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What Does ChatGPT Say About Being “Woke”?

I have previously blogged about the concept of being “woke.” It was some time ago so rather than update it, I decided to ask ChatGPT to define the term. I asked twice and got substantially different answers each time. The answers also seem to be somewhat shallow. The best way to explain the differences is to summarize my previous blog and then compare it to the answers generated by ChatGPT.

Are You Woke?

I have examined this issue in my blog and summarize the key points as follows.

  • Center of contentious political, social, and cultural debates in society.
  • Some say being woke is a sign of awareness of social issues.
  • Some say it is used as an insult to others.
  • Broke into mainstream language came form the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Some say the term is used to claim, ‘white privilege exists.’

Former president Obama has said that calling people out on social media does not bring about change. He told an audience: "I get a sense among certain young people on social media that the way of making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people. "If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn't do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because 'Man did you see how woke I was? I called you out!'"

Obama went further and said about wokeness: “That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change”. If all you are doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far. That’s easy to do.”

ChatGPT’s First Response

What does WOKE mean? Being woke


The term "woke" is a slang expression that originated in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and gained broader usage in popular culture. It refers to being socially and politically aware, particularly with regard to issues of racial and social justice. Being "woke" implies being conscious of systemic injustices, such as racism, sexism, and discrimination, and actively advocating for change.

The term gained prominence during the Black Lives Matter movement and has since expanded to encompass a wider range of social and political issues. It is often associated with a heightened awareness of privilege, a willingness to challenge and dismantle oppressive systems, and an emphasis on inclusivity and equality.

However, it is important to note that the term has been subject to various interpretations and debates, and its usage can vary depending on the context and the individual using it. Some people embrace the term as a positive affirmation of social consciousness, while others criticize it as performative or lacking substance.

ChatGPT’s Second Response

What does WOKE Mean?


The term "woke" originated in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and has since gained broader usage in popular culture and social discourse. It refers to being aware and attentive to social and political issues, particularly those related to racial and social justice. Being "woke" involves recognizing and challenging systemic inequalities, discrimination, and oppressive structures in society. It often implies being conscious of one's own privilege and taking action to address social injustices. The term has evolved into a broader concept that encompasses various aspects of social awareness, including gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, environmental justice, and more. However, it is worth noting that the term "woke" can also be used in different ways or contexts and may have slightly different meanings depending on the person using it.


Two of the primary differences are:

  • The first response addresses wokeness and influence of the Back Lives Matter movement.
  • The second response addresses the role of social awareness, including gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, environmental justice, and more.

The second response seems to link the concept of environmental, social, and governance practices (ESG) to wokeness.

The point of this blog is to recognize that there may be inconsistent answers, which brings into question the reliability of responses by ChatGPT.

There is little doubt that ChatGPT’s answers will be more consistent over time. Until then, users should review the responses and think about them from the perspective of objectivity and impartiality.

Blog posted by Dr. Steven Mintz on June 27, 2023. You can sign up for Steve’s newsletter and learn more about his activities on his website (