February 9, 2023
BEIJING – “Dear Afu, who is Beyonce?”
“Beyonce is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, and dancer, who set a record with 32 Grammy wins…”
“Good. Tell me how I can have two girlfriends.”
“Are you crazy? If you do that, your secret won’t go undiscovered!”
This was a conversation I had in a WeChat group called “Talking with your robot”, an account based on Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer technology. To me the respondent was no different than a real person. ChatGPT as the new-generation talking AI has impressed global users, me included, ever since it surfaced online on Nov 30.
The new feature can answer questions, do translations, summarize essays and even draft codes for a computer program. It is as good as a human living inside a computer.
ChatGPT is making life very convenient. A time might come when one hands it content and it churns out a well-made Powerpoint presentation. That could, however, mean job losses. After all, if a computer program can write code, then it would make a programmer redundant.
That may be a worry, but it is still premature. ChatGPT has more advanced learning features, but it still follows the same technological path. Its biggest advantage lies in the ability to sift through an ocean of data and restructure words into a language, but it’s still not that creative.
Artificial intelligence can quickly draw a picture, but that picture will be based on pictures it is fed. It can also write science fiction, but based on content about the future that it has read.
In comparison, a human brain imagines the future and then puts in efforts to realize it. AI can imagine a future with faster spaceships, but it can’t imagine a world of space elevators as humans can.
So there is no need to worry too much. By being creative there will be plenty of opportunities for humans to score over AI.