You can't move for innovative new uses of ChatGPT at the moment, but one of the weirder applications I've come across is the Dream Machine. This online tool lets you plug in a dream you've had recently, and it'll interpret it for you. Not only that, but it'll do so in the style of your favorite celebrity. The selection is best described as 'diverse', taking in all the big-hitters, from Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Batman. There's even Queen Elizabeth II in there, which is how you can tell this is the work of a US company (too soon, guys).
The tool comes from Viscosoft – the bed brand behind some of today's best mattress toppers – and its launch has been timed to coincide with Sleep Awareness Week, a seven-day event focused on helping people improve their snoozing habits (our Sleep Week hub is the place to go for advice).
I gave the Dream Machine a go to see if it could provide me with any fresh insights into my subconscious mind. Head to the Dream Machine website and you'll have the option to either describe your dream in your own words, or choose from some predefined options. I decided to start with the latter.
Selecting from the list of common dream types opens up a second drop-down menu with a selection of impressively specific sub-categories. Now, I'm not sure if my subconscious is a bit unimaginative compared to everyone else's, but I've never experienced the majority of these dream types.
Are people out there really having healing dreams in which they're discovering themselves for personal growth and insight? Or prophetic dreams in which they see natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes? I once had a dream where I was trying to reply to an email.
Having decided I might as well go big, I select 'Flying dreams' and then 'Riding dragons or unicorns in a thrilling flight'.
Next, it's time to choose your celebrity. It's at this point I begin to wonder how this tool is intended to be used. The option to pick, say, E.T., creates the impression it's a lighthearted tool rather than something you should be using to shape any life decisions, but the press release from Viscosoft suggests they're taking it pretty seriously.
"We worked closely with OpenAI and ChatGPT to ensure that 'The Dream Machine' delivers accurate and insightful interpretations," explains Viscosoft CEO Gabe Dungan. "We're confident that this tool will be a valuable resource for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of their dreams and themselves."
Anyway. Here's what Yoda had to say about my dragon-flight dream:
"Hmmm... Flying in the fantasy world, you were. Dragons or unicorns, you rode. A great desire for freedom, this represents. Your spirits, high they were. The strong will in you, I sense. Believe in yourself, you must. The force of courage, you possess. Trust in it, you will. Limitations, break them, you must learn. The path to greatness, this is. Choose it, wisely, you will, young Padawan."
ChatGPT has made a brave effort here, but fallen a bit short of nailing that quirky syntax. I mean, come on – 'Limitations, break them, you must learn'? It's all over the place. Still, some strong analysis. Seeking freedom, strong willed, courageous – all good.
Buoyed up by such a positive review of my fake dream (hey, it's nice to be told you're destined for greatness on a Friday afternoon), I decide to try the second option, which lets you describe your dream in your own words. Unusually, I can actually remember last night's dream. There's a 200-character limit, which means you can't get into too much detail or go on too long (a great idea that should also be implemented when people try to tell you verbally about that 'super weird dream they had last night').
Here's what I type in: "I dreamed that my friend asked me to move into a house with a bunch of other friends, in which we'd all share one massive bedroom. I agreed even though I didn't want to move." And here's what Batman had to say:
"I have fought against fear-inducing toxins, mind-controlling strategies, and bone-breaking schemes. But your dream seems even more terrifying than any Joker's prank. Sharing a massive bedroom with a bunch of friends? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Even the Batcave, with all my gadgets and technology, couldn't accommodate so many people in such a small space. But fear not, citizen. A true friend's request is a noble undertaking. You showed courage in accepting the challenge, even if it went against your will. Remember, real heroes rise to the challenge, especially when it comes to helping a friend in need."
He's confused about whether the bedroom is big or small, but other than that this is some solid analysis. It was a recipe for disaster, and it was noble of me to accept in order to not let my friend down. What a great dream-person I am. Nice specificity with the fear-inducing toxins, too, and a brave effort to find a way to draw a parallel with my own mundane dream-situation.
To have Yoda, Batman, or someone else interpret your dream for you, head to the Viscosoft Dream Machine website (opens in new tab).