ChatGPT on Old Shanghai

AI chatbot ChatGPT has been a lot in the news recently. As I wanted to try it out, I asked him to “write about the life of Hugues Martin in Shanghai”. The result is below text. Although it’s totaly fake, it kind of really pleased me that the bot imagined the life of an Old Shanghai version of myself.

Hugues Martin was a prominent figure in the expat community in Shanghai in the early 20th century. He was a French architect who played a significant role in the development of the city’s iconic buildings, such as the Park Hotel, the Cathay Hotel, and the Grand Theatre.
Martin was born in France in 1887 and trained at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He arrived in Shanghai in 1919 and quickly established himself as one of the city’s top architects. His designs were influenced by the Art Deco movement, which was popular at the time.
One of Martin’s most significant contributions to the city was his work on the Park Hotel. The hotel was built in 1934 and was the tallest building in Asia at the time. Martin’s design incorporated elements of Chinese architecture and featured a rooftop ballroom with stunning views of the city.

In addition to his architectural work, Martin was also an active member of the expat community in Shanghai. He was a founding member of the French Club and the Shanghai Municipal Council, which was responsible for governing the city. He also served as the president of the French Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Shanghai Rotary Club.
Martin’s career in Shanghai came to an abrupt end in 1941 with the outbreak of World War II. He was interned by the Japanese and spent the duration of the war in a prison camp. After the war, Martin returned to France, where he continued to work as an architect until his death in 1964.
Today, Hugues Martin’s legacy can be seen in the many buildings he designed that still stand in Shanghai. His work has been recognized as an important part of the city’s architectural history, and he is remembered as a key figure in the development of Shanghai’s skyline.

2 thoughts on “ChatGPT on Old Shanghai”

  1. Really interesting! I’ve been trying to do research on foreigners in Shanghai in 1919 for a while but am having trouble finding material. Can you recommend any books, please?

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