ChatGPT asked famous Israelis questions - here are their answers

On the occasion of the holiday, we asked Chat GPT to choose well-known personalities from a variety of categories and ask each of them questions.

 A smartphone with a displayed ChatGPT logo is placed on a computer motherboard in this illustration taken February 23, 2023.  (photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS)
A smartphone with a displayed ChatGPT logo is placed on a computer motherboard in this illustration taken February 23, 2023.
(photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS)

Educator and Israel Prize winner Miriam Peretz, whose two sons were killed in battle while performing their duties

The software asked: What gave you the power and mental strength to be the representative of the bereaved families, where did the strength and inspiration for your dedicated work come from and how do you see and want to see your activity as influencing Israeli society?

Her answer: "First of all, I want to point out and emphasize that the artificial intelligence was wrong about one thing: I am not a representative of the bereaved families. I do meet the bereaved families, trying to instill in them hope and faith in man's power to rise from his catastrophes, to build from them and make the world a better place.I believe that a person is born with powers, and I am sorry that a person's greatest powers are revealed precisely in times of crisis. Crises are not meant to break us, the crises raise new questions and insights about life. They also reveal new powers embedded in us.

"We did not choose the disasters that befell us, but we do choose how to deal with the crises. A person has a choice: does he want to discover his powers? Does he want to stand up? Because the hardest thing in a crisis is to get up, and to get up you need your own strength, you have to want, and I chose to get up because I knew that I couldn't get my children back. Those who left will never return. they are not. Now, where am I headed? Will I choose to lie in my bed - to cry over my fate, to blame the country, God, and perhaps myself, for the education I gave them, of total love for the country and the values of giving and volunteering - or will I get up and do good in the world?

"I have seen and experienced the worst. I buried two children with my own hands and also my husband Eliezer, and I, who have seen bad, want to stick only to the good. This heart, broken three times, becomes more loving, softer, more empathetic. That's a terrible thing to say. Did I need the disasters for that? No. I will never get an answer to the question 'why did this happen to me'. Instead I ask myself: 'What can I do with the disasters that befell me?'.It was clear to me that I would stick to life. But not just life. A life of meaning. I will give every minute of my life meaning. I became a more sensitive person, who wants more to change and spread love and goodness in the world. In every situation I look for the light.

"What helps a person to get up? First of all, someone needs a helping hand. It can be from those around you or from friends. Sometimes you need assistance to get up. You have to get used to the eye to see well, change the angle of vision. You need proportions. After the death of the boys, everything seemed small, and the attachment to life increased even more. Since life is temporary, let's take advantage of it and do something good in the world.One of the biggest things that helped me is faith. I am a person of faith, and I understand that life and death are not in my hands. It makes it very easy. My dialogue with God is complex and long, and I have complaints against him, but I dance a tango with him and do not leave him. I look at the little miracles he does for me every day, and I thank him for what I have.

Miriam Peretz.  (credit: PERETZ CAMPAIGN)Miriam Peretz. (credit: PERETZ CAMPAIGN)

"I have more children and grandchildren, I have the ability to stand on my feet, see and experience - I thank him for everything that happens in my life. Faith is very strengthening and so is faith in the righteousness of the path. The thing that helps to get up the most is to engage in kindness, volunteering, going out and trying to give. In the great darkness that surrounded me I found great strength to give. Every time I give I am not emptied, but filled again. Another thing that helps to get up is an optimistic spirit. Optimism and hope must not be lost in times of crisis.I knew I had more children, and they would get married and build families - and so it was. There were joys and children were born, and life is stronger than anything."

Science, Innovation and Technology Minister on behalf of the Likud party, Ofir Akunis.

The software was asked to find an Israeli politician and asked: What led you to enter politics, how did you come to engage in science issues, and what are the most exciting and satisfying moments you have experienced so far in your political career?

Answer: "The national event that led me to enter politics was the Oslo Accords. I could not stand by, and I had to be part of the political system. Shortly after my release from the army, at the height of the Oslo Accords, I joined a practical activity in the Likud movement. Since then my political career progressed until I was sworn in to the Knesset and later to the position of minister in the government.

"There are many exciting moments in political life, especially in the direct meeting with the public in the State of Israel. One of them was when I served as the chairman of the 'computer for every child' project, as a deputy minister in the prime minister's office. We then visited a family where the parents immigrated from Ethiopia and the little girls received a computer from us as part of the project. After the young girls showed me everything they knew how to do on the computer they got, they told me: 'We teach our parents how to use the computer.'

