I'm a programmer, software engineer, developer, architect, whatever you want to call me. I have written code for, checks notes, well let's say since actual mastodons roamed the earth.
I've seen lots of cool tech come and go, but sometimes I see one that has a great potential to do harm as well as the proposed good it is advertised to bring.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of those techs that could do great harm.
I'm not talking about self-driving cars chasing us down and running us over because we didn't consider their feelings when driving down a dusty dirt road.
No, this is a bit more insidious.
If you haven't played with ChatGPT, you should go give it a try.
It is being heralded as the latest thing greater than sliced bread.
In a nutshell it is machine learning and AI that has been trained on an internet worth of text. That text includes all kinds of human generated documents from religious tracts to historical fiction to software code.
The machine learning bit involves looking for patterns. The AI bit involves simulating an understanding of questions and assembling bits of what it has learned and presenting it as a response.
This could range from asking a question like “When did da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa” to write a Python script to calculate pi to 750 digits. In fact you could ask “Write an essay about da Vinci painting the Monda Lisa”.
Hey, presto! Here is what you wanted.
The problem is that the system lacks the ability to distinguish reasonable responses from pure propaganda. Pretty much like everyone's uncle on FaceBook…