So I had this conversation, my first with ChatGPT:

JO: Hello

Hello! How can I assist you today?

JO: Last night I got into bed, and after lying there for a few minutes, I realized that the side of the bed was damp. I found it very strange. Why would my bed be wet?

There could be several reasons why the side of your bed was damp. Here are some possibilities:

  1. Spilled liquid: It’s possible that you spilled some liquid on the bed and didn’t realize it. This could be water, juice, or any other type of liquid.
  2. Sweating: If you tend to sweat a lot while sleeping, it’s possible that the moisture from your body could have soaked into the bed.
  3. Humidity: If the air in your room is very humid, it could cause moisture to accumulate on surfaces, including your bed.
  4. Leaky roof or pipes: If there is a leak in your roof or pipes, water could be getting into your bedroom and causing the bed to become damp.
  5. Condensation: If the temperature in your room drops overnight, it’s possible that condensation could form on your bed.

To determine the cause of the dampness, you might want to investigate further. Check the ceiling and walls around your bed to see if there are any signs of water damage, and inspect your mattress and bedding for any visible signs of moisture or stains. If you’re unable to identify the cause, it might be a good idea to consult with a professional to investigate further.

JO: Thank you. What sort of professional would you recommend?

If you suspect that there is a leak in your roof or pipes, you may want to contact a plumber or a roofing contractor to inspect your home for any leaks or damage. They will be able to identify the source of the leak and provide you with recommendations on how to fix it.

If the issue is related to humidity or condensation, you may want to contact a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) specialist to assess your home’s ventilation system. They can evaluate your HVAC system and suggest any changes or upgrades that may help improve indoor air quality and reduce humidity levels.

If you’re unable to identify the cause of the dampness on your own, you may want to consider hiring a professional home inspector. They can assess your entire home and identify any underlying issues that could be causing the dampness. They will also be able to provide you with recommendations on how to fix any issues they find.

Ultimately, the type of professional you should contact will depend on the specific circumstances of your situation. A qualified professional will be able to help you identify the source of the dampness and provide you with guidance on how to address it.

What I hadn’t mentioned is that the cat had been sleeping all day where the bed was wet, which I now realized was a red herring in my thinking, guessing that maybe he had something to do with it. And while we once had a problem with a leaky roof, we had run the electric baseboard heaters for several weeks that winter, which created ice dams along the gutter, and we had since we’d learned our lesson. (The other options weren’t a possibility.)

So something we hadn’t been able to figure out the night before, a large language model was able to give me the answer to, using predictive text, like your phone guessing what your next word will be. It also gave me a very detailed answer way faster than I would be able to think or type, even if I’d been able to come up with it on my own.

Is a large language model actually intelligent? It seems to be smarter than I am. But it’s drawing from the intelligence of all of humanity that has preserved thoughts in text. (It’s presumably also drawing stupidity from the same pool; early models were trained on Reddit.)

In any case, later in the day, I heard plopping from the bedroom, and the ceiling was indeed leaking. I put a cookie sheet on the bed to try to contain the water.


I washed all the bedding, and we moved to the downstairs bedroom for a week. Our ceiling is wood, so the water stains get lost in the wood grain; it’s fine. I climbed up on the roof (the southeast side stays clear of snow) and pushed about a foot of snow off the northeast facing shingles.

I am pleased to say that all of the snow and ice over the master bedroom has melted as of today. I remade the bed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.