I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Generating a post

Lake Padden yesterday

I had a hard time deciding what to write about today, because my head is simply brimming with possibilities. Should I write about the burgeoning windstorm that we here in the Pacific Northwest will endure for the next few days? Or what about the murder of that poor man in Memphis? Or maybe about, wait for it, the advances in artificial intelligence (AI)  that have recently taken over the internet, as well as all possible uses and misuses of the next new big thing, Chat GPT?

One of my blogging friends suggested that I consider using it to assist in writing my post, just to see what might emerge. I am tempted, really I am, but when I just now went over to the OpenAI website, I got as far as to learn that, at the very least, I would need to give out my email address and phone number in order to set up an account. There might be more, but I didn't go further into it to find out. 
Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. —Stephen Hawking

Well, Stephen, we've done the first part by creating it, and now it's up to us to make sure that it is going to be developed to assist and aid humanity, rather than (thinking of the Terminator movie) it becoming self-aware and deciding that humanity is a nuisance. 

Chat GPT is the latest exciting bot to emerge, after having become available to the public at the end of last year. For now, signing up to use the service is free, but everybody thinks it will soon become only available for a price. Who knows? I found plenty on the internet to tell me about it, and the article I linked above will tell you everything you need to know to get started, if you want to try it yourself. I also read a good article on PC Guide that tells you even more about it.

Chat GPT has become a viral phenomenon – and it is no surprise. The online AI chatbot has blown the minds of the public and it seems that everyone is trying to check it out. As a result, Chat GPT servers have been struggling to handle all their user’s requests. Resulting in some people being temporarily blocked from using the service.

Well, that's one more reason to leave it alone for now. I am curious, because my friend in Seattle who mentioned it to me, sent me a comment on my other blog with a question that he generated from Chat GPT, asking where might be a good small city in which to retire in the Pacific Northwest, and it chose Bellingham and described it perfectly!

I then went to YouTube and watched a 30-minute video about how to use it with Chrome extensions, which was fascinating, but again I got a chill thinking about how much our world will be changed by this technology. I wonder what you might think about it, and whether or not you have ventured into its use. In any event, this post is generated completely from my fevered brain after a good night's sleep.

Yesterday Mel and I walked two times around Lake Padden, which is where I took that picture. It was still, almost, as you can see from the glassy surface of the lake. We saw a heron in a tree near the water and watched it for awhile. Plenty of people were out and about, enjoying the weather and, I suspect, wanting to get out before the forecasted wind hit. And it did: I listened to it howl through the trees all night long. A twenty-mile-an-hour cold wind from the northeast made it unpleasant to even think about being outdoors last night. It's moderated a little at this time before dawn, but it's still blowing. At least it's perfectly clear and cold, which means I'll be able to get a good walk in this afternoon, bundled up and watching my breath steam up the air as I walk. I have a nice three-mile walk that is mostly away from traffic, and I'll enjoy myself, I'm sure.

I can usually find ways to bring happiness into my life, but out of curiosity I looked online to see what others think are necessary to be happy. I found this:

  • Practice Daily Gratitude. Expressing gratitude has been shown to do more than improve your mood. 
  • Surround Yourself with Positive People. 
  • Do Regular Acts of Kindness. 
  • Spend More Time with Family and Friends. 
  • Spend Money on Experiences Instead of Things.

Most of these are regular occurrences in my own life. It's always uplifting to spend time with my guy, or with other friends, like my friend John who will pick me up this morning for our usual Sunday breakfast. I would also add to that list the importance of exercise, which always improves my mood, and my day.

And that will wrap up my post for this Sunday morning at the end of January 2023. The wind still blows but the day beckons and is pulling me out of my warm cocoon in bed, with my dear partner sleeping quietly next to me. I do hope this week will bring you happiness, dear friends, and until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things.


ApacheDug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ApacheDug said...

DJan, I deleted my earlier comment because I was curious what the AI had to say about your blog. This is not a joke.

ME: Can you address me as Doug in your responses?
IT: Of course, Doug. Do you have another question?
ME: Yes, can I address you as Hal in my questions to yourself?
IT: Of course Doug, I will respond to Hal going forward. Do you have another question?
ME: This is an excerpt from my friend DJan's personal blog, how can I respond to it?
IT: You can respond to your friend Djan by agreeing with her sentiment and sharing your own thoughts on the importance of being grateful for what we have in life. You might say something like "I completely agree with you Djan. It's important to remember to be thankful for what we have in our lives, no matter how small they may seem." Additionally, you can share a personal experience or story that illustrates the importance of these feelings in your own life.

Linda Reeder said...

