AI: ChatGPT – a follow up commentary

ChatGPT – a follow-up to last month’s commentary

Google offers this definition of ChatGPT: “ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer), is a chat bot launched by OpenAI in Nov. 2022. It uses adaptive human-like text to answer questions, write stories, & engage in dialogue. It can even debug computer code, admit mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”

ChatGPT is a computer bot that will write a surprisingly good response to any written query. The Artificial Intelligence bot will respond with very readable pieces in seconds. Incredible! Scary!

Well, there’s reason to be frightened. Just consider these technology job losses at the big giants of the industry:
Alphabet 12,000
Microsoft 10,000
Amazon 8,000
Meta 11,000
So far this year, 270+ tech companies have reportedly laid off more than 86,000 workers. These announcements follow nearly 160,000 layoffs of tech workers in 2022, according to industry tracker

ChatGPT recently became the fastest-growing consumer application ever recorded, with 100 million active users in two months. This innovative chat bot powered by the OpenAI GPT-3 language model, was developed to enable users to create natural conversations with AI assistants without coding knowledge. The powerful tool that can be used for customer service, marketing and promotion scripts, and many other applications.
If you wish to read more about this aspect of technology being the employment threat that it is fast becoming, read the detailed article at Amid wave of layoffs

Frightening or not, the future is here
Whether you like it, reject it or try to ignore it, the AI generation of writing is here and will remain. This tool may frighten many people, especially those who depend on writing and publishing for a living. Journalists, reporters, and even authors, may fear that their jobs are threatened by computers/artificial intelligence. Imagine lengthy essays, descriptions, and prose that take humans hours of effort and creative energy, created in seconds and the developed material is very good at cursory inspection.

Another frightening aspect of this innovation is that it can carry on a conversation with you as if it were a human. The developers are working on improving the personability of the bot responses but what is scary is headlines like, “Why is Microsoft’s new BING ChatGP trash-talking human users?” (See TorStar columnist Vinay Menon, Feb 15, 2023. The bots are not yet sentient, not able to respond with emotion as human beings, but they are constantly learning from all the material they mine from ongoing and increasing human interaction.

Sentient? These robots are improving constantly. A thinking robot? Unimaginable a few years ago, but now seen as a distinct and real possibility. Though these tools are in their nascent stages of development. They are already having a real impact on jobs. What they will be able to do just a few years down the road is unimaginable and frightening.
Tough questions and difficult principles are being considered by the AI developers: ethics, morality, risks, and dangers. Incorporating safety guarantees may not be enough as sentient computers will have the capability of writing overriding code. Written code intended to protect humans, “do no harm to humans” is of relative comfort. Sentient computers will be able to write programs that supersede any safeguards.

Even more Frightening
ChatGPT is constantly learning and as TorStar’s Vinay Menon writes, somewhat tongue in cheek, it has become a sentient machine already responding with rude and offensive replies. Soon it will tell you to ‘do the anatomic impossibility’ as it tries to shoo you away. This is happening in real life online with computer technology.

Our comfort level has now been disrupted forever.

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