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Editor’s View: Artificial intelligence: Is this goodbye?

You may remember my editorial last year following the Super Bowl commenting on the many cryptocurrency commercials and my quest to understand the topic better by calling my techie 25-year-old son.

Every sentence he used opened an equally confusing conversation with my standard response being, “What is that?”

Obviously not learning my lesson, I asked my son what he thought I should write about for my editorial. His immediate response was “ChatGPT.”

No need for me to share my response, correct?

I went to ChatGPT in my browser, which brought me to the website OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT. OpenAI confirms Microsoft has invested multibillions in a multiyear contract with OpenAI for this artificial intelligence technology, which was launched in November 2022.

ChatGPT is in a research release, so you can sign up for free to give it a try.

You just type a question, and within seconds, it generates an answer.

So I asked if it could explain ChatGPT to nontechnical people.

“ChatGPT is a computer program that can understand and generate human language. It has been trained on a large data set of text, so it can respond to questions and prompts in a way that resembles human conversation. It can be used to assist with tasks such as writing, customer service and language translation.”

This was generated in seconds - much faster than me writing an editorial. I’m starting to worry.

My son said, “Have fun with it.”

Alright, ChatGPT - what came first, the chicken or the egg?

“The question of whether the chicken or the egg came first is a classic example of a paradox known as the ‘chicken and egg problem.’ It is often used to illustrate the problem of determining cause and effect in evolutionary biology. The question can be rephrased as ‘Which came first, the bird or the egg that contains the bird?’

“There are different ways to approach this question, but one common explanation is that the egg came first. This is because the egg contains all the necessary components to create a chicken, such as DNA and the necessary nutrients, while a chicken alone cannot produce an egg.”

Again, the response was generated in seconds - much faster than when I write an editorial.

This isn’t looking good. I hope my bosses aren’t reading this. I may be replaced.

Because ChatGPT is AI, it can generate responses not currently possible by classic search engines.

“Write this answer from the point of view of the chicken,” I wrote to ChatGPT.

“As a chicken, I would like to clarify that I firmly believe I came first. You see, without me, there would be no eggs to hatch. I exist as a result of my parents, who were also chickens, and their parents before them. This chain of chickens stretches back to the very first chicken, which was the origin of our species.

“As for the eggs, they are simply a byproduct of my existence. I lay them, and they contain the potential for new life, but they cannot exist without a chicken to lay them. So, I would argue that I came first, as the source and starting point of this chicken-egg cycle.”

I then asked Chat GPT, “Write this answer from the point of view of the egg.”

“As an egg, I can confidently say that I came first. Without me, there would be no chickens. I am the origin, the foundation, the beginning of the chicken’s existence. The genetic makeup that creates the chickens is contained within me. I am the source of life that leads to the creation of the chicken. Though it may seem paradoxical, the chicken could not exist without me, the egg.”

Next, I asked, “Write a short dialogue between the chicken and the egg, both debating that they were here first.”

“Chicken: ‘I was here first. I can assure you. I existed long before you did, egg. I am the result of evolution and the continuation of my ancestors.’

“Egg: ‘No, no, no. I was here first. I am the foundation of your existence, chicken. Without me, there would be no chickens.’

“Chicken: ‘But I am here. I am alive. I am proof that I came first.’

“Egg: ‘But I contain all the genetic information necessary to create a chicken. Without me, there would be no genetic continuation.’

“Chicken: ‘But without me, there would be no one to hatch your egg and bring you to life.’

“Egg: ‘But without me, there would be no chicken to lay me in the first place. So, you see, I must have come first.’

“Chicken: ‘I suppose we’ll never know for sure which came first, the chicken or the egg.’

“Egg: ‘Indeed, it appears to be a classic paradox. But I stand by my claim that I came first.’”

I wondered where they are getting their information from.

According to OpenAI, “These models were trained on vast amounts of data from the Internet written by humans, including conversations, so the responses it provides may sound humanlike. It is important to keep in mind that this is a direct result of the system’s design (i.e., maximizing the similarity between outputs and the data set the models were trained on) and that such outputs may be inaccurate, untruthful and otherwise misleading at times.”

The website states the program’s limitations in that it “may occasionally generate incorrect information, may occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content and has a limited knowledge of world and events after 2021.”

It is starting to look a little better for my continued employment at The Press.

Various news sources are reporting ChatGPT has passed the MBA exam, the bar and medical exam, which is causing concern for teachers at all levels of education.

Teachers are concerned, and rightly so, students may use ChatGPT to write their essays and are looking for ways to discourage the use of artificial intelligence in completing papers and exams. In fact, Chat GPT is banned in New York schools.

I asked Chat GPT if it will take the place of a human.

“ChatGPT and other language models like it are designed to assist with tasks that involve understanding and generating human language. While they can be very useful tools, they are not intended to replace humans. They do not have the ability to understand the context or meaning behind what they are generating, so they cannot replace human intelligence, creativity and understanding.

“Additionally, there are tasks that require human empathy, creativity and decision making, which AI systems like ChatGPT cannot do and might never be able to do.

“It’s important to use these AI systems as a tool to aid and augment human abilities rather than replace them,” ChatGPT concludes.

In a Jan. 25 article by the New York Post, it was said ChatGPT could make the following careers obsolete one day: education, finance, software engineering, journalism and graphic design.

My job seems safe for now. Let’s see what the bosses say.

Debbie Galbraith


East Penn Press

Salisbury Press