— ADDITIONAL RESOURCES for the column —
This is going to challenge your “normalcy bias”. And I state that, even after the three-years of unprecedented “challenged normalcy” has occurred in every area of our lives – this is still going to cause a common-sensical person to shake their head in disbelief. While I assure you that what I write here is actually an understated, yet accurate account – I encourage you to check the facts. I am providing links to more information at the end of this writing.
Have you ever played a game on your cellphone? Candy Crush, Pokémon GO, or newer games like “Forge of Empires” or “Daily Themed Crossword Puzzles” – and wondered: “Why am I able to play this game for free?” – Many of us have played “Fortnite” or “Roblox” online for years, on our home computers, with hundreds of other players in real-time – around the world. Most of us would think that creators of the cellphone and online games need to be paid for their work. What about the costs of servers and Internet bandwidth for multiple users? Yeah – there are ads in some of those games, designed to promote products for sale when the user clicks on them, but how many of us actually click on the ads?
What would be the driving force – the reason as it were – for those games to be provided to the public without costs?
We’ve been training ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SYSTEMS!
By our interacting with the virtual worlds on our screens, our responses have demonstrated to AI “how the real-world works”. Keep in mind that multiple millions are interacting with these systems at once.
But that’s not the only method that AI uses for its training.
Every email, every website, every conversation, every picture shared on Facebook (and the ensuing “thumbs up, smiley-face and hearts” and text comments) every phone conversation, every purchase, every grocery receipt, every medical record, every power bill, EVERYTHING! are sifted through by AI – Artificial Intelligence and are ingested as data sources for its training.
Then those myriad sources of data are replayed millions of times over – in “real-world” scenarios, to see what the outcomes might be. We need to understand that AI is not limited by time like we mere humans are. AI can process multiple threads of conversations and data all at once – decades of human interactions and the resultant outcomes – in minutes. It does this within virtualized worlds that are digital replicas of all of us, created by all of the data it has collected for decades (actively since 1995) – Keep in mind also that Artificial Intelligence systems can examine all of humanities’ historic record.
All video, pictures and archived/digitized books, every TV show, commercial, political debate and news report, commentary and use those sources to create predictions from models based on all available information. AI can also adjust its decision-making process by current public reaction to any news or event. Remember still – AI can sift through all of the internet and review public reactions, pros and cons – in real-time.
When a newsworthy event happens; mass casualty event, weather event or a pandemic (for example) – our online discussion provides feedback that AI uses to change its presentation of the news.
You may be thinking: “Whoa! David, hold on! – Artificial Intelligence is presenting the news? Human beings report the news and editors check the writing for accuracy and that it’s factual.” Keep reading…
You may have noticed a new level of automation at your grocery stores, fast-food restaurants and gas-stations? Hundreds-of-thousands of people in these businesses are losing their jobs to AI controlled automation. You are going to see sweeping changes in the workplace, education, medical services and all monetary systems in 2023 and forward, as AI has increased its ability for natural conversation to the point of almost being the same as a “real person” – from answering the phones to creating press releases to natural conversation.
An AI development platform called; Open AI – GPT-3 (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer 3rd version) increases its ability to recognize non-scripted, informal language through practicing conversations within virtualized scenarios. Oh! I should mention that AI now writes its own code and improves on its own functions.
A Recent (November 28th, 2022) column – ‘AI Experts are Increasingly Afraid of What They are Creating’ states:
“AI translation is now so advanced that it’s on the brink of obviating language barriers on the internet among the most widely spoken languages. College professors are tearing their hair out because AI text generators can now write essays as well as your typical undergraduate — making it easy to cheat in a way no plagiarism detector can catch. AI-generated artwork is even winning state fairs. A new tool called Copilot uses machine learning to predict and complete lines of computer code, bringing the possibility of an AI system that could write itself one step closer. DeepMind’s AlphaFold system, which uses AI to predict the 3D structure of just about every protein in existence, was so impressive that the journal Science named it 2021’s Breakthrough of the Year.” (Kelsey Piper – VOX Magazine Online)
While the jobs that my generation had as “entries into the workplace” may be lost forever to AI automation, higher-level jobs that require original and/or creative thinking and decision making are safe, right? Approximately 50% of the writing we read online, AP news releases, weather reports, and more – are generated by General AI systems based on GPT-3 and other general AI are quietly providing the sources for public opinion, online. The old-school process of a writer creating “copy” that is checked by the Chief Editor for spelling and accuracy before being published – is practically gone in larger publishing houses.
In the medical and pharmaceutical fields – new medicines that used to take years of chemical trial and error analysis and years of trial-and-error testing – are being developed in days by creating virtualized chemical compounds, and running the millions of tests and analysis needed, in virtual models, with virtual humans created in the “minds of AI”. Medical protocols that used to be developed and managed by trained medical doctors and nurses in hospitals – using patient response data to treatments – are now replaced by modeled, virtual runs of medical trials. The resultant information is what is used on real-world patient care protocols. Even the Medical Professionals’ resources for information are presented via AI developed databases. (Does anyone see a potential pitfall in this? Or am I just being “overly concerned”?)
Lastly, I’d like to include great examples of the artistic and creative abilities of AI is an OPEN-AI system called: DALL-E2. DALL-E2 is a new AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language. And since “a picture is worth a thousand words” I invite you to visit the OPEN AI website – https://openai.com/dall-e-2/ and create the free account. Once you navigate to the online form, type a sentence describing what you want DALL-E2 to create and watch the results! – Do it on your cellphone at breakfast, like my wife and I did at Genes Restaurant last week. It will start an interesting conversation about the BIG STORM on the horizon!
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