While Elon Musk and 1,000 Other Tech Leaders Call AI 'a Profound Risk to Humanity,' I'm Happy to Report Barstool Bloggers Have Nothing to Worry About
It's a tale that is almost as old as storytelling itself. From as far back as the Greek myths. As classic as Frankenstein's monster, HAL 2000, the Terminator or Jurassic Park. And as contemporary as M3GAN. It's so common in our fiction, it's practically a Jungian or Campbellian archetype by now. Humans create a complex thing in order to make their lives better. They marvel at the wonders of their creation. Out of their own arrogance, believe they can control the technology. Only to ultimately be destroyed by it. Brought down by their own hubris after believing they can play god.
In the real world, that struggle is going on right now with Artificial Intelligence as it grows more advanced at a rate akin to Skynet in as it became self aware. Which, by the way, came less than a month after it went online. On August 29th, 1997. And here we are 26 years later, doing it for real.
Only this time, it's not the enraged hot mom of an insufferable teenage delinquent trying to put an end to it before it's too late for us all. It's our tech moguls:
Source - Elon Musk and 1,000 other technology leaders including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak are calling for a pause on the 'dangerous race' to develop AI, which they fear poses a 'profound risk to society and humanity' and could have 'catastrophic' effects.
In an open letter on The Future of Life Institute, Musk and the others argued that humankind doesn't yet know the full scope of the risk involved in advancing the technology.
They are asking all AI labs to stop developing their products for at least six months while more risk assessment is done.
If any labs refuse, they want governments to 'step in'. Musk's fear is that the technology will become so advanced, that it will no longer require - or listen to - human interference.
It is a fear that is widely held and even acknowledged by the CEO of AI - the company that created ChatGPT - who said earlier this month that the tech could be developed and harnessed to commit 'widespread' cyberattacks.
It's a profound moment for humanity. We are at a crossroads here. And I agree with Musk, Wozniak and the others that we need to slow our roll and figure out what the next move is, instead of heading into the unknown at warp speed. These, after all, are presumably the ones who stand to profit most from AI. Musk himself sells a car that can be operated from a phone app and is on the verge of making them fully self-driving. If he wants to hit the pause button, I suggest we stand on the damned thing. To steal a line from Ian Malcolm, our scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
And while our species is having this discussion, AI is being used to write college essays, generate emails, pen works in the style of the great poets and authors, make up jokes, create shitty clickbait Buzzfeed listicles, compose music, and even even alter your voice to make you sound exactly like popular(ish) singers:
So to repeat, we are living in uncertain times and need to proceed with caution.
But since everything ultimately is all about me, I'm happy to report that whatever else AI is capable of, the technology is still a long way off from taking jobs away from Barstool writers. Specifically and most importantly, mine. Because as an experiment, and in the very vital interest of gauging my worth and justifying my salary, I asked ChatGPT to do the following:
"Write a New England Patriots game summary in the style of Knee Jerk Reactions from Barstool Sports."
And in about six seconds, this is what I got back:
What a game, folks! The New England Patriots just put on a show against their divisional rivals, the New York Jets. Here are my knee-jerk reactions to this exciting matchup:
- Mac Jones is the real deal. The rookie QB had another impressive game, throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns. He's proving to be a great fit for the Patriots offense, and he's only going to get better from here.
The defense came to play. The Patriots D was all over the Jets, forcing turnovers and sacking Zach Wilson six times. They're looking like the dominant unit we're used to seeing in New England.Damien Harris is a beast. The running back put up over 100 yards and two touchdowns, including a 26-yarder that showed off his speed and power. He's quickly becoming one of the best backs in the league.
Special teams were a mixed bag. Jake Bailey had some incredible punts that pinned the Jets deep in their own territory, but the return game struggled to get anything going. The Patriots will need to clean that up moving forward.
The Jets just can't catch a break. Wilson had a tough day, throwing four interceptions and getting sacked six times. The Jets offense couldn't get anything going, and their defense was constantly on the field.
