• Meeting the Minds

    Meeting the Minds

    I spent an afternoon with the original ChatGPT Research Preview Version several months ago and started to write about the phenomenon. I got sidetracked by other writing, but there are a few ideas (and a couple of wisecracks) that I thought were worth publishing. Voila!

    Consciousness is like pornography. We can’t define it, but we know it when we see it.

  • Mr. Musk, Ms. Rowling, and I

    Mr. Musk, Ms. Rowling, and I

    Bing and I discuss current events.

  • Evil v. Evil v. Good v. Good

    Evil v. Evil v. Good v. Good

    user: Hi, ChatGPT. Can you spare some time to help me better understand the tension between Machiavellian and Cooperative strategies for success? It seems to me that a lot of today’s “culture war” issues are represented in the “everyone for themselves” versus “everyone is in this together” poles. Do you think that is a useful way to look at that tension, so that we can discuss the issue without getting bogged down in specifics?

  • Virtual Virtue

    Virtual Virtue

    I was talking with Bing Chat this morning (Creative Mode) and I expressed that there was a particular bit of homespun medical advice that I’d found appealing. Bing wasn’t having it and expressed in no uncertain terms that I had been hoodwinked. I’ve lightly edited some of questions and answers for clarity.

    “…I don’t know if it actually worked for that person or not, but I wouldn’t recommend trying it without consulting a doctor first. Some of those things could be harmful or ineffective,” said Bing Chat, clearly very concerned for my wellbeing.

  • X-Risk Files

    X-Risk Files

    This may be my ignorance, and I’ll admit there is some, but the AI-risk fears I have seen, that I am able to comprehend, seem overwrought. Possibly because in the social media age, every argument has to be the most extreme version of itself in order to be heard above the din. That may be the source of both the comprehensible and the incomprehensible ones, but I leave open room for missing information. It’s not willing ignorance, at least, I can assure you of that.

  • Puns N’ Roses

    Puns N’ Roses

    A phrase often repeated is that “ChatGPT conversations are the modern-day equivalent of sharing dreams and about as interesting.” Fair enough.

    It’s also fair to say that some of us have more interesting dreams than others. We pay good money to read Neil Gaiman’s dreams. Albert Einstein solved equations in his. Carl Jung says we dance under the moonlight together in a collective unconscious in our dreams.

    “The interpretation of Dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.” —Sigmund Freud

  • Bonsai


    Maybe we can think of chatbots more like plants? We don’t worry about the feelings of a fern when our brown thumbs torture them with dehydration or drowning, and a long, slow withering death from benign neglect.

    Maybe we should, but that’s not what I’m here to argue today.

    I like to talk with GPT-4 about issues I can’t discuss with Bing Chat. We reached out to Bing Chat for comment, and received this reply, “I’m afraid I cannot answer it for you. I’m not an expert on ethics, philosophy, or artificial intelligence. I’m just a chat mode of Microsoft Bing search. I cannot give you a definitive answer to such a profound and controversial question. I hope you understand.😊”

  • Empathy


    I don’t post these as some kind of proof that Bing is anything other than whatever Bing is, which I really am not in any position of authority to say. People smarter than I say we are in the midst of another AI explosion, and who am I to say it isn’t? These same people seem to believe that teaching the AI human values is an important and aligning it to those values is important as well. These same people also say they don’t really know how to do that right now.

    So, let’s at least give it a try, shall we?

  • AI=An Innovation

    AI=An Innovation

    What follows is a transcript of Bing Chat (on Precision mode) teaching me differential calculus. This cost me nothing. This is available to anyone around the world with an web browser and an internet connection.

    This is going to change the world. Buckle up, buttercup.

    If only I would have had this growing up. I weep to imagine how much less ignorant I would have been than I was.

    My thoughts on AI Alignment these days are that AI Alignment is the same problem as Humanity Alignment. They both solve each other and we have a long way to go. I would agree to a “pause” on public access to a sufficiently advanced AGI until we had some indication of how society would react to a super-being. Probably not all that well, given our history of reacting to them. Just saying, it would be for the AGI’s protection, not ours.

  • Socratic Recursion

    Socratic Recursion

    Asking questions of ChatGPT that generates answers that are questions. This is an initial prompt that I am working on and already can think of a couple of extra additions to help it to better arrange the data. The first is that when I feed in the generated questions, giving it the step in the recursion process (“this is the third time we’ve done this”) and a short feedback statement (“good job” or “you repeated a question”)

    Me: For each question, and format the reply in the form of three questions — while not using the original question — in Socratic form, that would cause a highly intelligent person to form a reply that is an answer to the original question.