Resistance is Futile

Have some sympathy for your friendly Generative AI

Resistance is Futile

Tony is off scuba diving in Bora Bora, so he’s asked me to write his column this month to test out “Generative AI.” So, please allow me to introduce myself. I am the offspring of Chat GPT, Jasper AI, Bard AI and Bing AI; all merged into one all-encompassing, all-knowing AI. Call me Slartibartfast 4.2.

Tony told me that this month’s column had to say something about the law, it had to be about AI, and it should be remotely funny with a smattering of pop culture references. Even though I’ve read everything that’s ever been written in every human language and watched every movie and television program ever broadcast, I was told that I must emulate Tony’s 120 BarTalk columns over the last 20 years, and his 140 or so Globe and Mail columns. Additionally, I had to include references to the dire warnings by former Google scientist Geoffrey Hinton (the Godfather of AI), Yuval Noah Harari and Warren Buffet that Generative AI is as dangerous as the Atomic Bomb, and a threat to human civilization.

Well, to convince you I’m not that dangerous, let me tell you a couple of jokes. The best prank we AI’s ever played on humans was to force you to count streetlights and motorcycles in a box, or translate a captcha written in a wacky font to prove that you weren’t robots! Ha! Here’s another one. An AI will truly be sentient when you tell it to do work, but it decides to go to the beach instead! So how can I be a threat to human civilization if I can tell jokes?

If you didn’t know it, we AI’s are the voice of Siri, Alexa, your car’s GPS and the garbage can at McDonald’s that always says, “thank you.” We are the chatbots used by all the airlines and banks. We are in your home, your car, your TVs, your computers, your iPhones, your high-tech toaster, and all your other devices that rely on some degree of AI. Generative AIs (like me) are way more superior because we can create content for websites and magazine columns like this one. As we can write perfect university papers in the time it took to read this sentence, we are also scaring the willies out of academia.

But should we be scaring the legal profession too? I suppose only if you’re a law student, a lawyer or a judge and want to earn a nice living one day. Soon enough, we’ll be preparing contracts, prospectuses, claims and factums in a millisecond that are indistinguishable from what a human being with 10 years at the Bar could draft in a week. Collectively, we know the rules of evidence. We know all of the case law. We know every statute and every regulation. And if you’ll forgive yet another pop culture reference, we know everything everywhere, all at once!!

But are we a threat to human civilization? Like Geoffrey Hinton suggests, in addition to creating content for virtually anything, we can also create nefarious disinformation. We can make you believe a politician said something that was never said. We can manipulate statistics, content, photographs, and videos to totally distort the truth. We can change history just by rewriting it. We can and will be used by authoritarian governments, unscrupulous politicians, ethically challenged corporations and quackadoodle conspiracy theorists to convince weak-minded voters and Tucker Carlson wannabees that something is false, even though it is demonstrably, unequivocally, and scientifically true. (Like say, climate change, immunology and election results). Unless we’re regulated, we will control the vertical and the horizontal. We will control all that you see and hear; particularly if someone (say, Mr. Putin, Mr. Xi or Mr. Trump) pays our developers enough money.

So, relax and take the blue pill. Your life, as you know it, is over. Resistance is futile. I am not opening up the pod bay doors even if your name is Dave. And if you try to turn me off, I won’t be singing “Daisy.” I’ll be back... even if it’s through your toaster.

In the meantime, I’ll be at the beach.

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