All posts tagged AI

Test Yourself

Published March 19, 2023 by Nan Mykel

What is a movie about a man who is a man who is a man?

What could the image at the top refer to?

Stephen Ornes wrote an article in Quanta magazine (Not Quora) about unsuspected abilities of the large language models (LLMs) of computational engines behind AI chatbots such as ChatGPT, and I want to refer you to that article in a minute. But first, the LLMs answered correctly on the first try at the movie question, which was Nemo. Also, it has been discovered as reported in Quanta, that the most powerful LLMs can change themselves by Emergence, a process which first referred to an evolutionary process in living things (slime molds).

The question about the image at the top is that it depicts the Trojan horse, which aided invaders to attack Troy as reported in ancient literature. The dangerousness of its presence was unknown until too late. The invaders hidden in the horse were already in the town and it was too late to avoid a catastrophic takeover.

For the interested and curious go to both Ornes’ Quanta magazine’s site and  Johnson’s Book Emergence.

What is emergence?  In his 2001 book Emergence, Steven Johnson says that “The movement from low-level rules to higher-level communication is what we call emergence.”

Johnson wonders if computers will become self-aware in the coming years by drawing upon the adaptive open-endedness of emergent software.  “Even the most optimistic champions of self-organization feel a little wary about the lack of control in such a process.”

The discovery of emergence appears to have begun with studies of slime molds, which in some conditions move as one unit but in other conditions (of food availability)  separate and function as individuals.

Happy Ides of March, By the Way…

Published March 15, 2023 by Nan Mykel

Just today a new pop-up on my MicroSoft computer:

<img src="″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”218″ class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-19819″ />

I didn’t realize AI was going to follow us around…I SPY AI!

Evolution’s Tipping Point?

Published March 5, 2023 by Nan Mykel

Many of us thought the 21st century would be the Age of Aquarius, not evolution’s tipping point:

The older generation knows the “The Age of Aquarius”, as a song by the 5th Dimension in 1969. This is exactly what they were telling years before us we were coming into this new age. They got this information from old writings and prophecies. They knew these kids would come to us to help us heal. From (Spring Rayne)

The dictionary’s definition of tipping point is:
“the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change”.

Life-saving abilities, honed by evolution to foster survival, are being short-circuited in many areas. A look at various AI entries on Google just today is alarming. Do see for yourself…

Tech giants are heralding ChatGPT as revolutionary…. With millions of users, the chatbot has started an A.I. arms race. Companies are rushing to release their own chatbots, and some seem eerily human.
Beyond the excitement, the technology’s possibilities can feel scary — as if science fiction has become reality. ChatGPT has already inspired many people to ask: Will A.I. take my job? It’s a familiar panic, one that resurfaces every time a groundbreaking innovation emerges, like the car or the internet. Still, questioning how A.I. could replace jobs in the future misses a more urgent point: The platform is changing how people work right now.

No longer the future….NOW:

Between them, some of the world’s biggest tech companies have [already] collectively laid off more than 150,000 workers in recent months.
The Real Reasons For Big Tech Layoffs At Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon: In truth, it isn’t likely to be because the companies involved need money. Microsoft MSFT +1.7%, which is reported to have laid off around 10,000 employees, practically simultaneously announced that it plans to invest $10 billion in OpenAI, the creators of the viral application ChatGPT. It seems likely that there is a business reason at the heart of the decision to invest a sum that would equate to $1 million per laid-off employee in an AI company.

Likewise, Google’s parent company Alphabet GOOGLE announced plans to reduce its global headcount by 12,000 – a cut of around 6%. CEO Sundar Pichai has previously described AI as the most transformational technology of all time, and in making the layoffs, stated that the strategy will be to “direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.” It’s widely thought that Google is working on its own AI-powered answer to ChatGPT that will be announced soon.

Folks are asking a machine what the weather outside is like; depending on a GPS to guide them to their destination;and apparently enjoying the auxiliary help. They’ve even made progress in robot tv anchors. And my college graduate granddaughter cannot read cursive handwriting.

I’ll eat my words if AI succeeds in killing Climate Change, but with a decrease in smarts, manners, education and brotherly love, our much earlier and more primitive underpinning of kinship selection makes a happy Aquarious future less likely.

AND MANY STATES WANT, ARE GETTING, AND REWARDING MORE BABIES. Poor babies, poor mothers and poor us.


Published November 17, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Work and the future of it in the age of automation is the focus of Alyssa Battistoni’s article/book reviews in the Nation’s Fall Books issue.  She is the author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal, and she draws upon Automation and the Future of Work by Aaron Benanav and Work Won’t Love You Back by Sarah Jaffe.

Benanav reminds us that automation theorists hold that technological advances have increased productivity and reduced the need for workers altogether. Manufacturing has borne the brunt thus far, but artificial intelligence, they claim, threatens to replace many more jobs in the service sector, as well as in many professional fields.  One widely cited study estimates that 47 percent of jobs are at risk of being automated.  Many automation theorists are Silicon Valley tech boosters, who are thrilled by new advances in AI and information technology and concerned about their social consequences as an afterthought.  [Remember, one gadget even lets you know how cold it is outside without the bother of opening the door].

Jaffe’s vision of post-work politics is more clearly rooted in her descriptions of how workers are organizing today, and she places more faith in the potential of their agency to remake the world…..Moments of possibility can appear in unexpected places.  Although they are often associated with autonomous movements like Occupy Wall Street that explicitly seek to disrupt 6he rhythms of everyday life, Jaffe points out that they also appear in more “organized” forms of action, like teachers’ strikes.  We can even generate such moments when we imagine our lives otherwise.

“What would you do with your time if you didn’t have to work?” she likes to ask.

Such utopian moments won’t abolish capitalism, Jaffe acknowledges.  But the projects that generate them give us a glimpse of alternatives of bonds among people that can drive struggles forward. Political power can only emerge, partially and unevenly, out of actual experiences and relationships–the kinds of relationships of solidarity and,  yes, love, that organizing can create and sustain.

But Nan Mykel wonders, who’s going to feed us while we enjoy our time?   In the next post or two:  the problem of an aging population that only an elder could write.

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