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My Interview with ChatGPT
My Interview with ChatGPT.
I’ve been researching and writing about Machine Learning (ML) that part of Artificial Intelligence (AI), that is particularly game-changing. Mostly, I have been asking ChatGPT questions lots of questions.
In so doing, I am learning how to prompt it better and to get better answers thanks in no small part to my Facebook friends who are more experienced than me and have been generous with useful advice.
As for me and ChatGPT, well, as we used to say about relationships on Facebook--it’s complicated. Mostly, I’m using it to research a book I hope to write. While it started out about how AI can reduce global warming, my social media feedback tells me people are more interested in ChatGPT.
What they think of it seems equally balanced by those who love and embrace ChatGPT and regard it as a panacea for everything wrong and those who fear and loathe the program with equal passion, considering ChatGPT to be nothing less than evil digital witchcraft.
I am of the opinion that both sides are partially right and simultaneously wrong. Among those who share the greatest concerns are those who have helped AI to reach it’s current state, including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Geoffrey Hinton, the driving force of Google’s ML has warned against many imminent dangers and has left Google so he could be free to warn against them.
ChatGPT on ChatGPT
The potential downsides to AI are many and they have been reported in abundance, with many warning of impending catastrophes—just like global warming and it comes as some surprise to me since I see so much impending disaster in global warming.
So I turned to the resource that I have come to use the most in recent months: ChatGPT.
I asked ChatGPT, “What were the unintended consequences of the car, the plane, TV, computer, and Worldwide Web?”
Here’s my summary of what it told me. I’m using my own words in places because frankly, I write better than ChatGPT—at least for now.
Cars have enabled people to travel further affordably, but it has facilitated urban sprawl and a decline in the quality of urban life. Far worse, it depends on oil and is a major producer of air pollution.
Planes make it easier to travel long distances quickly, but they also spread infectious diseases and they pollute the air. Also, the growth of the industry has increased demands for airport infrastructure, which pollute and cause noise in surrounding neighborhoods.
3. TVs have impacted society, making people better informed and influencing cultural norms and values. But the rise of 24-hour news channels has also contributed to the erosion of traditional journalism and the prevalence of fake news.
4. The computer has had numerous positive effects, including revolutionizing the way we work, communicate, and access information. However, it has also had several unintended consequences such as:
Digital Divide where prosperous communities and individuals have access to technology and the internet, while poorer communities do not. This can exacerbate inequalities.
Job Displacement. The increased use of computers and automation has led to the displacement of workers in certain industries, such as manufacturing and customer service.
Cybersecurity: The computer has enabled cybercrimes, such as identity theft, data breaches, and ransomware and malware attacks. This has raised concerns about the security of personal and financial information.
Addiction and Isolation: Technology allows many people online and less time interacting face-to-face leading to isolation and addiction.
Environmental Impact: The production, use, and disposal of computers can have negative environmental impacts, emit greenhouse gases, and generate electronic waste.
The Worldwide Web has revolutionized the way people communicate and access information, but it has also led to the proliferation of fake news, cyberbullying, and other negative behavior. It is now easier for criminals to commit fraud, steal personal data, and engage in other illegal activities.
In short, I can think of no tech innovation that has not had darkside consequences. The greater the benefits of the product,
the more unhealthy side effects seem to accompany them.
My concluding point is that unintended consequences have accompanied every successful technological innovation since the beginning of time. Generally, the unintended negative consequences have scaled with the benefits. I can think of no example of a major new benefit that did not contain negative side effects.
Next, I asked ChatGPT the big question:
What would you say are your benefits and liabilities to people and businesses?
It answered as follows, made shorter by my edits and rewrites
I have both benefits and liabilities. Here are some key points to consider:
Efficiency and productivity. I can help automate tasks, analyze data, and generate insights, which can lead to increased productivity and efficiency for businesses.
Cost savings. By streamlining processes and reducing manual labor, I can help businesses reduce operational costs.
Enhanced decision-making. I can provide real-time information, trends, and predictions, so decision-makers have informed choices.
Personalization and customer service. I provide personalized recommendations and support, enhancing customer experiences.
Information access. I help users find and process vast amounts of data, making it easier for people to understand information.
Continuous learning. As an AI model, I am continuously updated with new data, enabling me to stay current with the latest knowledge and trends. (This is not really true because its data is no more recent than September 2021, which is becoming long ago and far away.
Bias and fairness. My training data may contain biases, which can lead to unfair or discriminatory outcomes when making predictions or recommendations.
Privacy and security. The data used to train and interact with me could expose or misuse sensitive information.
AI Dependence. Overreliance on AI systems like me may reduce critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Job displacement. AI-driven automation could lead to job losses in certain industries, negatively impacting livelihoods.
Misinformation. I may unintentionally propagate false or misleading information, as I am only as accurate as the data I have been trained on.
Accountability: It can be difficult to attribute responsibility for decisions made by AI systems, potentially leading to ethical and legal challenges.
It seems to me that ChatGPT has been transparent in candid in answering my two questions. I cannot guarantee that it always will be that way. It still makes mistakes and sometimes seems to be bold-facedly lying.
Like cars, planes, TVs computers, and the web, it offers unprecedented benefits and like them, it has some downside effects that should be understood. But if you are among those who want to just stop all of AI, you are about 60 years too late.
ChatGPT, like Rock and Roll, is here to stay.