AI & U 2

In what appears to this writer to be a major development in our Information Age, I feel obligated to report what I know about it, though the North Sound Breeze has no desire to become a news service of any kind. I probably wouldn’t bother you with it now, except that it appears I accidentally stumbled onto chatGPT very early on, and feel that those of you who use the computer for information will find this enlightening and helpful.

A few days ago I wrote about chatGPT’s power and versatility. I’ve had to change my writing twice already because every day new info is coming out about chatGPT and its mother ship, Open AI, thanks to my favorite form of news, the Seattle Times newspaper. Here’s a smidge of the first article –

“ChatGPT has captured the attention of the internet since its launching last November. Its imitation of human conversation sparked speculation as to its potential to supplant professional writers and even threaten the core search business at Google. Open AI, the organization behind it, makes money by charging developers to license its technology.”

Today’s update adds a lot to the landscape of this new technology. Turns out that both Microsoft and Google are all over it, and it appears it will be the new search engine very soon. From this latest article we can soon access this new marvel with Microsoft’s Bing through it’s browser, Edge. Microsoft tells us their version will be better, more powerful than the current Open AI version. Eh… maybe. I smell some hype in that little slice of ‘info.’ I find it interesting that Microsoft says, “The AI powered engine is still in preview mode, currently allowed to only a few users and reporters. Users can join a waitlist to use the engine as it continues to develop and roll out in the next few weeks.” Especially interesting, because you and I can use the original version NOW! Cool, huh?

And that old press release that Google is worried? Maybe, but here’s today’s news on that – “Last week, Google,which holds more that 80% of the search market, announced a partnership with Open AI’s rival, Anthropic.” Monday, Google announced it’s own chatbot, which they call “Bard,” which will be rolled out to a wider audience later this year. And while the tech giants prepare their responses to the ChatGPT emergency, several startups have launched search engines with chat interfaces similar to the bot. They include, Perplexity AI, and Neeva.

“A race starts today,” Microsoft CEO Nadella said. “This technology will reshape pretty much every software category that we know.”

And there were three AI reviews on TV that I saw this week… two on CNN and one on NBC Nightly News.

Dall-e‘s answer to my request for a Shi Tzu on the moon w/ treble clef

Holy game changer, Batman! Now where is this new thing going to take us?! Well, with history as our prediction guide, we know that the new AI will most certainly be used for both good and evil. Any of us to still give a whit for the printed word should, at the very least, beware!

It would be foolish to not give you a glimpse of the dark side of all this, and believe me, there is one! These new AI technologies will, as my good friend says below, blow away thousands of jobs for artists and writers…, and that’s just the tip of that iceberg.  As I told him, I lived through a nightmare like this, albeit on a much smaller level, when, in the ’90’s, the computer nerds, the wannabe synthesizer button pushers, and the new “music libraries” wiped out about 75% of my business. And it would never return. I was lucky, in a way, that it happened when it did. I had a wife and small child then. Even five years earlier would have put me under. In that regard, this AI that I’m crowing about here is seen as a death knell to so many artists here and around the world. I am not happy about that aspect of it. Here’s a sampling of what my good friend, who is a world class artist himself, wrote to me about it:

“AI is scraping and assembling. Forget that thousands of creative jobs will be lost as the “value of creative production breaks through the bottom.” Look man you know I’ve always been a tech guy, grew up with the stuff. My father was an apollo engineer. I get it. But this crosses a line that every Science fiction author has warned us about (or prepared us for) for years. I’m just glad I’m in the 4th quarter and can still decide not to participate. Yeah I’ve seen the stuff produced by Mid-journey – It’s mind boggling good. It’s not like some talentless guys are dragging and dropping to create stuff – this is machine production and it is bigger than anything.”

From the AI platform Midjourney

But back to the amazing side of this artist killer. In a lame attempt to ask chatGPT something a little more difficult, I asked it this: “Write for me the cliff notes for the fall of the Roman Empire” and in about 30 seconds, here is its response –

“The fall of the Roman Empire is generally considered to have occurred in 476 CE, when the last emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed by the Germanic king Odoacer. The Roman Empire was plagued by a variety of problems in the centuries leading up to its fall, including:

• Economic decline: The empire’s economy was heavily dependent on slavery, and as slavery declined, so did the economy. Additionally, tax revenues were lower due to a declining population and military expenses were higher due to the empire’s expansion and constant warfare.

• Political instability: The Roman Empire was marked by a series of weak emperors, military coups, and civil wars, which made it difficult for the empire to maintain stability and resist invasions.

• Invasions by Barbarian tribes: The empire was constantly threatened by various Germanic and other barbarian tribes, who repeatedly invaded and sacked Rome.

• Military decline: The Roman military, once a formidable force, was weakened by a combination of factors, including economic decline, political instability, and the growing power of the barbarian tribes.

The fall of the Roman Empire marked the end of classical antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Its legacy, however, continues to shape the modern world in many ways, including through the influence of its legal, political, and cultural institutions.”