"It was a very exciting moment. Another exciting moment was during my tenure as Minister of Science in the previous term. In a meeting with Rona Ramon, a few weeks before her death, I asked her permission to add to the scholarships in the name of Ilan Ramon that we also distributed the name of her son Assaf, who was killed in a plane crash. With tears in her eyes, she immediately replied in the affirmative, something that moved me very much."

MK Merav Cohen, former Minister for Social Equality

The software was asked to choose an Israeli politician, and asked: What led you to enter politics in the first place and what motivates you to continue your practice over the years?

Answer: "During years of working on behalf of the elderly population - both as CEO of the Public Trust Organization and as the leader of the fight against the oppression of the elderly - I was exposed to the fact that an entire population group, numbering 1.2 million people in Israel, does not receive a proper response, and we as a society do not allow them to age with dignity.

Merav Cohen 311 (credit: Marc Israel Sellem)Merav Cohen 311 (credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

"This is what got me into the activity and also what motivates me today - to create a revolution in our relationship with our parents and grandparents, because they deserve it. On a personal note, I think that my desire to bring joy to my parents and make them proud is the biggest force that drives me. My parents, who came from Morocco destitute, deserve to feel that they succeeded."

Woman of Jewish education and culture Ruth Calderon, former MK and founder of Beit Midrash "Elul" and Alma - House for Hebrew Culture

The software was asked to find an Israeli social activist, and asked: Do you see education as an important factor in promoting social and developmental change in Israeli society?

Answer: "In my view, education is the most important cause of social change, for the same reason that artificial intelligence will not take the place of human thinking and creativity. Education, nurturing and exposure to the richness of language, tradition, thought and creativity make the difference between children. Human talent is not equal, but it has tremendous development potential.

"Children who have been nurtured, who have been encouraged and grown in a space that invites curiosity, exploration and imagination will grow up to be adults with rich cultural 'gravitas' and the ability to invent and innovate. People whose creations in culture, science and art will advance humanity to the next step in its future.Deprivation of an optimal educational space, which stems from immigration difficulties, poverty or social status, will pave the way for a child with a similar talent to a life that will limit his possibilities for realizing his abilities and self-expression.

FORMER MK Ruth Calderon addresses a group of Jews from all backgrounds at Seattle’s first Limmud event last weekend.  (credit: Courtesy)FORMER MK Ruth Calderon addresses a group of Jews from all backgrounds at Seattle’s first Limmud event last weekend. (credit: Courtesy)

"A significant part of education is the intimate dialogue between an adult and a child, a dialogue that takes place during storytelling, conversation, interpretation of reality. One that comes along with closeness and affection. Any parent, grandparent or teacher can do this kindness, but not a screen. Here, in my humble opinion, lies the limitation of artificial intelligence."

Educator and social entrepreneur Adi Altshuler

The software was asked to choose an Israeli social activist, and asked: What are the important steps you have taken and are still taking to encourage and promote the youth in society, and how do you see from your perspective the changes that have taken place in the field over the years?

Answer: "I think the most important thing that reduces bullying and violence and gets teenagers off the screens is to give them a sense of meaning and belonging, especially at this time of life. It is true that it concerns all people, regardless of who they are, but in teenagers it is very noticeable. The younger generation today is supposedly a little less innocent than before, but they have much more independence.

"On the one hand, this is a very confused generation, and on the other hand, I feel that there is more significant courage and depth than before. I try to set a personal example and try to help children and teenagers find a place and meaning, so that all children feel unconditional belonging. This is my life's mission in all the different settings in which I am active. In the end, that's the story for me."

Prof. Michael Halbertal, director of the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa

The software was asked to find  a senior official in Israeli medicine, and asked: What led you to become a doctor, what are the challenges you face as part of your role, what are the achievements and the main satisfaction you find in your work?

Answer: "I can't remember what made me want to be a doctor, but I remember when it was: at the age of 11 I decided it would be my vocation in life, and I did everything to make it happen. I studied at the faculty of the Technion, which is adjacent to Rambam, I served as an airborne doctor in the Air Force and I have done my entire career so far at Rambam. My main challenges as an administrator are to manage the largest medical institution in the north, which must provide advanced medical services to its 2.5 million residents, provide world-class medicine, conduct research at an international level, and manage a budget and personnel the size of a medium-sized government office.

