is the front end of one Generative Artificial Intelligence model. Despite that, the responses might make it look as if having an understanding of the data it has access to it doesn't.

Try providing ChatGPT with a list of dates. You might export the list using a spreadsheet or a reliable calendar app. Use that data to build your prompt and ask ChatGPT to respond using your provided data. Prepare yourself to validate the responses provided by ChatGPT.

I advise not to use ChatGPT if you need precision and don't have time to validate its responses. Instead, use a more appropriate tool.

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