Overall, this was a great win for the Patriots. They dominated in all phases of the game and showed why they're a force to be reckoned with in the AFC. Let's keep the momentum going, boys!
Awww! That is so cute. What a great job for a first effort! Good enough to get an A in a sixth grade writing assignment. Or for a school newspaper. Or a Sports Media major starting a Wordpress blog. Hell, put it on Deadspin (if it still exists) and it would be the best content they've ever churned out. But if someone submitted that as a sample to our EICs, it not only wouldn't get posted, the writer's access to the Dashboard would get blocked.
For the record, ChatGPT randomly chose the Patriots 54-13 victory over the Jets from October of 2021:
And while I'm not claiming this was a masterpiece by me, I'd stack this up against the best our greatest softwared programmers have come up with so far:
--If you're going to be one of those people who just dismisses a 54-13 win out of hand because "it's only the Jets," then you just make me angry. Not because I don't care for your opinion. But because you're clearly suffering from some kind of mental illness and someone is going to approach me for money to sponsor them in a Road Race for Awareness or a Bike-a-Thon for a Cure or some damned thing and I'm going to get guilted into ponying up. All thanks to your crippling depression and inability/unwillingness to recognize an impressive victory when it's staring you in the face. … If you can't appreciate that because of who the opponent was, screw you. I'm not sponsoring a Walk for the Cause or whatever will cure you. You're making a conscious choice and don't deserve happiness.
--The fact is, Josh McDaniels has taken a lot of guff so far. I don't even know what guff is; I just know that he's taken a lot of it. But he came into this game more prepared than a Varsity Blues mom in an admissions office with pictures of her daughter photoshopped into a crew boat.
--Harris might have had the game of his career as well. McDaniels put the ball in his hands with a combination of gap runs, dives, powers and draws that Salah had no answers for. The being this 32-yarder. Henry and Jakobi Meyers ran a pair of backside slants - which are called Slice in a lot of systems, but Tosser in the Pats scheme - right at the middle of the Jets defense. Jones gave a pump fake to Smith on the backside to freeze the linebackers, while Onwenu (who has transitioned from left guard to right tackle, which Belichick admitted after the game is like crossing the Atlantic) ran Franklin-Myers completely out of the backfield. The rest was all Harris.
--On an unrelated note, it's been a while since I got my vaccine, and my memory might be fuzzy on this. But wasn't one of the shots from a company called Franklin-Myers? It should be. It works much better as a pharma name than a defensive end.
--Just to keep on this roll of breaking down successful offensive plays, that aforementioned best pass of Jones career was the deep sideline shot to Bourne. Again, against a single high safety, Bourne on the outside and Meyers in the slot ran a kind of Fade-Dig combo (which looked a lot like what a Pats playbook from 2004 called a "Lookie," because the inside guy has a sight read, but don't quote me on that). Meyers broke off his route into the deep middle, and the safety Ashtyn Davis bit. Bourne meanwhile took an outside release on Brandin Echols, found his overdrive gear quickly and burned him. I'll be convinced on my deathbed that Bourne broke the plane of the end zone, but I'm not going to complain. One, because the Pats scored. And two, in the words of the late, great Norm MacDonald, I'll just be regretting that I bought a deathbed. Still, this is exactly the kind of throw Jones was hitting in preseason and watching McDaniels give him these shots as we get into the middle third of the season is making life worth living.
OK, not every Knee Jerk Reaction is going to be Blazing Saddles, but it's better than what the AI we're all justifiably terrified of is capable of. So for now at least, it'll keep me from getting replaced by a robot, like some cashier by a Self Checkout scanner. And if I ever end a KJR with "Let's keep the momentum going, boys!" AI can send an unstoppable robot from the future to kill me where I sit. Hopefully by the time the tech does catch up to me and my coworkers, we'll all be living off our Penn stocks anyway.