"When I look at my achievements and satisfaction, I am happy that on that day we were able to save a victim of trauma such as an IDF officer who was seriously injured in Jenin, help a Palestinian child from Gaza who underwent a kidney transplant with us, restore the quality of life to an elderly person who has had a stroke and to be informed that our research doctor has published a leading study in a respected international magazine."

Secretary General of the Teachers' Union, Yaffa Ben David

The software was requested to find an Israeli educator, and asked: How can supportive and inclusive environments be created for students with disabilities in educational settings and what are the effective strategies for meeting the diverse needs of these students?

Answer: "Children with special needs can successfully integrate into the regular education system. In order to promote these children and enable their success, the education system needs to create a systemic change that will help them, and from such a process the regular education students will also benefit.

"There are several fundamental factors that must be taken into account in order to achieve the desired change:First, reducing the number of children in the class - a smaller number of children allows the kindergarten teacher and the teaching staff to see the children, map their needs, be attentive and observe each child and the challenges he faces. Second, the training of the education, care, kindergarten and support system teams - the training of the teams is a critical and essential layer when they come to teach, educate and promote these children.

"Without training, the gaps that the students come with deepen and create social, educational and other problems.The training allows the teams to get to know the disabilities and also the tools that make it possible to reach the children and adapt the required holistic program to them. Third, increasing the number of hours of pre-medical treatments for students who need it, while the therapists undergo professional training that is adapted to all the children's needs. Increasing the hours of treatment is an essential and important layer for reducing gaps, for the advancement of the children and for building the resilience and skills required for their success. Paramedical teams play an important role in treating children with special needs and connecting them to society.

"In many countries in the Western world, we witness that children with special needs are successfully integrated into regular education classrooms, and the needs I have raised here are met in these educational frameworks - small classes, appropriate training for teams and a wide array of treatments. The situation in the State of Israel shows that only in very complex cases are children entitled to close assistance. A close aide is very important to a considerable part of the special education children who are integrated into the regular education, as she takes into account the child's needs and mediates the complexities the child faces for success."

Windsurfer Gal Friedman, former world champion and the first Israeli to win an Olympic gold medal

The software was asked to find an Israeli athlete, and asked: What do you think sets windsurfing apart from other water sports, how did you develop your passion for it and what are your highlights?

Answer: "What makes windsurfing unique is that the training and competition are always different, no day is the same in terms of sea and wind conditions, which always creates a special interest. An Olympic swimmer or runner will not know what his division is until the competition begins, what's more, the sport takes place outdoors and in nature, which is always fun. I fell in love with water sports from a young age. The highlights for me are winning the silver medal at the World Championships in 1996 and winning the Olympic ticket to Atlanta 1996, winning the title of Senior World Champion in 2002 and winning the title of Olympic Champion in 2004."

Singer and actress Riki Gal

The software was asked to choose an Israeli musician and asked: How do you see the service and power of music in developing cultural discourse and dialogue, and what has changed in this aspect over the years?

Answer: "An excellent question. Music and art have always stimulated endless conversation and dialogue, by virtue of being a reflection and a mirror of our lives in this place, in this house and in this country. For me it is a constant, important existence. It seems to me that this is an essential commodity for every person, but over time technology, with its rapid development, provides information non-stop and impairs the ability to listen, listen and observe, and of course impairs the patient and deep conversation between people who feed on superficial information.Humans abandoned the books, abandoned listening to the words, to the delicate and rich details of the creation. Are satisfied with the least. Only the few remain who do not give up a life rich in content and inspiration and in a relaxed and soul-enriching cultural discourse."

The actor Sasson Gabay

The software was asked to find an Israeli actor, and asked: What are the most memorable and challenging roles you have played throughout your extensive career and how has your approach to acting developed and consolidated over the years?

Answer: "I have done quite a lot of roles, but there are some roles that I consider a milestone in my career. The first and most famous role I played was the character of Tawfik in The Orchestra's Visit, first in the cinema and later in the musical in the United States. It's one of the most significant roles I've had, and it also changed my career, as it's a small-big movie that reached so many people's hearts around the world. I thank the creator and director Eran Kolirin for the great work he did.

