Will AI like ChatGPT end the book?

When I was younger, there were a few popular movies that gave warnings about the dangers of unsupervised artificial intelligence.

The first is 1983’s “War Games,” in which a young computer hacker played by Matthew Broderick accidentally sets the countdown to releasing the entire arsenal of the United States’ nuclear stockpile into the Soviet Union because the Pentagon has handed control of the transcontinental. The ballistic missile system was converted into a computer program, after humans failed to carry out launch commands during a training exercise.

The second is 1984’s The Terminator, in which the killer robot Arnold Schwarzenegger is sent back in time by a sentient AI (named Skynet) in order to assassinate the AI-fighting resistance hero of the future. I think I have that right. I honestly never understood the time traveling aspect of the “Terminator” franchise. I was watching the kicks and the explosions, like everyone else.

The common moral of these two cautionary tales is that humans should be careful about putting too much control in the hands of algorithms. In War Games, the world is saved when they manage to teach the computer a lesson that some games – like tic-tac-toe and global thermonuclear war – can’t be won, so it’s best not to play.

I think the “Terminator” franchise is too profitable for Skynet to teach it a definitive lesson once and for all, but the caveat is the same: when an AI realizes how terrible people are, don’t be surprised if it decides it isn’t necessary to keep us around.

I’ve been thinking about these two films in the context of the recent and extended public discussion and overcoming of ChatGPT, the large language model artificial intelligence algorithm made publicly available by the OpenAI project.

ChatGPT can produce completely fluent prose for any question or prompt in a matter of seconds, and the first time you see it in action, it looks like a marvel. Its efficiency and fluency make some people wary of how ChatGPT avoids most of what students are asked to write for school, since it can produce an infinite number of B-level responses without triggering any kind of plagiarism detector.

For me, this primarily calls into question what kind of writing students do in school. Why train them to write like an algorithm?

But some people go so far as to suggest that this is the end for writers of all kinds, novelists, poets, journalists, you name it. If an algorithm can deliver error-free prose on any topic in a matter of seconds, why accept the inevitable imperfections associated with human-produced writing?

Let me suggest that we look at the lessons of those films from 40 years ago, where the limits of computerized “perfection” are made clear, and perhaps consider that it is those human “flaws” that make something worth reading.

Sure, we must think about how we live and work in a world where this technology exists, but we must also remember that as responsible humans, we have choice and agency over technology. War Games and Terminator are about what happens when we abdicate our collective responsibility to honor what makes us human, flaws and all.

ChatGPT can’t think, think, or make intuitive leaps. It is a syntax ordering machine and writing is more than just syntax ordering. Even if creative writers start using ChatGPT as a tool, it will be human intervention that determines whether the product is worth our time at all.

John Warner is the author of Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Essentials.

Twitter @biblioracle

Book recommendations from Biblioracle

John Warner tells you what to read based on the last five books you’ve read.

1. “Lincoln Highway” by Omar Tools

2. “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” by Gabriel Zeven

3. “This is happiness.” by Niall Williams

4. “The Underground Railroad” By Colson Whitehead

5. “Young Mongo” by Douglas Stewart

– Alisa B, Chicago

Karen Joy Fowler’s “We’re All Beside Ourselves” has just the right mix of character-driven narrative and storyline surprise that Alyssa seems drawn to.

1. “On the go” by Oliver Sacks

2. “Trust” by Hernan Diaz

3. “Netanyahu” by Joshua Cohen

4. “Less Loss” By Andrew Sean Greer

5. “Chang and Eng” by Darren Strauss

– Michael T. Wilmite

There’s Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson blends the real with the fantastic while adding a dash of humor and traits that are collectively represented on Michael’s recent reading list.

1. “Marriage Portrait” By Maggie O’Farrell

2. “Our Lost Hearts” by Celeste Ng

3. “Copperhead Demon” by Barbara Kingsolver

4. “Sea of ​​Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel

5. “Little things like this.” by Claire Keegan

– Georgia M, Naperville

This is a novel that I highly recommend because I think it’s a great mix of emotional and intellectual, where we experience a man trying to pick up his life after a terrible loss, and the world he once believed in is challenged by new ideas and new ideas. New People: “Everything Explained” by Lauren Grodstein.

Get a reading from the Bible

Submit a list of the last five books you’ve read and your hometown biblioracle@gmail.com.

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