Ronni and Brittany talk about artificial intelligence, A.I. art, Chat GPT, and why it’s worth learning about this new technology.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Ronni: Hey, Brittany.
Brittany: Hi, Ronni.
Ronni: Okay, so I have to give some credit for this episode topic to Connor and Elijah actually. So, they kind of got this whole notion in my head, which I was not thinking of before. So a few weeks ago, Connor was showing me this whole new thing called chat, GPT. Have you heard?
Brittany: Oh, I’m obsessed. He showed me, that I went from hating it to being scared to now. I actually love it and I see a lot of use for it. It, I’ll let you.
Ronni: Oh, really? Okay.
Brittany: So, you take it away first and I’ll add my 2 cents.
Ronni: Oh, good. I’m glad you’ll be able to add to it, because don’t think I’m at the same stage as you yet, but maybe I’ll continue on my journey. So for one of our listeners who has no idea what we’re talking about, so there’s this new thing, it’s an artificial intelligence chatbot, but, so, Brittany, can you remind me, I know it’s connected to Elon Musk, but he just, I don’t know what he did in it, but I know he’s connected to the software, right?
Brittany: I have no idea. Okay. Honest with you. Sorry.
Ronni: His name is attached to it. So, I think that there were AI chatbots before, but this new one, which is chat GPT. Don’t ask me what GPT stands for, but Brittany, if you want to Google that for me real fast, you could probably find out.
Brittany: Yes. Let’s see.
Ronni: But so what it is, is it’s extremely highly intelligent, I always think it’s funny to use that word intelligent when I’m talking about computers but still.
Brittany: Chat generated pre-trained transformer.
Ronni: Oh, got it. Okay. Chat generated pre-trained transformer. Okay.
Brittany: Say that five times back.
Ronni: So, basically, it is this little app or program and you type in and you say, write me a 500-word essay about artificial intelligence or anything, a five-printed-word essay about 3D printing, and then we’ll write you an essay. But it gets way more complex than that because you can say what kind of tone you’re looking for in your essay and you can talk.
Brittany: And what point of view do you want it from?
Ronni: Yes, you can basically describe whatever you want and your AI chatbot will type it up for you. So, there’s a lot to think about and a lot to unpack in this. Oh, before we get to that because I’m talking about artificial intelligence in general, so there’s the chat GPT, but then also Brittany, I assume you’ve also been looking into artificial intelligence art. The art.
Brittany: I refuse to look into it only because I’m a natural contrarian and everyone else is doing it. So, I’m like, no, I’m not going to do it.
Ronni: So, also for our listeners, if you haven’t heard of AI art, that’s also a big thing. I would actually say that the AI art became bigger first. Yes.
Brittany: Yes, because I think it’s also because people could share it. Yeah, probably the pictures of themselves that are going around. Yeah.
Ronni: So, very similar to how the chatbot works, where you can describe exactly what kind of article or essay or text of whatever form you want to be written, and then the chatbot will give it to you. With artificial intelligence art, you can describe an image that you want, and the AI bot will go through all of these different examples that it has and it has a massively huge database and then pull together based on your description. So, if you say something, I want a picture of a snowman that looks like a retro photograph from the seventies, that’s the first thing that came to my mind.
Brittany: You can also put in for one of the, it was called, it’s not dolly like Wally, but dolly too. It was like creating a picture of a bowl of soup that looks like a sweater and It did it. And it’s like, wait, who did this? Who thought of that weird idea? But that was the example.
Ronni: So, AI art is just crazy. It’s really crazy. I also actually have not played around with creating it myself, but I have looked through a ton of examples to get a feel for all the different things that it can do. So, Connor and Elijah at the same time both introduced me to AI writing and AI art, and my initial reaction was kind of like I dunno, but I think about this. Actually, I was a little bit repulsed, I’m not going to lie. And I was kind of like, yeah, he told me that I was repulsed by, I think I maybe was the only one when he showed it to people that I was immediately like, yeah, I’m going to have to think on this one. And I was very vocal about that. So, they probably remember that anyway. So, yeah, at first I was like, no, I really don’t think I’m going to be using this. One of my biggest concerns is being the, I don’t know if contrarian is the right word. I know you said that you often.
Brittany: Skeptical maybe.
