👀 A clear shortage of intelligence
#301 | GPT = Gigantic Problems with Thinking
Between Skynet-esque doomsday narratives, cheating school students, and the ongoing writers’ (and actors’) strike in Hollywood, it feels like almost everything is about AI these days (either that or some horrific climate crisis somewhere in the world, yay). To be completely honest, it feels a little cringy to write ANOTHER piece about AI, but I promise to restrict it to just one thing (**wink wink**): definitive proof that for all this talk about artificial intelligence, the actual organic variety isn’t particularly impressive either.
Thanks for reading Just One Thing! Subscribe to receive every post.
So cut to April: Sam Altman has just become the internet’s newest white super-nerd after releasing the infamous ChatGPT-4. Pre-pubescent teenagers and 4chan incels world over are slowly returning from their exiles in the metaverse to join the cult of Altman and his new Clippy-upgrade. The creepy long-termists write an open letter requesting an immediate halt on all AI development, stating fears of “powerful digital minds that no one — not even their creators — can understand, predict, or reliably control” (with absolutely no mention of labour concerns or social justice because tech billionaires). It seemed as if we were days away from The Matrix. But digital mind? Pfft. ChatGPT isn’t “intelligent”; it’s a predictive model, which means it’s really good at guessing things based on the ridiculous amounts of data it has access to. It’s basically Family Feud on coke. It doesn’t know anything.
But our dear human brethren, bless their souls. We do love ourselves a good illusion. Enter Ben Palmer: comedian, professional troller, and all-round great human being. Palmer has developed a website that’s a visual clone of ChatGPT, only that this one has no AI at all. So who answers the questions, you ask? Well, it’s all… just Palmer. Absolute hilarity ensues:
So there you have it. Artificial or not, there’s a clear shortage of intelligence in this world. Now, this is the point in the article where I turn around and tell you that this whole piece was written by an AI chatbot. But I assure you, this one’s all me – which brings up a good point. Just like the handicraft industry, very soon, every piece of writing on the internet will come with a small disclaimer. So let me be the first to say, “This article is a 100% original human creation.”
What a time to be alive.
Our guest, Prateek Shankar, is a writer, designer, and lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design. He spends his time reading, cooking, and panicking at the evident collapse of all planetary systems.