ChatGPT fails to accurately count words

ChatGPT claims to be able to accurately count words in a sentence.
Nonetheless, it is not. The claim is not true, and this can be misleading.

Take the example below.

On the other hand, ChatGPT cannot generate a text with a requested word count. It cannot even get near.
I asked for a poem with 399 words, and chatGPT generated one with 301 words.
I asked ChatGPT to count the words in the generated poem, and the answer was 99 words…

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Yes, I noted that too. And I think it applies for 3.5 and 4 because experimenting with Bing Chat, it also fails to count or provide words correctly.

I am able to use the following prompt to get ChatGPT3.5 to count accurately. I believe counting is built on more basic skills, especially listing, evaluating, and keeping a tally. Because the bot can perform these more basic skills, it can count. By the way, ChatGPT4 can count with ordinary prompts.

Let’s play a counting game. I will give you a search term and a search set. You tell me how often the search term occurs in the search set. Divide the search set into an ordered list of items. Move through the list evaluating each item. Does the item under consideration match the search term? Keep a tally, starting with zero. If there is a match, increment the tally by one. Stop at with the last item in the search set.

Use a markdown table to show your work. Have a column for Row #, Item, Evaluation, and Tally.

For example: I say: How often does “m” occur in “mommy”? You say:

Row # - Item - Evaluation - Tally
1 - m- Yes - 1
2 - o - No - 1
3 - m - Yes - 2
4 - m - Yes - 3
5 - y- No - 3

“m” occurs three times in “mommy”.

Here is a second example. This one has a search term with two letters. I say: la-lalaala. You say:

Row # - Item - Evaluation - Tally
1 - la - Yes- 1
2 - al - No- 1
3 - la - Yes - 2
4 - aa - No - 2
5 - al - No - 2
6 - la - Yes - 3

“la” occurs three times in “lalaala”.

Here is a third example. I say: “Count odd numbers in the sequence 3, 50, 9”. You say:

Row # - Item - Evaluation - Tally
1 - 3 - Yes- 1
2 - 50 - No- 1
3 - 9 - Yes - 2

There are two odd numbers in the sequence “3, 50, 9”.

Ready? How often does “p” occur in “puppet”?