It appears we’re all about to be back in the parenting business so, maybe we should brush up on some of the necessary skills.
One of my favorite ways to determine people’s age is to ask them if they think they’re a good parent. If they say, “I’m not a parent,” and they appear to be over forty, then they’re selfish little jerks, or geniuses (I’m not sure which). If they’re under thirty and say they’re a good parent, then you know they have only young, cuddly tots at home. Even if some of those youngsters are in their “terrible twos”, It’s still possible to believe the BS you read in the parenting magazines.
Ah, but if they say, “Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and there’s no way I got even close to doing it right,” those are people who have parented teen-agers! Moheb Costandi, in his book “Neuroplasticity”, documented how the brain matures from back to front with the frontal lobes (where rational reasoning overpowers our sense of adventure) mature around the end of our teens. That’s why a kid can be the perfect student at school in the morning and steal a car to go joyriding that night.
That’s also why parents of teens cringe every time the doorbell rings for fear that it might be the local sheriff, or worse, the woman next door who found pics of herself sunbathing… on your son’s Facebook page. Admittedly, there’s that one adult out of a hundred who will tell you their kids were great teens. Interestingly, modern psychology estimates that one adult out of a hundred is a compulsive liar (just saying).
So, now you’re shaking your head, and laughing, and saying to yourself, “Thank God I’m past that point in life.” Well, guess what? You’re not. You’re about to have a brand-new kid in your life, 24/7 and “their” name (notice that pronoun) is ChatGBT. “They” will smile at you just like Eddie Haskell and tell you what you want to hear, all the while, calculating the best way to steal money out of your bank account (or take drone video of your nude sunbathing wife who foolishly believes in the concept of privacy fences).
Recently, Junk Science founder Steve Milloy published a lengthy exchange he had with ChatGPT beginning with the simple question, “Is CO2 warming a hoax?” ChatGPT was quick to say “no,” telling Milloy, “It is a widely accepted scientific fact” that human activity has fueled CO2 emission into Earth’s atmosphere which, in turn, causes global warming. “But why has there been no global warming since 2015 despite 500 billion tons of carbon emissions?” Milloy asked. And so the dance began.
You can find the entire conversation on the Internet but the bottom line was that “someone” had programmed ChatGBT to spout the party line without analyzing the entirety of the data. As my favorite Nerd, Russell Duckworth is fond of pointing out, “real AI is not just a program that digests data fed to it like the family dog. It goes out and searches the vast store of information across the Internet to grow it’s decision tree” (unless, of course, someone tells it where it can and cannot look).
Undoubtedly, other AI bots like ChatGBT will hit the market very soon, pre-loaded with the algorithmic biases of their own respective creators. Perhaps, one day, we can have a live debate between the various bots, although it would be tough to televise a debate that lasted only four milliseconds.
Recently, Elon Musk, Steve Wazniak, and 1000 other tech gurus called for a pause in development of advanced AI until we can get a handle on how to control the outcomes. Sounds like they might have raised teenagers at some point. But you have to admit, the story of geniuses who create an entity that subsequently refuses to acknowledge their existence or their moral code, has a familiar ring to it.
Meet me for coffee and let’s have a discussion about this while were still allowed to voice concepts that originated in the human brain.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can talk face-to-face about stuff that matters. Who knows, we might even become friends and build on each others’ experience.
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.
― Proverbs 14:8
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— Jed Brody
This is another great book from the MIT Knowledgebase Series. I normally recommend books that have significantly impacted my thinking. I’m recommending this one in hopes that one of you will read it, understand it, and explain it to me. Truly, at least forty percent of this book was meant for someone with a lot more education than myself. On the flip side, what I did understand was fascinating.
Escape From Reason
— Francis Schaeffer
I first read this in college. It’s a big reason I survived a five-year incarceration of one of the most relativistic institutions this side of the Left Coast. Not long ago, I reread it and was surprised at how relevant it remains. If you’re trying to make sense of the rampant emotionalism that has a death-grip on our culture, this is a great starting place. It’s a book that attempts to answer those questions we wake up with in the middle of the night. It’s not for everybody — just puzzled insomniacs.
A meeting of great minds who think alike