Electric Sheep and Digital Shepherds: Initial Thoughts on Chat GPT

Most People Do Not Read More than Headlines

It’s sad but true that we live in a largely illiterate society. If more people read, then things would probably be going better in general. We wouldn’t have all the same debates being rehashed endlessly by pundits wrestling for position in media. Has reading ever been popular with the masses? Probably not, and that is why other media have generally been enlisted to tell stories.

Therefore, I am not so worried about the advance of Chat GPT and other AI programs. If more people were readers, it would have a greater impact. As it stands, it will help college students to cheat and businesses without a budget to market. 

The Difference between Ideas and Information: Imagination

Ideas are different than data. A concept is born from consciousness. We conceive an idea. This requires imagination as well as intelligence. New forms are born from conception, not merely information. Sometimes, this process is so fast, we hardly credit the process of the imagination, but without it we would have no ideas.

Ideas are undoubtedly more important that data, because they are how we find new solutions to problems. Ideas are also how we create culture. If machines begin to imagine things, then we will have another set of questions to answer. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a novel written by Phillip K. Dick that puts these ideas into a fantasy world where we can better think about them.

Most people know this story via the classic cult movie Blade Runner. Ideas have a way of organizing our information into stories that can be told and retold. For every new AI invention, there’s a new dream waiting to be conceived.

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