Commentary and Philosophy Non-Fiction posted February 21, 2023

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Artificial Intelligence seems to be progressing rapidly.

Is AI a Present Danger?

by BethShelby

Far greater minds than mine have sounded the alarm regarding artificial intelligence. Steven Hawkins said he believed it could very well mean the end of the human race. Elon Musk said he believes it is far more dangerous than nukes. Although its beginnings can be traced much further back, the actual field of AI began in 1956 at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. It was there the term, artificial Intelligence, was coined.

It seemed to me much of what was being created before 2020 was for the benefit of mankind, so I didn’t find it especially upsetting. Smart homes, voice recognition, robots for assembly plants and even medical and scientific break-throughs all had positive uses. The algorithms, which were a boon to industry, began to get under my skin. I hated that something could tap into everything I found interesting on the computer and then use it to inundate me with ads for products they assumed I might find useful. I realized everyone on the computer was being mapped, targeted and categorized. My individuality was being compromised.

Now AI is being seized on by the best of brains, and having an amazing brain isn’t limited to those who have the needs of mankind at heart. Far too many brilliant minds are only interested in money and power and have no regard for whom or what might be harmed in the process. One way AI is being used is in the rapid spread of misinformation. It is not unusual to receive a section of a speech coming from the mouth of someone you believe you can trust, but the words spoken in this person's own voice are saying something total opposite of what you might expect. The words have been altered in such a way what is coming from the person's mouth appears to be real. Not only must you question what you read, you must now question what you see and hear. What appears to be proof, proves nothing. 

The more I read about AI, the more I realize there could be volumes written on the looming dangers, as well as potential for great strides in things that could improve life. It is not light-years in the future. Both amazing and horrific things are happening almost daily. I will need to limit my rant to the thing which affects those of us who are creative in writing. Art and music are also at stake, but I'll deal only with writing for now.

My son challenged me to try out Chat GPT for free. If you aren’t familiar with it, put into your search engine. You will be amazed. You can personally chat with an AI  app and ask it to preform one of its many talents, like writing, painting or answering some question which you may be concerned about. I was shocked with the speed in which it carried out what I asked it to do. A poem, which might take me two hours to write, was composed instantly, and the quality astounded me. How can I compete with that? How many people will be tempted to put their names on it as their original work? I find it very deflating to my ego.

Somewhere, I read monkeys will soon be writing Shakespearian sonnets. Now all of our politicians can fire their speech writers.  I’m starting to believe in a short time, people will be left with no jobs and will become an unnecessary drain on the economy of the brave new world.

I don't want to leave you wondering what I mean about the task I asked of the AI app. Let me show and not tell. This morning my daughter asked Chat GPT to write a poem on the Nature of Reality.  Here is the instant result.

The nature of reality, so hard to define,

It seems to be ever-shifting, like the sands of time.

Is it all just a dream, a trick of the mind?

something more tangible, that we can truly find?


Some say it's an illusion, a mere shadow of truth,

That what we see and feel is just a mirage, uncouth


Others claim that it's solid, that it's all that we know,

That the world around us is real, and we must go with the flow


But what if reality is more than what we see?

What if it's a tapestry of everything that could be?

What if we're all just part of a cosmic design,

That's greater than ourselves, more intricate than the divine?


The nature of reality, so vast and so grand,

It's a mystery that we may never truly understand.

But we keep on searching, keep seeking the truth,

Hoping that someday, we'll find the elusive proof.


Then I asked for a Sonnet on God’s Creation.  Notice it followed the guidelines for a sonnet with 10 syllables per line and proper punctuation.

Behold the world that God has fashioned bright,

With stars and galaxies so vast and grand,

And planets circling in their cosmic dance,

All held in place by an almighty hand.


The earth below, a jewel of green and blue,

A wondrous home for creatures great and small,

From soaring eagles to the lowly worm,

Each one a masterpiece, unique and all.


The mountains rise like sentinels of old,

The oceans roar, their depths a mystery,

And in the forests, streams and meadows bold,

A symphony of life, a harmony.


Oh, God, we stand in awe of what you've made,

And offer thanks for every wondrous day.

Personally, I won't allow myself to believe there will come a time when the value of people is reduced to nothing. As a Christian, I know Christ didn't give his life to redeem robots nor man-made artificial intelligence. Things will be allowed to go to on only so far before God intervenes, just as He did with the great flood and again with the tower of Babel. With the speed at which AI is developing, perhaps it won’t be long before the Almighty acts in behalf of His people.   

I undertand a rant is to make you feel better. I guess I can say that because I realize I'm not the only one concerned, so now, I feel better.

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