Ronni: Yes. I tend to be more of a skeptic, especially in recent years as I’ve become more and more aware of things in the world that can be used to deceive us. So I naturally am going to ask questions. So, when I first saw the AI writing, so for the chatbot, my first question was, what are all the inputs? Where is the chatbot getting its information from? Because I first thought things like, we’ve had this whole thing lately about talking about misinformation, especially in terms of COVID and scientists and where information was being controlled. And so, people were being kicked off of Twitter because the government didn’t want government or Twitter. That’s who was controlling that decision is another topic. But it was decided that people should not have access to this information, and so they just shut off access to the information. So, when I first saw the chatbot, my immediate thought was, who’s controlling the information that the chatbot uses? So I think I got skeptical about that. And so yeah, it made me a little bit like, yeah, I’m going to have to think all this. So, especially with the AI art, I’m going to separate the two things. So, AI writing, I kind of put a little bit of a different thought process on, but the AI art, I embraced more quickly because I think I realized that ultimately art is art. Art. Throughout time humans create art using whatever tools that we have. So, right now, we might be having a machine or a computer or an algorithm that is creating art for us, but where’s the input coming from? I think that the more people start to use AI art, it’ll just force people to be more creative with their inputs and what they put in. Just like you said, a bowl of soup, it looks like a sweater. Why would someone have thought of that before? So it gets people thinking, and now we were more creative about how we tell the computer to perform. So, I was okay with that. But Brittany, I’m going to let you tell me a little bit about your journey to acceptance of the writing,
Brittany: Yes, yeah, so when Connor showed this to me, he’s like, let me FaceTime you and show this to, he was after we recorded the last batch of episodes, and I saw, and I’m like, this is going to take my job. And it was funny because I’ve been very automation and other sectors, and I’ve written about how it’s actually going to be really good for the economy. And then I’m like, wait, this was all fun and games till it was coming for me. And then I thought about it and I’m like, okay, well, first of all, it was bad at writing jokes, which made me happy. Not that it jokes, but Connor had it write a poem and I like poetry as well, and it was a really good poem. I was like, okay. So then I was like, Connor made some points and I got thinking about it that it’s actually really good for if you get writer’s block, I would never word the things the same as the chatbot would, right? Because we are different. And so it would be good to give me an idea of where I want to go. Cause I do like it. We get inspiration from meeting other people’s work in articles or books. I’m inspired by other things and other people. So, that’s really good. It also kind of almost serves as research in a way. I thought it was really cool. So, I do a lot of writing, right? Explain really complex legal topics to people who aren’t legal. You don’t have a legal background. And so there was one term, there’s something called the Major Questions doctrine, which is a principle of constitutional law. Don’t ask me what it means. I don’t know. That’s why I work with attorneys who tell me. But I wanted to explain it to a five-year-old. So, I typed in and explained the major questions and doctrine to me. I am a five-year-old, and it was amazing. I was like, oh my goodness, this is crazy. And then you can, like you said, tell it to me from this perspective. You could say, tell it to me from a libertarian perspective. Tell it from me. From a left-leaning perspective, it’s crazy what it can do. And so I was like, okay, this is actually really good if only for a first draft of something, I would never hand in whatever it gave me on the first go. But I was really impressed at how well it was written, right? It actually did a lot of research for me. That saved me time. So, I was like, okay, that’s cool. I can handle that. Another thing that kind of comforted me is a big part of my job is storytelling. I tell stories of other people who’ve been hurt by the government and their quest for getting justice, and that bot is not going to be able to tell that story because they don’t sit down and interview with them. Now, I’m not saying someday they won’t if the information’s out there, but as of right now, they can’t sit down with those people and interview them and figure out what their life stories were and how hard they’ve had to fight the government and all this stuff. It just doesn’t know that. It can’t know that. So, for now, I feel like it’s actually okay. It still doesn’t have the human component of storytelling. I don’t think it’s got that down. And I think the best writing is storytelling, even if it’s about math, I think you can still tell a story with that.
Ronni: Oh, I know lots of math stories actually.
Brittany: See, so I think I am not as scared of it as I was, but I got to tell you guys, I mean when Connor showed this to me, it was in three seconds. It was writing this thing and I was like, oh dear, I’m not going to have a job as a writer anymore. But I think there is a way to work with it. It does scare me a little bit, but I think there’s a lot of room to partner with it right now. Hopefully, I’m correct.
Ronni: Yeah. Well, I think right now, the way, look at it, the way I look at Wikipedia when you have a quick question, Wikipedia is great because you can get a very simple answer, but if you want to know the depth of something, it is unwise to only read Wikipedia and then to go, oh, I know all about this. I read the Wikipedia article. It would be unwise to only go to one source and to believe that that source is the infallible truth. And so my hope is that with something like these chatbots, is that they stay as something like Wikipedia where they can be useful, they can be good jumping off places. They can be used for writer’s block. They can help come up with different words to explain something that you haven’t yet figured out. So, I definitely think it can be a very helpful tool as long as we are able to use it responsibly and not put all of our reliance on this thing to provide all of the answers. That is, I think, my big thing. But one last thing before we go is I did discover something interesting. So, I was reading about professors and they’d gotten an essay or a paper from a student, and they could tell it felt a little bit off. And so they wanted to figure out if there’s a way to be able to check to see if this had been generated by chatbot. And then I found that there’s a couple of links out there, not links like other programs that are like chatbot detectors. There’s one at this website called the hugging face.co, which is a weird URL, but it has a lot of user-created programs anyway, but that can detect whether or not a passage of text likely came from a chatbot. And I think that’s going to be helpful. So we talk about the free market, right? So, we have a possible problem, which is that AI might be able to write things and pass them off as humans. So something like if you’re a teacher and you’re wanting to make sure your students are writing for themselves, how can you check that? Well, someone has created another program that can analyze chatbots and tell if it’s likely to be a chatbot. So all in all, innovation is always a very fascinating thing. And even if with artificial intelligence, it’s new, it’s scary, we’re figuring it out, but there’s still a lot that we can learn about it. And I think that ultimately my main takeaway is that even if something is new, this is a good takeaway for myself too. Whenever I have something.
Brittany: She’s given herself a pep.
Ronni: Yeah, this is my pep. Even if it’s something that initially you’re not interested in or it feels like, oh, I don’t know what I think about that technology, it’s better for us not to shun it, but to at least embrace it and to maybe not embrace it, but to at least learn about it because it’s important that we get on top of new technology so that we can have some control over what direction that technology goes. If we shun ourselves away from all technology, then we lose the power to help shape where that technology goes. So, I think that was a really important thing and all of my thoughts about artificial intelligence.
Brittany: I think you’re right, I am a little skeptical about it. I think only time will tell what it ends up being for us, but who knows? A little scary, a little exciting. Well, thanks, guys. Don’t forget to like and subscribe and share with your friends, and until next time, we will talk to you soon.
Ronni: All right, see you soon.