I saw the next big thing the other night, and I was left in awe.
I know you’ve heard promises before about the next big thing which ultimately wasn’t.
Google Glass was supposed to put the internet into your eyeglasses. Maybe it was too nerdy.
The Segway was supposed to revolutionize personal transportation. The only people I see using them are urban tour guides and mall cops.
Don’t forget the curved television set.
This one is for real. When I tried it, it amazed me — but I couldn’t help but worry about its many ethical considerations.
Hello. Meet ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence invention that you can try for yourself. I’ll show you how.
Microsoft Bing offers a similar artificial intelligence — or AI — tool.
Last week, Google introduced its version call Bard.
I’ve tried all three.
Watch this: I’ll ask ChatGPT to take the above paragraphs and “shorten them and make them funny.”
Here’s the machine-generated response:
Saw the next big thing and was blown away! I know, I know, we’ve been promised big things before.
Remember Google Glass? Too nerdy. Segway? Only used by mall cops. How about the curved TV set? This invention is different. It’s an AI tool called ChatGPT.
Microsoft and Google have their versions too, but I’m partial to ChatGPT — it’s like Siri on steroids. And let’s be real, with an AI like this, who needs friends?
The serious headline from ChatGPT: “I Tried Every Next Big Thing, But Only ChatGPT Blew Me Away!”
I asked for a funny version:
“Move Over Siri, ChatGPT is the Next Big Thing — Who Needs Friends When You Have AI?”
The AI version is better. It’s snappier, shorter and has attitude.
What if I used the second version and didn’t tell you? Is that an ethical violation? Would I be plagiarizing? As of now, this is so new the rules have yet to be written.
I predict we’re weeks away from our first great plagiarism scandal using this new technology. It’s too tempting.
What if we want to quote from AI? Do we attribute it to “a posting from Bard?”
Compose a song
I asked ChatGPT to write me a song about scammers.
They come in slick, they come in smooth, Promising the world with nothing to lose, They’ll take your money, they’ll take your time, They’ll leave you broken, but they’ll be just fine.
Chorus: Scammers, scammers, everywhere we go, Taking what they want, leaving us alone, Scammers, scammers, they’re a nasty breed, Taking what they can, filling up with greed.
Why AI matters to you
This technology is so sophisticated that consumers, for instance, won’t be able to tell whether marketing and advertising of product information comes from humans or machines.
It may not turn good writers into great ones, but I can see how it can easily turn poor writers into better ones.
Schoolteachers will have a rough time. This makes writing math formulas on your arm before a test truly minor league cheating.
I asked Google’s Bard to “write me a 500-word essay comparing Julius Caesar to Hamlet.” That’s the kind of question you get on a school test.
Bard handed in a masterful essay, with sources cited.
It concluded: “Julius Caesar and Hamlet are both masterpieces by Shakespeare that share some common themes but also differ significantly in their historical and cultural contexts, their main characters’ motivations and personalities, and their role of supernatural elements.”
Some students, no doubt, will hand it in as is. A teacher should clearly see it’s copied. But what if a student dumbs it down and changes enough words around or purposely misspells words?
Song written by software
They’ll sell you dreams, they’ll sell you hope, They’ll even sell you soap on a rope, They’ll make you think that you’re the one, But in the end, they’ve already won.
Don’t fall for their tricks, don’t be a fool, They’ll take you for all that you’re worth, Stay sharp, stay strong, and stay away, From these scammers who prowl the earth.
Test AI software
Last week, I tested ChatGPT in a class taught by my friend Elizabeth McCormick.
She showed us how to use ChatGPT and some of its magic tricks.
Write 500 words about…
Compare and contrast….
Make this funnier…
Make this sadder…
Answers to these commands poured out in seconds.
Near the end of Elizabeth’s 2-hour workshop, I brought up the thorny ethical considerations. Elizabeth suggested one solution. When you ask for information on a topic, add “with sources cited” so you know where it comes from.
She showed me a news release stating that the U.S. Copyright Office is holding public meetings in the next several weeks to address the issues these inventions are raising.
A love note
I got into a bit of trouble. I told ChatGPT to write a love letter to my wife on my behalf.
It was a wonderfully written note. Romantic and elegant. I purposely didn’t change the ending:
Forever and always,
She didn’t laugh. “How will I know what you write to me is real?” Karen asked.
ChatGPT: Go to chat.openai.com and create a free account with your email and password.
Microsoft Bing: Start with https://www.bing.com/newGo. Alternate: go to the Bing search page and look for “Chat” in the top toolbar. Where it says “Ask me anything” type in any question. That should lead to a message that says, “You’re in! Welcome to the new Bing!” Then click “Open in Microsoft Edge.”
Google’s Bard: Go to bard.google.com. At the top right, select sign in. Sign into your personal Google Account. (I was put on a wait list that lasted less than a day.)
Scammers, scammers, we’ll see you soon, When karma catches up, and you meet your doom, We’ll watch as you fall, we’ll watch as you crawl, And we’ll know that justice has prevailed for all.
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