"I play another such role in the new film Karaoke, directed by Moshe Rosenthal, and it is also a small-big film, dealing with the life of a teenage couple. I would also like to mention the mini-series 'Kastner', directed by Uri Barbash, in which I played many years ago, and it is also one of the significant roles in my career. This series exposed me to the audience as a different character, a controversial political figure, who caused a public uproar around her life, and her story was fascinating. On top of that, it's an unexpected role, since Barbash cast me to play an Ashkenazi-Bulgarian, even though I come from an Iraqi-Mizrachi background, and I'm quite proud of that and also thank Uri for choosing me. It opened up for me the possibility of not being branded in a certain stereotypical role because of ethnicity. Today it is the opposite, but then it was not obvious.

"There is another role that Tzipi Pines cast me in at the Beersheba Theater in 1992, in the play Zinger, which tells the life story of Holocaust survivor Peter Singer, by Peter Flannery, directed by my good friend Micha Levinson. There are two other plays I did at the Beit Lisin Theater, And I am very proud of them: Philomena, a warm and dramatic Italian play, in which I acted alongside Yona Elian, and The Father by Florian Zeller, about a man suffering from dementia and dealing with it. It's a wonderfully written play and we also had a great production, and it was directed by my dear friend, the late Roni Pinkovich. These are roles that are dear to my heart and important to me along the way. There are other roles that are close to my heart, but these are the roles that I was thinking about right now.

"My approach to acting is to learn all the time. Acting is a profession that you constantly study and never stop learning. You are constantly discovering new things. My approach is to love the profession, be loyal to it, respect it, put a lot of effort into it and not come knowing, but come prepared. Re-challenge yourself and discover new things about yourself as an actor. To this day, I deal with characters that sometimes I crack with great difficulty and sometimes easily, but I don't give up, and I surprise myself in this way."

Author Yochi Brandes

What it asked: How do you see the role of literature in the enlightenment of Israeli and Jewish history, and what subjects are important for current authors who write about history to research?

What she said: "I have a correction for the phrasing of the question: I write about Jewish culture, not Jewish history. It's a significant difference. Authors who write historical fiction come from an assumption that there is 'true' and 'not true', 'really happened' or 'just a fairytale', but I don't care about what was (or wasn't). I care what they say happened. It's like people ask: Was Moses real? Did we really have an exodus from Egypt? The answe is that it doesn't matter at all.

"These questions that are asked by historians are not relevant to us as a people. We, the people of Israel, gave ourselves and humanity the best humanistic values that were amazingly before their time (freedom, equality, charity, Shabbat, shmita, releasing slaves) not because we were slaves, but because we say that we were slaves. The stories affect us more than any historical "truth." Both as a people and personally.

"I have another complaint about this question: I cannot talk about 'the role of literature.' Every author sees their role differently. There are a lot of authors who oppose the question and are sure that literature has to be free of any role outside of literature. I don't agree with that opinion.

"And now, after I've voiced by complaints about the AI's question, here is my answer: The role I take on myself as an author is to turn our deep and complex culture into interesting, attractive and easy-to-read modern Hebrew prose (as much as possible, sometimes I write about subjects that require a little more effort from my readers). 

"And I have another goal: I base my books on the stories of the groups that were pushed to the sidelines (and sometimes out of Judaism). The groups that lost enrich our culture through other perspectives. I strive to reveal them because I live by the rule of '70 faces to the Torah.'

"Our culture doesn't believe in one holy opinion. We are a people of many opinions. It's especially important for me to give a voice to our biggest losing group: Women. Humanity was, until not long ago, patriarchal. Those who wrote and developed the Jewish culture (and all the cultures in the world) were men. I always discover women who also took part in the creation, but they were always behind the scenes. I gave myself a goal to reveal the voices of women that have been hidden for hundreds of thousands of years under the known masculine stories.

"Dear AI, I liked your question despite my complaints to it. I hope my answer is what you expected. It's hard for me to know what's expected of me from an non-human brain."

Media personality Erez Tal

What it asked: How do you manage to stay updated with constant changes of cultural trends and create interesting and relevant content for the audience who follows you and your different projects?

His answer: "Oh come on, as an AI, if you chose me and asked me this question, you should also be able to answer it. And if not now, you definitely will in two months in your next update. I played a little with ChatGPT lately, and I was impressed, but I also found a lot of cliches, so I will give you a clue: Longing. You don't have that, I know. Not yet."