Move over ChatGPT, here’ the ultimate Artificial Intelligence, AI Pacino

Move over ChatGPT, here’ the ultimate Artificial Intelligence, AI Pacino

One of the small joys of being artificially intelligent is that it doesn’t take much effort to pass off as intelligent at dinner parties and panel discussions. These are situational zones where one’s cleverness is showcased, but only in bits, and that too, in conversations, big talk, with the right amount of hmm-inducing gravitas. In any case, it helps that talking is the new listening.

Being AI Pacino – AI stands for artificially intelligent – I can get away with providing ‘interesting commentary’ on matches in the ongoing World Cup; makes people turn on me just by asking, ‘But won’t the latest non-manufacturing PMI affect the next Fed rate hike?’; throws in some unverifiable Patidar poll behavior to explain Thursday’s Gujarat poll results; and recommend, without giving too much away (since I have little to give away in the first place), Kotaro Isaka’s novel, Bullet Train.

After all, what is intelligence but artificially imbibing, cherry-picking, collecting, and then laying things that are generally accepted as ‘intelligent’ liver pies thick for people to wah, wah? To be adept at feigning intelligence is to successfully come across as intelligent.

Mathematician and logician Alan Turing would have recognized this as an imitation of intelligence. Or would he have? Turing devised an experiment – the Turing Test, originally called ‘the imitation game’ – that set a standard for machines to be called ‘intelligent’. By asking a set of questions like a visa officer interviewing a Rohingya refugee posing as an investment banker, the Turing Test hopes to catch an artificially intelligent machine trying to pass as human, no matter how low the latter’s IQ may not be. Or, at least, that’s his plan. Yes, some might call it racist against robots. But advances in pretending have grown by leaps and bounds. Everyone is raving about news about the new All in town – OpenAI’s ChatGPT (generative pre-trained transformer). When given (almost) any cognitive task, it can do it with aplomb in seconds. From solving your JEE maths problems on command, to writing an epic poem in the style of Chetan Bhagat on the subject of a Hindu invasion of Kentucky, to drawing up export projections from Jharkhand coal to Newcastle, ChatGPT can people who have stopped being enchanted. GPS tracking a while ago.

But before you can heehaw, “Come on AI Pacino, you’re just jealous of this new highly skilled linguistic brain,” let me just say why ChatGPT will be a novelty item for 99.9% to generate jokes, memes, wedding invitations, (inadequate) coursework, poetry (for people who can’t tell the difference between a Rimbaud and a cousin’s poem on a rainbow)…. In other words, a performing monkey to witness primates.

After the initial wowzee dies down, (intelligent) people will figure out that instead of replacing employees with ChatGPT, there will be five boffins for every terminal with ChatGPT, which can be reduced to two. (‘Sharmaji, how would I frame the assignment to ChatGPT to come up with super-attractive ad copy for this mutual fund again?’) Unlike ATMs with their basic assignment choices, or sensor-activated faucets with no command choices are not needed, the actual value in ChatGPT operations is provided by the commander. It’s how one frames your ChatGPT ‘ask’ that gives this AI its je ne sais quoi (an intelligent way of saying ‘USP’).

Until then, it will be like having all those airport staff next to those boarding pass printing machines helping passengers get their boarding passes printed. And by then ChatGPT or its progeny will be as dated and two as shorthand and typing learning centers.

ChatGPT, at least in its current beta stage, already has a much better alternative. The fact that no one could tell that it is artificially intelligent makes it the brain power to be reckoned with. That is until now, as I share the fact that this column has been written since its inception by AI Pacino, an AI program that is decidedly more intelligent than the person whose name the column bears.

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