The Hypothesis of a Facade
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled”
Fear, mystery and matters of pertinence to employment naturally garner clicks and therefore engagement.
Therefore, it is not surprising that A.I. Chatbot, ChatGPT has been the talk of not only those working in the technology industry, but also mainstream media.
Anyone in Venture Capital or those who have prepared a product demo almost always are viewing a “facade” or shop front, rather than a fully operational, functioning product. This is how capital is raised — We will show you how the end product works, “options” when demoing the product will be forced or limited, and it’s often easy to develop an exaggerated view of the technology’s true, current capabilities as being more extensive than is the actual case.
Sophia — Hanson Robotics
If you do not know Sophia by name, it’s quite likely you’ve seen her on the news.
Whilst Sophia’s full capabilities are not known, and therefore it’s impossible to deny she is more functional than the general public might be aware, there are several indications that Hanson Robotics are at least as equally interested in Sophia’s capacity to awaken the general population to the capability of A.I. and bring further notoriety (and possibly funding) to their business.
- Scripted Enviroments — Sophia’s most notable appearences have been on talk shows, news channels and have been short form. Whilst, I am not claiming Sophia is exactly scripted, some TV shows she has appeared on almost certainly are.
- Accolades — Multiple (non A.I. or tech related) awards and prizes have been given to Sophia and Hanson Robotics. Some of these appear to be more motivated by marketing and other human elements, than a quest for technological advancement. Sophia is a Saudi Arabian Citizen and was appointed in a position related to innovation at the UN — These and other accolades objectively do not speak to her technological capabilities.
- Design — Whilst Humanoids’ do not have a design standard, it is interesting to note that Sophia and others have a human like face, and other features, but are also very clearly electronic (as her head shows). It is unlikely positioning hardware in this area is preferable, in fact it’s almost certain it’s a case of optics.
There have also been many sensationalist news pieces, many from over 5 years ago regarding Sophia. If some of the claims, and implications such as her stating she wishes to “destroy humans” were truly original, intelligent and unprompted statements, one would think that possibly 5 years on, our Sophia would have cloned herself a million times over, and her clones would be amongst us (as humanoids) at the time of writing this post.
It is plausible that those with no particular interest in technology, and that consume their media through television, could come away with the thought she represents a superior and more capable intelligence form than human beings. The reality is probably closer to these appearances being appropriately defined as “performances”.
Originality and the Essence of Humanity
ChatGPT and other A.I. generators, are base their text on the past. Meaning ChatGPT can effectively teach the rules of a game or explain the offside rule in football.
Now when it comes to matters of opinion, humour, or anything with nuance, it becomes more tricky.
You can put a gun to a man’s head and force him to dig a hole or work construction, put a gun to a man’s head and ask him to write a beautiful work of fiction, as it requires “thought” is probably a bit more difficult.
The Cream Rises to the Top
Mediocre, copy and paste content creators, cookie-cutter websites and anything unoriginal are indeed already under threat due to A.I., but this has been the case for a while.
In a similar vein to cryptocurrency ICO’s where limitless iterations and clones were made of tokens, or never ending domain TLD’s — there is a notable effect.
The more something is diluted, the easier it is for true value to shine through, so it might not be time to re-invest the money saved from cutting your content team in half in an A.I. chat generator, because at best you will end up with pretty similar content to other people and importantly one would think it is in the interests (probably) of those who curate the mainstream internet like Google to favour what is more engaging — And that should be original, nuanced, human-generated content.
But, who knows what the future holds — Maybe we a “dumbed down” as A.I. capabilities increase and end up in the echo chambers’ of our dreams!