Artificial Intelligence: The Genie Is Out of the Bottle

For a few years now I've been reading about the advancements of AI. I didn't think too much of it until scientists made the big leap forward by giving AI human mannerisms and speech. That was ChatGPT.

I didn't want to think of the repercussions. 

Despite my homesteading kind of life, I'm not opposed to technology. I just don't like it doing too much for me.

I think back to my grandparents with their cast iron stove and their outhouse. Killing and cooking their own animals for food. Making everything from scratch, from clothes to bread.

Over the decades our hands have become so removed from the work of everyday life that some people think hamburger had always come wrapped in plastic.

Back in the 70s it was a big motivation for me to (re)learn how to do things from scratch if for no other reason than to have that knowledge tucked away.

Now we have artificial intelligence so adaptive that it can literally mimic humans.

Some scientists have called for a pause in developing this technology. My skeptical side believes they only want to slow the others down so they can catch up.

Either way, the genie has escaped its bottle. We will never put it back again and I'm sad about that.

Already students are using ChatGPT to cheat on papers, asking it to write a paper for them. Schools often employ a sophisticated program to ferret out plagiarism, but it won't work with AI. 

ChatGPT, like its many clones, draws information from every source available on the web. It can piece and adapt information to fill whatever is required by the student. It doesn't plagiarize. It paraphrases and extrapolates.

Businesses are starting to use AI too. Instead of hiring writers to supply content, now they simply put in a request after giving the program the parameters it needs to fill.

My only condolence here is that at least there won't be any spelling or grammatical errors. Before AI, businesses outsourced much of their writing work but apparently they never hired editors. Content was often riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. It's enough to drive an editor to drink.

But AI isn't so flawed. And now there's a new generation of ChatGPT that's supposed to be even more sophisticated and human than its predecessor.

How long before it writes a novel worthy of print?

As for art, I think this is where AI is going to flourish. Why employ real artists when you can program details into this technology and it renders almost lifelike characters for you?

There's been talk for years that even Hollywood is this close to creating realistic AI "actors" for the big screen that are as believable as humans. They are very close even now.

I don't know how you feel about it, but I think it's another nail in our collective coffin. The worst of it is, there's no turning back. Other than people like me who like to create things from scratch, what person wouldn't take advantage of AI if it makes their lives easier or cheaper than hiring a human?

As it stands it can take all my posts and articles since the 1990s and recreate an AI Maria character. Think about that for a moment. The web has enough information on all of us that it doesn't need us to produce anything. They can simply cherry pick and create new posts and articles in our voice and style.

I'd say it's a conundrum worthy of a novel, but such stories have already been written, and we hardly ever turn out well in them.

I'm waiting for ChatGPT to turn out a novel in the same vein. Dollars to donuts, I'll bet the AI is the hero.

Where do you fall on artificial intelligence? Will the machines rise up and take over?

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Jackie said…
Maria there are many reasons we depend on technology now and just go anywhere and it seems to me the technology itself is only as good as 1. the programmer and 2. the user themselves.

After which there is then #3. how any given day you might find said technology having glitches that cause more problems for said programmer or user than it is worth.

Cases in point my recent quick appointment at DMV which turned into almost 2 hours because of slowest computers on earth that day.

I, like you am worried though.

Seems to me as we age things that used to be so simple have become unnecessarily complicated by using certain machines instead of the humans who can actually do things better.

Then again after Covid our work force has gotten thinned out leaving certain people behind most employers would welcome an AI alternative for their business staff, at least in our area maybe anyway.
Maria Zannini said…
Jackie: IF the DMV used AI we probably wouldn't have long wait lines. :)

For authors and artists, I'm more worried about the creative side. There was a simulation where the AI was instructed to write a story in the voice and style of Shakespeare, Dickens, and others. It was spot on. That's scary.

I'm worried too because (as you speculated) AI is trained by a programmer with certain parameters. That programmer could be biased, naive, or ignorant of the real facts and program these same traits into the AI, thereby creating a flawed intelligence that will only choose information that mirrors the programmer's directives.
Jackie said…
Maria got in at 8am was taken directly to a person and only reason it took forever was their idiotic system was not cooperating the entire time the clerk was data entering my information, or should I say trying to do so and having to try over and over before we finally got to take my picture for a state ID card only for identification as I no longer drive or need a license.

To say it was a mess would be an understatement.

I do hear your concern though and hope it doesn’t ever get to that point for the sake of people who as you say create because that would be devastating for many people for sure.
Mike Keyton said…
Another interesting development is manifesting in Japan, where in a few cases men have ‘married anime holograms with AI capabilities ref synthetic empathy, flirtatious, submissive, the works. I wonder how long before a trickle becomes a flood.
I imagine they’re no good at homesteading
Jenny Schwartz said…
I go back and forward on this one. When I listen to enthusiasts, I get excited. Then I listen to doubters, and I doubt. Pretty much the only thing I'm sure of is there is going to be big changes. My crystal ball is cloudy on what those changes will be.

I'm grateful for the people jumping up and down and shouting about getting the principles of AI right.

People used to say that access to the internet would divide us into haves and have nots. Maybe the ability to bend AI to our will (i.e. benefit from it) will be the real divider. Some get AI servants. Others get AI overseers. Cynicism suggests there are always winners and losers when things change.

You can tell from my rambly answer, I think about AI way too much.
Maria Zannini said…
Jackie: Back when we were forced into isolation, I was three days short of renewing my driver's license. The DMV let me coast on my old license for months until they were able to open up again.

I thought it would be hell, but they were so afraid of infecting anyone they took us in by appointment, went through the process and let me go in record time.

Another perk of covid living.
Maria Zannini said…

Japan is really making some headway building human like robots too.

What will we have in 50 years I wonder.
Maria Zannini said…
Jenny: I'm cautiously excited. I honestly don't think I'll ever use it, but the possibilities are vast. We're only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

I am worried that it might make authors and artists somewhat obsolete in the future though.
Luba Meader said…
Such a great post, Maria... Ever since Elon Musk came forward and mentioned he'd like to postpone designs for AI production made me contemplate AI designs. I watched a movie with Michael Fassbender playing a dual AI role in "Covenant." Good movie btw. And I like Fassbender!!! Again, with Musk coming forward with his request, I contemplated the "positives and the negatives" of AI productions.

Advantages of AI's: Reduction in human error. It'll take risks instead of humans. Available 24x7. Helping in repetitive jobs. Digital assistance. Faster decisions (I mean we all have played chess games in Windows). New medical inventions!!! Some of the disadvantages: High cost of creation. Making humans lazy. Unemployment. No emotions. Lacking out-of-box thinking. Some people also say that AI can destroy human civilization if it goes into the wrong hands...😲😳 Like you said Maria, it's a conundrum!
Maria Zannini said…
Luba: Thanks for the video recommendation. I'll check it out.

There are definitely pros and cons and I see it as a benefit as long as it stays under control.

But there are unscrupulous people out there who can use it to undermine others. Musk had mentioned creating personal AI that would protect you against someone else's AI. That's an interesting concept if your personal AI can be slaved to you alone. It's a little like a malware protector.

Lots of questions and even more "what ifs".
Luba Meader said…
Mm-hmmm right you are, Maria. My main concern would be if it got into the wrong hands. And how does it affect the poor... Such good conversations going into the future, bcoz I think we'll see an AI in our future.