Area Luddite Gives Warning

Big Tech

I’m going to put my stake in the ground: ChatGPT and other AI technologies are not going to work out for societal good. Sure, they are cool technologies and prove even more that people are not fallen Angels, we are risen apes.

As someone from the old school of engineering, I will always ask the essential questions: What is the problem you are trying to solve, and how do you measure success? In all the beard stroking I’ve read, no one is willing to go on record without guile, so I will:

  • There is only one possible problem for AI to solve and that is How to replace actual employees with it.
  • How to measure success? When the boss feels empowered to fire people and replace them with these bots.

The time to discuss societal good and philosophy about AI is NOW, because once this thing is out in the wild, do you really expect the Elon Musks of the Universe to unplug this?

Our thought bubble: Once again, the technology industry isn’t waiting for permission or letting fears about unintended consequences slow the rush to deploy a new technology.

  • Control of a new platform is too powerful a lure, and companies that hesitate worry they’ll lose out. As in past platform shifts, dealing with any legal, social or ethical fallout will get kicked down the road.

The WaPo morning email thingie:

Microsoft’s new AI chatbot is going off the rails.

  • What to know: Microsoft launched the bot, named Bing, last week. It’s supposed to complement Microsoft’s search engine.
  • What’s going wrong? People with early access say it’s giving out bad information and getting angry and defensive when questioned.
  • Why is this happening? Experts say Bing isn’t becoming sentient. But it is reflecting the good and bad elements of the internet used to train the AI technology.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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17 Responses to Area Luddite Gives Warning

  1. A reminder: Microsoft’s first foray into AI chatbots, Tay, was transformed within a day into a raging neo-nazi white supremacist.

    Sure they all think we’re going to get Data.

    Instead we’re going to get Lore.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. w3ski4me says:

    Funny. They can build an AI brain, but they can’t get it to be accurate or civil. Somebody tell me please why we need this. This a classic case of just because we can do it, why do it? There are plenty of rude humans already, we so don’t need nasty robots too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As TG says, if you don’t have to pay the rude humans, the rude robpts are perfect employees.

      The thing is, while everyone is freaking about the stupid Bing chatbots; more narrowly scoped versions are close to being replacements for all sorts of things human bureaucrats do now.

      Press releases, legal documents, various reports have all been tested and ChatGPT, with the right training sets is better and more productive than humans at these things.

      Automation is coming for the white collars, too.

      right now if I’m just graduating from law school with a ton of student loans in the face of ChatGPT being able to do what I”m expected to do as I enter the workforce, well I’d be collecting as many sabots as I could gather.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Martin Pollard says:

      “Your scientists were so concerned about whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should!” – Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park


  3. Kent Fossgreen says:

    So, Bing gives bad information and gets angry and defensive when questioned? I think we’ve got a new Republican presidential contender!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Supreme Court Justice ChatBots are right around the corner. Are we really sure that some of them haven’t already been replaced with the aforementioned Sydney?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Art says:

    This MFer is going to wake me up from my very necessary nap Friday evening and try to sell me maintenance insurance for the car I haven’t had in eight years. And it isn’t going to take NO for an answer. It is going to be doing this same thing on several thousand lines simultaneously and If you don’t say yes it’s going to take it personally and contact several thousand other AIs and your phone will never stop ringing.

    Presently the only major cost for a telephone boiler-room is the necessity for semi-sentient lifeforms to do the actual interaction. With an AI the costs go down to nothing. We shall drown in a tsunami of uncolicited sales presentations.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. roket says:

    What the world needs now is AI rage uncles. It’s for your own good.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. gruaud says:

    I am adamantly opposed to the rise of unregulated AI. If you think misinformation and data breaches are a problem now, it will seem like a walk in the park compared to the unstoppable juggernaut hurtling towards us. Guard your internet footprint and all your other footprints.


  8. Sirius Lunacy says:

    These days it’s getting harder to tell if you are talking to a robot or an actual human. So now, whenever I get a call and hear “this is (insert name) from (insert company) how are you today?” I answer with “hi (insert name), I’m fine. What size shoe do you wear?” This has, so far, been very effective at separating the bots from the biologicals.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. lofgren says:

    Your first two bullet points describe the primary function of most technology in a capitalist society. This has as much to do with AI as it does with mechanical looms or horseback riding. As long as Elon Musks are in charge, it doesn’t matter what particular technology you do or don’t embrace. The problem is the Musks, not the tech.

    Liked by 1 person

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