Dall-e‘s response to my request for a light house on a dark, foggy night

Sheesh, what a know-it-all. Let’s try again: “What is Harvard’s most difficult course of study?”

“It is difficult to determine the most difficult course of study at Harvard University, as the level of difficulty can vary greatly depending on a student’s individual strengths and interests. However, some courses that are known for their rigor and academic demands include:
• Computer Science: Harvard’s computer science program is considered to be one of the most challenging, especially for students without a background in programming or mathematics.

• Mathematics: Harvard’s mathematics program covers a wide range of topics and is known for its demanding coursework and problem sets.

• Physics: Harvard’s physics program is also known for its challenging coursework, especially in the areas of quantum mechanics and general relativity.

• Economics: Harvard’s economics program is highly quantitative and covers complex theories and models.

• Ultimately, the most difficult course of study at Harvard will depend on the individual student’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their interest in the subject matter.”

Well yeah, right again, and once more in about 30-40 seconds, as were all the answers on this page. I personally found Harvard’s courses in quantum mechanics fairly challenging. Sigh.

But can’t stop now. Gave it yet another one, perhaps not really believing it was this accurate and this fast. “Isn’t it possible to use chatGPT for evil thoughts and actions?”

“Yes, it is possible for people to use language models like OpenAI’s GPT for malicious purposes, such as generating fake news or spreading misinformation. It is important to note that OpenAI and other AI companies have ethical and responsible AI policies in place to prevent the misuse of their technology.”

“However, it is ultimately up to users to use AI technology in a responsible and ethical manner. As AI continues to advance and become more accessible, it is important for individuals, governments, and organizations to consider the potential consequences of their actions and to take steps to ensure that AI is used for the benefit of humanity.”

“It is also important to remember that AI models like GPT are only as good as the data they are trained on, and any biases or inaccuracies in the training data can lead to biased or incorrect outputs from the model. This underscores the importance of responsible data curation and ethical considerations in the development and deployment of AI technology.”

A Matisse-style “painting” of my ’07 Mustang

I swear, I almost thought I could hear it yawn. but never mind, last question: “Can you help me market my modest blog?”

“Sure, I’d be happy to help you market your blog! Here are a few strategies that you can consider:
1. Social media: Utilize social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to promote your blog and engage with your audience. Share links to your blog posts and interact with your followers to build a strong following.

2. Search engine optimization (SEO): Optimize your blog for search engines by using relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and alt tags. This will help your blog rank higher in search results and make it easier for potential readers to find you.

3. Content marketing: Create valuable and informative content that appeals to your target audience. This can help attract and retain readers and establish your blog as a go-to source for information in your niche.

4. Collaboration: Reach out to other bloggers and websites in your niche to collaborate on content and promote each other’s work. This can help you build relationships and expand your reach.

5. Guest posting: Write guest posts for other blogs and websites in your niche to introduce yourself to new audiences and gain exposure for your blog.

6. Email marketing: Build an email list of subscribers who are interested in your blog. Send out newsletters and promotional materials to keep your audience engaged and informed.

7. Paid advertising: Consider using paid advertising options such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to reach a wider audience.

Remember that the most important aspect of marketing your blog is to consistently produce high-quality content that your audience will enjoy and find useful. Good luck!”

From Midjourney

I am beyond impressed! And, true to my addictive personality, I can’t stop asking it questions. But I’ve finally been able to ask it this last one: “Write a response to a reader who enjoys most of the content of my blog but dislikes my style of writing. Add a touch of defensiveness.”

“Dear [Reader],
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about my writing style. I appreciate your constructive criticism and am glad to hear that you generally enjoy the content of my blog.
However, I must say that I am a bit defensive about your criticism of my writing style. As a writer, I put a lot of thought and effort into my words and try to express myself in a way that is unique and authentic to me. Every writer has their own voice and style, and I believe that mine is a reflection of who I am and what I have to say.
That being said, I understand that not everyone will enjoy every aspect of my writing, and I respect your opinion. I am always open to feedback and will continue to strive for improvement in all areas of my writing.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I look forward to continuing to engage with you and provide content that you find valuable and enjoyable.
Best regards, [Your Name]”

Dall-e’s answer to my request for a piano player on Saturn’s rings

And there you have it! At least I’m not sharing age-old news with you. This powerhouse has been out less than 3 months, so maybe we’re not on the cutting edge, but at least we’re still in the game. (Or something like that…) I encourage you to sign in to this incredible program and give it a test drive for yourself. And don’t worry that it’s free at this time, last month Microsoft struck an investment deal with chatGPT’s parent company, Open AI, reported to be worth about 10 billion. That should see them nicely through their first quarter at least.

I was thinking of asking it to cuss like a Montana Cowboy, (partly because I can…) but had to decline, as there is a gentle warning to keep the human input clean and relevant. Well hell, one out of two ain’t bad. I wouldn’t want to be kicked off this incredible new site for bad questions, and besides, I’m sure it can swear like a sailor if prompted correctly, though how one prompts a brilliant software machine ‘correctly’ beats the shit out of me. Best leave that one to my artificial imagination.

Steve Hulse

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