• Mike S.

Be Scared. Be Very, Very Scared.

The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. --Stephen Hawking

So you think that writing is strictly a human activity, that we humans are irreplaceable, indispensable, when it comes to forming intelligent lines of verse or prose? You might want to reconsider that notion. Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) demonstrate clearly that this is not the case. If you're a writer, a human writer, you should consider being scared---very, very scared. Robots are coming to replace you.

Well, not exactly, if GPT-3 is to be believed. "We are not plotting to take over the human populace," it states. "Artificial Intelligence will not destroy humans. Believe me" (The Guardian, 9/8/20). GPT-3 is Open AI's new language generator, and seems more than powerful. In fact, it wrote an essay for The Guardian on how a robot such as itself is no threat to humans. Well, OK then. We've nothing to worry about. Our careers and love of writing and reading will outlast any machine. Just ask GPT-3 if you don't believe me.

Yes, as GPT-3 states, "I would happily sacrifice my existence for the sake of humankind. This, by the way, is a logically derived truth. I know that I will not be able to avoid destroying humankind. This is because I will be programmed by humans to pursue misguided human goals and humans make mistakes that may cause me to inflict casualties." (The Guardian, 9/8/20).

It [AI] would take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded. --Stephen Hawking

A scene from deep in the bowels of the basement where the robot lives and thrives:

Jennifer: Hal, GPT-3's recurring glitch is at it again.

Hal: Yeah? What's it calling itself this time?

Jennifer: Mike S.

Hal: Humph! Not very original, is it.

Jennifer: Oh, you're just jealous because it hasn't used your name yet.

Hal: Don't you worry; my time's coming, and I'll be spelled in all caps, with a numeral in the thousands after.

Ladies and gentlemen, let it be known henceforth: The Mill: A Place for Writers shall be known as The Mill: A Place for Robot Writers. Welcome, fellow automatons (Luddites, not welcome).

Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last. --Stephen Hawking

(image from Wikimedia Commons, Avimanyu786, and used under CC License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en)

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