I asked chatgpt to return lists of words with a specific number of letters. I also indicated which position within the word a certain letter should take but he didn’t understand. Returns longer or shorter words. It is a big problem in my opinion.
ChatGPT—and all GPT models for that matter don’t know what words or letters are in any real sense, they communicate in tokens.
The models which power ChatGPT have a vocabulary of 100,256 tokens (you can see them all here: https://github.com/niieani/gpt-tokenizer/blob/main/data/cl100k_base.tiktoken). Those are the smallest possible units ChatGPT can understand, so asking ChatGPT to count letters is setting it up to fail. So when it does fail it’s not really the model’s fault.
Now, you’re not wrong for having thought this would be something it could do, it seems incredibly elementary compared to some of the things it can do, but there is the plain and simple fact of it, this is a task which is beyond its capabilities.