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A Beginning of an End…?

Dr Navniit Gandhi Thursday, February 2, 2023
A Beginning of an End…?

(Am not a scientist; not a technocrat either. Hence, this piece of writing conveys a fear which I feel as an ordinary human being)

We, the humans, have made some very amazing progress by way of developing ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE tools!

Machines have been able to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. And hence, we have had computers playing chess and cars driving on their own! A lot of automation and a lot of easy and quick access to information has changed our lives in many unbelievable ways…

However, after having disturbed the ecological balance and the man-machine balance, we are rushing towards another gigantic imbalance---threatening our own sanity by hankering after uncontrollable AI tools.

IF…

If all of us are told: ‘do not think’…

If you tell your children: ‘you do not have to write any essay or prepare a project or make a report; you do not have to analyze; not have to draw; not have to organize your thoughts; no need to read to learn; not have to write stories, plays, poems or songs; you do not have to think and devise research questions; do not have to search for any answers…’

If human beings are told: no need to be original; no need to be creative because you can order an AI (Artificial Intelligence) tool to do whatever needs to be done’

…what will LIFE be like? What meaning will life have? What meaning will our existence have? How shall we be different from other living beings?

Yes, our brains shall relax and rest; we shall have all the time in the world to do nothing; we shall click and all will be done in a few seconds! All tasks over which months and years are spent---could be done in a few seconds. All that we wish to have, could be ours much faster and even of superior quality.

But, our brains were and are wired to ‘work’; our brains are supposed to be stretched and exercised. We already remember less; recall less; and our instincts are not strong and nor are our reflexes powerful. We are becoming slower by the day… Till date, we had maps and directions being shown to us or banking, shopping and availability of information made easier for us. But then, what have we done with all the time that we have thus saved?

Can we not see a kind of stagnation in our faculties? Could we, henceforth be known as the ‘ living dead‘?

Warning: A new transformation; technological breakthrough has hit us like a giant tsunami wave and it threatens to engulf us all.

A new (potential) catastrophe we have invented in the name of ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)!

Yes, it is CHAT GPT!

A R&D company: ‘Open-AI’, co-funded by Elon Musk has recently (in November) created this much-hyped chatbot; a general language processing model which is smarter than ANY OF US.

It can converse with you; interact with you; it can ‘think’ for you. You may tell it that you need a marketing plan for a product or 10 points on how to organize an event and it may give you a detailed plan/prog in 3 seconds; you may tell that you need a screen play for the next Steven Spielberg movie and it may give you in a few seconds; you may tell that you need an essay or a research paper written or a synopsis prepared and it does all of that in a few seconds.

The contrast is heartbreaking: a few very creative; very brilliant and in fact, outstanding human minds have come together to create something that threatens to convert the rest of the human race, and particularly our young brains into zombies!!!

It is incredible, isn’t it?

WHAT CAN CHAT-GPT DO?

It is giving explanations; writing essays; writing stories much better than any academic can possibly teach. No student can be caught now for plagiarism. Nobody will now know which creative work is now ‘ORIGINAL’, for what CHAT GPT can do is fantastic and unbelievable.

This platform is trained on 175 billion parameters that can generate human-like answers by supplying a prompt and unique reply to all questions. The platform keeps evolving based on its interactions with human beings. It will not give tailor-made answers to all.

It has already raised concerns about taking cheating to hugely alarming levels in schools and universities. In fact, there will be no need for schools or universities to even exist as the teaching-learning system itself will become obsolete. It is estimated that one-third of the Universities all over the world will go extinct over the next 5 years.

It has such a vast database that whatever has been written before or said before or thought of before---can be compiled, analyzed, re-written, re-organized and pretty much originally and creatively produced in a few seconds.

Imagine! Imagine the plight of the education system! We would not ever have to take efforts to write anything; produce any creative work. The entire concept of plagiarism could be reduced to rubbish. The entire gamut of testing the caliber of students based on the kind of reading and writing they do; the kind of analytical and critical and original work they can produce---could be finished forever.

One author told it to write an additional chapter to a book he had already himself written. CHAT GPT wrote a “brilliant” chapter which was not just grammatically correct but also expounding the same philosophical thread. The writer says that he could not believe that ‘he himself had not written it’! AND IT DID ALL OF THAT IN 3 SECONDS.

Yes, it wrote a chapter of a book in 3 seconds!!!

WHERE ARE WE HEADED?

Looks like we do not have to write books or stories or spiritual discourses anymore now. It can do all of it in a few seconds. Users have asked CHAT GPT to carry out extremely difficult tasks of writing or analyzing--using difficult combinations of spirituality and science; ethics and history; philosophy and psychology and it has produced mind-baffling results in 3-5 seconds---less time than what we take for a deep breath!

What will all of this do to our mental health?

From where shall we seek our joys which emanate from producing something original?

Even if you or me do sit down to write a beautiful poem or even work painstakingly on a book for a year or two---someone could do better and grammatically more correct work than us before we put our pen down!!! And the painful truth will be that no one shall know whose work is original? And chances are, that what CHAT-GPT shall produce will be more magnificent and brilliant!!! How would we feel after having spent a year laboriously in creating something original and failing before something which a tool or a platform creates in 3-5 seconds? Only those who are in creative pursuits shall know the pain!

CHAT GPT already has over one million users.

No, I haven’t gone to that platform and told it to write an article on the scary effects of CHAT GPT for indiansinkuwait.com!!!

Dr.
Navniit Gandhi is an academic since 25+ years; a feature writer (300+ articles), and has authored 10 books. Her 10th and most recently authored, published and launched book is titled: NOT MUCH IS AS IT SEEMS Her write-ups can be read at navniitspeaks.wordpress.com
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Express your comment on this article

 
Rahaman Khan
Sunday, April 30, 2023
Well Said Madam
AI might be sharper than Humans but Human feelings cannot be produced by the Machines which make us unique.
AI is boon.

Baljit singh
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Most talked about subject is presented so aptly and in a simplified way. The author is on the dot on a subject of great concern and relevance . Congratulations .

Selwyn
Saturday, February 11, 2023
Haha...love the ending. The more advanced the AI gets, the more artificial we humans become. It will be really interesting to see how things turn out to be a few years from now.

Haider
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Boooom! Exactly my thoughts

Indeed, we are in the ENDGAME now.

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