Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer
by Tony Forder
A friend of mine has been playing around with ChatGPT. He asked it to write a story about Tony Forder's acerbic wit combined with his love of locally brewed beer.....It was an amusing tale, even if the phrases "acerbic wit" and "love of locally brewed beer" were somewhat overused. But I, for one, have yet to make friends with the Bot.
Because I am a writer. A journalist. I made my living from words. Technology marches on. The internet blew away travel agents with easy-to-book travel. Uber and Lyft rendered New York taxi driver medallions worthless. Now Bots can spit out words, stories, even poetry in seconds. EvOf course, Chat GPT is not accurate, drawing as it does from the pool of the internet which itself is fraught with inaccuracies. Will the role of the human journalist be reduced to fact-checking?
And what of the fiction writer. If the Bot has no need for accuracy then surely that is its realm.
Bots can't make things up, only copy things. But what is fiction, if not copying from experience.
Artificial Intelligence is here, like it or not and AI defenders say its role is to make things easier for us. That's what they said about the digital revolution, right? It just sped everything up. Sure some jobs will be redundant, but that's progress, right? So, perhaps the logical conclusion is that Bots do most of the work and we all get a wage just for living.
And if you're concerned about AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) – a world where Bots can actually think for themselves, and maybe even outthink humans, this making us obsolete, I'm told we're a long way from that – at least now.
Where are we headed anyway? What stage are humans at – Kids? Teenagers? We certainly seem to act like it. We're still using a 100 + year-old invention for transport. We still need a handheld device to be in touch with each other. Cell phones are just the next step to harness the telepathy that our brains must be capable of – the ability to be Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. And if this opens the door to the Multiverse, Evelyn help us!
Sorry, that was a bit of a digression.
Back to the writer. Readers are perhaps ready to embrace the Bot, but for writers it is painful. The power of the pen co-opted. Our very lifeblood severed. No more writing career perhaps, but writing or creating remains valid for personal expression or therapy. I like to write and will continue.
And ain't that What It's All About.
Image by brgfx on Freepik