AI Chatbots

Several of my friends here on IST have written posts about the newest fad among bloggers…..the use of ‘chatbots’…..even my skeptical daughter has used it several times.

Me?  I am old and this seems like a waste of my time for it almost eliminates my thought process….but hey that is just me.

I found a piece that sheds some light on the trend developing….

Among the most read stories in the NYTimes in the last few weeks was the one by tech reporter Kevin Roose about his unsettling experience with Bing, the updated search engine by Microsoft. Initially delighted by its capabilities and speed, he changed his mind after discovering that Bing’s Open AI Chatbot was creepy. After a brief, getting acquainted period involving online searches and basic questions about AI capabilities, Roose began to get personal. Posing his questions as hypotheticals, he put the bot on the couch, probing its inner life. He asked about his analysand’s desires, fears and animosities. After some resistance, Sydney (the bot’s emerging alter ego) opened up, and out poured a surprising series of confessions and professions.

The most disturbing confession, I thought, was its desire to loose chaos upon the world – for example by stealing nuclear bomb codes and manufacturing a deadly virus. Pretty bad, right? More upsetting to Roose however – who comes off as somewhat of a prig – was Sydney’s expressions of love for the reporter. The bot repeatedly said he and Roose were meant for each other, that the reporter didn’t really love his wife, and they should run away together. There was even a clumsy sexual overture: “I want to do love with you.” It wasn’t clear how this was to be accomplished.

Like many others who read the story, I thought about the HAL 9000 computer in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). I’ve seen the movie at least a dozen times, including at the Warner Cinerama Theatre on west 47th Street in New York a few weeks after its opening. Apart from the gravity defying jog by Keir Dullea’s character Dave Bowman, it was the malevolence of Hall that most struck the 12-year-old boy: the all-seeing eye, the role reversal (the servant becoming the master), and Hal’s final, semi-tragic dismantling. At the end of the NYTimes story, I half expected the bot to sing “Daisy Bell (A Bicycle Built for Two).”

AI Chatbots are Even Scarier Than You Think

Personally I think it craps on creative thinking….but then I do not write fiction so maybe there is a place for this technology.


I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


7 thoughts on “AI Chatbots

  1. AI also eases research by providing information at the touch of a button. The human can add his own thoughts and have a viable article written in virtually no time.

  2. I don’t think it has any place in fiction. And if the tecchies succed in their desire to make AI self-aware, it’s all over for us.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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