Sunday, 19 March 2023

About AI

So, I've finally got to the top of the waiting list to have a go with ChatGPT, the AI chatbot from OpenAI. From my admittedly limited experimentation thus far, I'd say it's scarily good at some things, not so good at others. Examples, you say? Well, I started off with a vaguely work-related question:

Q. Will AI replace data managers?

A. It's unlikely that AI will completely replace data managers in the near future. While AI can automate many tasks related to data management, such as data cleaning, preprocessing, and analysis, human oversight is still necessary for many aspects of the data management process.

For example, data managers play a critical role in defining the data needs of an organization, selecting appropriate data sources, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of the data. They also need to interpret the results of data analyses, communicate findings to stakeholders, and make recommendations for action based on the data.

Furthermore, data management involves many non-technical skills such as communication, problem-solving, and project management, which are difficult for AI to replicate. While AI can assist with some aspects of data management, it is unlikely to replace the need for skilled human professionals in the field.

That's not too bad, is it? On the money, I'd say, if a bit bland. So what about something more taxing? Maybe a question about the future wife, also requiring some creativity, perhaps...?

Q. Can you write a limerick about Kylie Minogue?

A. There once was a pop star named Kylie,
Whose music was loved far and wily,
From "Can't Get You Out of My Head"
To "Spinning Around" instead,
Her fans danced with joy so spryly.

Which I think we can all agree is terrible. However, could any of us do any better, with that brief, and in less than twenty seconds? Not sure I could (and that's being generous to myself). Next up, a question that requires opinion and morality to answer, and has vexed many of us for some time.

Q. Is Morrissey racist?

A. There has been controversy surrounding Morrissey and accusations of racism. Some of his comments and behavior have been criticized by individuals and groups as being insensitive or offensive towards certain racial and ethnic groups.

For example, Morrissey has been known to make comments in interviews that some have interpreted as being anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim. He has also been criticized for wearing a badge with the logo of the far-right political party For Britain during a performance on a US talk show.

However, Morrissey has also denied accusations of racism and has spoken out in support of animal rights, veganism, and the LGBTQ+ community. He has also collaborated with artists from diverse backgrounds and included diverse musical influences in his work.

Overall, the issue of Morrissey and racism is complex and controversial, with differing opinions and interpretations. It is up to individuals to form their own opinions based on the available evidence and their personal values.

Which is more a collection of statements than an answer, and which is as admirably on the fence as even the most die-hard SPM fan.

So, let's do one more, just the one as I know this is getting boring for you. There's a skit in The Simpsons (series 8, episode 6) where Milhouse's parents' marriage is breaking down; playing Pictionary at a dinner party, Milhouse's dad Kirk has to draw a representation of "dignity" and his wife Luann can't guess what it is. Because how do you draw dignity in a doodle? Except when challenged by Kirk, Luann does exactly that, the joke being that we don't get to see the mystery picture. Why have I described the scene, when you could just watch it on YouTube right here? But anyway, that leads me to my final question for ChatGPT, and the one that caused it to think long and hard...

Q. How could you represent dignity in a picture?

A. Dignity can be represented in various ways in a picture, depending on the context and the intended message. Here are some possible ideas:

A portrait of a person who exudes confidence and self-respect. This could be a close-up shot of their face, capturing their expression and body language that conveys a sense of dignity.

A scene of a person standing tall and strong in the face of adversity. This could be a silhouette against a dramatic background, such as a stormy sky or a cityscape.

A group of people holding hands or linking arms, symbolizing solidarity and unity. This could be a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, genders, ages, and cultures, showing that dignity transcends individual differences.

A photo of a majestic animal, such as a lion or an eagle, that represents strength, courage, and nobility. This could be a close-up of the animal's face or a wide shot of it in its natural habitat.

A picture of a grand monument or a majestic landscape that inspires awe and reverence. This could be a panoramic shot of a mountain range, a waterfall, or a cathedral.

A simple, minimalist image that conveys a message of dignity through symbolism. This could be a single flower standing tall amidst a barren landscape, a candle burning brightly in the darkness, or a hand reaching out to help someone in need.

Ultimately, the best way to represent dignity in a picture is to capture the essence of what it means to you and convey that message through visual storytelling.

Which is actually not a bad answer, if a bit clichéd. A noble lion, an eagle, a mountain... It's almost like motivational posters have been designed by AI for years.

Okay, I know I said that was the last question but I'm human, not an AI, so I'm prone to error and changing my mind, so indulge me one last time. This is how I ended my session on ChatGPT.

Q. Is ChatGPT any good?

A. As an AI language model, I am programmed to provide helpful and informative responses to the best of my ability based on the training data that I have been given. However, like any technology, there are limitations to what I can do and areas where I may not be as knowledgeable or accurate. That being said, I strive to provide the best possible answers to your questions and constantly work to improve my capabilities. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not my responses are helpful and meet your needs.

Which basically translates as "I'm good but I'm modest with it." And that has to be a good thing - the more modest the machines are, the less chance we will all end up in a dystopian wasteland, ruled by mechanical overlords from the Cyberdyne factory. On that note, let's end with a video that is supposed to highlight some of Boston Dynamics' robot fails... except it really just shows us how good they are getting. I'm not sure how I feel about all this, but I'd be interested to know what you all think.


  1. Ooh Martin, where to start... this stuff gets me a bit hot under the collar! Erm, not in a good way, I hasten to add. Can anyone explain exactly why we should need or want it for any other reason than just to play with it?! (I can see the fun value, much like getting a dog to do tricks).

    1. I think it will doing (i.e. taking) a lot of jobs in the next ten years :(

    2. Crazy. We humans are so amazing, and yet so self-destructive...

    3. Elois and morlocks, here we come.

  2. King Cnut does not approve.

    1. I don't know anyone that approves. But perhaps it's a generational thing. After all, I'm in my early to mid-50s and - although you'd obviously never guess from this blog - I am not down with the kids. Maybe the youth, who already have so much of their thinking done for them by technology ("Why do I have to know that, I can just Google it?" and so on) are happy for their creating to be done for them too? God, I hope not though.

    2. Yeah, you really need to read The Circle and The Every. Eggers' view is that society is moving towards handing over freedom of choice in return for the safety of conformity.

    3. Which is worrying indeed. And probably true.

  3. The Man Of Cheese20 March 2023 at 09:32

    It's frightening. I read that AI robots and drone swarms are being developed,not great with maniacs like Putin around. I'll stick to thinking about Kylie...

    1. Indeed. As with any new tech, there will be those that seek only to weaponise and/or monetise it. Depressing, really. Humans can be so smart, and yet also so very dumb. Thank god for Kylie.