Paula LabrotBy Paula Labrot

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ChatGPT
Brace yourself. I have to catch you up on some rapid changes (are there any other kind these days?). ChatGPT is important for you to understand. It is a revolutionary, disruptive technology. According to Dante Amodeo, writing for uproxx.com, GPT is “short for generative pre-trained transformer,” and it’s essentially an AI (artificial intelligence) assistant that’s studied everything and will provide answers to any written request you make. The newest version, Chat GPT3, has been trained on billions of text samples before 2021 and, based on what you ask, it can transform that (information) into what it predicts to be useful results in text.” In other words, this is a program that, given a few prompts, is able to produce an “original” term paper in five seconds. Or a syllabus. Or a business plan. Or a love letter. Or lyrics. Or news copy. Or whatever! And in whatever voice you want—word jazz, olde English, Victorian, inner city, country western, business language, conservative, leftist, atheist, believer—as I said, whatever. And, since it is able to “learn” you, it can produce text in your very own individual voice. (See why all that data collected about you is so valuable?) Oh, and it can write code, too. Holy Moley! Let’s take a look at this. A Little History Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Peter Theil and other Silicon Valley heavyweights pledged one billion dollars in 2015 to create a nonprofit called Open AI, that focused on developing artificial intelligence “in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole.” Ethics were “baked into” the structure of the company as the founders realized the great risks of this technology in the wrong hands. Open AI was to be an organization that would freely collaborate with other institutions and researchers by making its patents and research open to the public. The goal was to develop artificial intelligence technologies that replicate the cognitive capabilities of humans. These technologies now have a self-aware consciousness and the ability to solve problems, learn, and plan for the future. According to Bernard Marr writing for Forbes Magazine, “Content is generated using algorithms that are pre-trained, i.e., the technologies are fed all of the data they need to carry out their tasks—about 570gb of text information gathered by crawling the internet (a publicly available data set known as CommonCrawl)—along with other texts selected by OpenAI, including the text of Wikipedia.” The amount of information processing that goes into the development of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) requires immense computational resources. That costs money. Needing a supply of investment capital, Open AI switched from a non-profit to a capped profit organization, ChatGPT3 (you can only make 100 times your investment). One week after the debut of ChatGPT3 in November 2022, a million users had signed on. The program is free now, because developers are still refining the technologies, and the users are actually teaching the program as they use it. The program learns independently, so the more it is used, the more it learns and the better it gets at replicating human cognitive abilities. What Can It Do? ChatGPT3 has the ability to recognize natural language and generate intelligent responses. You can talk to it. It can seem empathetic. It is revolutionizing the way content is created. It can write essays, research papers, books, screenplays, script analyses, poems, news copy, legal contracts, wills, trusts, blogs, supply chain plans. It can write a letter, create a resume, create jokes, explain complex topics, find legal precedents, write music in any genre, write-debug-explain code, create content in multiple languages, prepare for a job interview, write a job description, suggest party themes, write music in any genre…even just be a companion to carry on a conversation with. It can give you personal advice and recommendations. It can explain how it can replace you. It can explain how it is dangerous to you. Warnings AI, while very smart, has no morals or ethics. Elon Musk says, “We need to be super careful with AI as they are potentially more dangerous than nukes.” He does not want humanity to become a biological “bootloader” for digital super intelligence. David Ha, a researcher at Google Brain, says he is “concerned about” machine learning being used to “mask unethical human activities.” Francois Chollet of the deep neural network, Keras, says, “Arguably the greatest threat is mass population control via message targeting and propaganda bot armies.” Many people, especially the leaders in the AI industry, believe it is important to regulate this technology before things go wrong. Before AI overtakes humans. Ray Kurzweil suggests in “The Age of Spiritual Machines,” that evolution is an accelerating natural process that will soon outstrip biology’s ability to keep up with technology. He envisions a moment of singularity, a hypothetical future point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilization. Right now, schools at all levels are scrambling to figure out how to deal with this disruptive technology and maintain academic integrity. Lucas Ropek of gizmodo.com writes, “Will it lead to a tsunami of cheating from school slackers who just want a robot to write their history essay for them?” Be Brave, New World When electricity was invented, people would talk about how fascinating it was, but they weren’t sure how they would use it in their everyday lives. Ha! Be ready to dive into this technology, folks. We are not sure where we are going with AGI, but I’m pretty sure we will be heavily using it in the future. (Or will it be using us?) Vamos a ver!
Paula Labrot

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