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No Chit Chat

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

by Lee Pitts

My friend Rod gets all of his news by reading the headlines on a website called Market Watch because he refuses to pay one dollar per week to read the complete stories. But, this only partially explains his stupidity.

“What’s all this excitement about artificial intelligence (AI)?” he asked. “I read one company’s stock went up 700 percent because it’s a leader in AI. And, every other headline was about how AI is the next exciting big thing. Heck, we’ve been artificially inseminating (also AI) cows for decades now and Wall Street just found out? And just ask any brown-shouldered AI technician how ‘exciting’ it is.”

Admittedly, Rod’s not very computer savvy. He thinks a byte is what rattlesnakes and cantankerous old horses do. His chips are ruffled with ridges, and he thinks software refers to the plastic knives, forks and spoons they pass out at bull sale barbecues. And, cookies are what you get for dessert.

“Rod, if you weren’t so cheap and could read the complete stories you’d know the AI they’re referring to is artificial intelligence, not artificial insemination,” I said.

Obviously, Rod hasn’t had too many run-ins with intelligence, real or artificial, and I’m beginning to wonder about myself. 

Not too long after the encounter with Rod, I was reading a story in the New Mexico Stockman magazine about stress in cows caused by cold weather. It was a ho-hum story and not up to the usual excellent standards of the magazine. 

And then, I read the fine print, and one can imagine my surprise when I read the sample article was written BY A COMPUTER!

Well, my friends, I’ve seen the future, and it doesn’t include me. 

I blame something called ChatGPT, which will write a story all by itself without any human intervention. Now, one can add ‘writer’ to the list of jobs destroyed by the Internet. 

So, if you see me on the side of the road with a sign saying, “Will work for food,” throw me a quarter or two. Actually, the nerds and geeks say ChatGPT doesn’t write the stories, it generates them. 

So, I’m a “generator” now or a “linguistic engineer,” as one out-of-work writer referred to herself. 

ChatGPT is an “AI-powered chatbot” – whatever that is – which can write novels, poems that don’t rhyme, e-mails from Nigerian princes, malicious computer code or your son’s fifth grade report about the Amazon rainforest.

It does this by scanning sources like Wikipedia, the National Enquirer, books, the New York Times, scientific journals and my column, no doubt, then putting it all together in one jumbled article. 

Trust me, ChatGPT writing would put a person with caffeine-intoxication to sleep.

Evidently, teachers aren’t able to tell if a student wrote a report because given the same topic, ChatGPT writes something different every time. I’d hope a teacher could tell a “D” student did not write a report on how to build a nuclear bomb. 

I read one account saying ChatGPT can write good rap songs, but I don’t think there is such a thing. One article said ChatGPT can even write humorous columns, but in all honesty none of them left me hemorrhaging with laughter. 

ChatGPT does all of this by plagiarizing content actually written by real people like me without any attribution or royalty paid to the original writer. This is flat-out stealing and just one more example of the moral decay in our country.

One of the unforeseen problems with ChatGPT is there has to be real writers writing original content for the chatbot to be able to steal from. I guarantee if some poverty stricken editor at the New York Times or LA Times is forced to pick between a bad article written for free by a computer or a good article written by a professional, they’ll pick the free one every time.

An article written by ChatGPT might contain one sentence saying one thing and then in the very next sentence it says the exact opposite. So basically, what you end up with are two computers lying to each other.

I read where ChatGPT already has 100 million users and 1.8 billion visitors per month, but I don’t know if the glowing report was written by a real person or some self-serving computer.

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