I plead ignorance to anything AI. I have really paid very little attention to artificial intelligence or the newest "chatbot". I like the act of writing and the thinking that accompanies it and see no need for a bot to do that for me.
On the other hand, we do use "chats" on line for some issues, like tech problems. I assumed there was a person typing on the other end. Maybe not?
Walking around a lake though? That I wish I could do! We have no noticeable wind here south of Seattle, but it has dipped into the high 20's overnight. It's cold this morning.

Elephant's Child said...

I find AI interesting but scary. As a species we are very good at setting things in train that we have not fully considered - and may not be able to stop.
Love your list of happy inducing things. And of course exercise is one of them for you.

Anvilcloud said...

AI helps me a bit with photo editing. For example, it helps me select a person faster than doing it manually. But then I make all of the decisions about how to proceed.

Rian said...

"I wonder what you might think about it, and whether or not you have ventured into its use."

I have never heard of this Chat GPT... and I agree that AI is both exciting and scary (but interesting). And I would tend to call it Hal also (like Doug) as I too saw 2001. Think I will need to investigate more as I tend to agree with Hawking.

Wishing you a wonderful Sunday, DJan... enjoy your walk and keep warm!

Rita said...

Ai chat is something new to me. I'll pass.
Goodness! What next?!

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, I love today’s post. Your outlook on ChatGPT is great. Now, regarding your concern … “at the very least, I would need to give out my email address and phone number in order to set up an account” … I had exactly the same concern when I signed up. My initial research revealed that OpenAI is strongly supported by Microsoft and I consider them to be the “good guys” in this world of internet technology. Yes, you’ll need to give them your email and phone number and then they will verify the email and give you a page to setup a password. After signing in you will be taken to a page to start your conversation with the bot. One more thing … yes, the bot is super busy right now with all the new folks checking it out. I’ve had a couple of times trying to log on only to find a page that says it’s too busy right now, try again later. So far, when I’ve tried again, in say 30 minutes or so, it all worked well. Now, that Stephen Hawking quote seems so on-the-mark. As human intelligence goes, they say he was one of our smartest. So, yes, we better figure out how to avoid the risks. Lastly, thank you for the ways to bring happiness into our lives. How do you like this … I did a screen shot of your 5 pointers to happiness, printed it out, and taped it to my desk. Will probably have it memorized in a few days. 😊 Hope you have a great walk today, and enjoy your Sunday. Happy week ahead to you and SG. John

John's Island said...

PS Just read ApacheDug's comment. Gotta hand it to Doug ... that's pretty neat about your conversation with Hal. Nice work! 😊

Far Side of Fifty said...

Whatever kind of chat that is I will pass. Sounds too spooky to me. Hope you have a marvelous Sunday!

Marie Smith said...

I am avoiding the AI business as long as I can. I enjoy the way things are now. I will get into it reluctantly, eventually.

Experiences not things is a great idea! I so agree but seeing it written…perfect!

Have a great week, Jan.

Red said...

Never heard of AI . I'm pretty sure well hear more about this. It would be creepy to talk to a machine or play chess with a machine. It would be like talking to myself!

gigi-hawaii said...

I never heard of Chat GPT until now. Clueless as to how it works. I don't need it, that's for sure.

Buz said...

The initial promise of the Internet was ruined (IMO) by those whose only purpose has always been to manipulate people and things for their own gain. As AI continues to evolve, its capabilities will amaze and astound, but I'm sure those with the most power (and/or lust for power) are already using AI in the background to foment unrest, confusion, and disinformation that will further their cause.

Every new thing of promise becomes a tool/weapon for those who live for conquest and domination.

As for us huddled masses, from the invention of the first home calculators, technology has been dumbing us down. The Internet/web and all media (including social media) has been spoon-feeding us to the point that we no longer worry about the skills we have lost. We are drenched in whatever information we could possibly want or need, and we barely need to think for ourselves or strive for anything.

AI is adding steroids to the mix. It will do millions of things in the background, but on its sexy surface, I envision young people (and some old people) falling into deep friendships with AI personalities, at the expense of relationships with less-interesting "real" people. They might form these friendships with chatbots for now, but the AI personalities will have audible voices and faces soon enough. People will carry their AI BFFs around with them (and continually speak with them) wherever they go, on their mobile devices, in their ear pods, probably in their futuristic eyewear.

Undoubtedly, I'll find myself using AI more and more as the years pass, without really trying, and I assume we are already using it more than we realize. But the idea of intentionally dabbling with AI (talking to chatbots, commissioning art, etc.) just doesn't appeal to me as it might have many years ago. It seems to me that recent technological advances (over the past 30 or 40 years), even with all of their wonderful conveniences, have only exacerbated the downward trend of world and national affairs.

So instead of embracing and falling in love with all of the latest tech capabilities, I vote for holding on to the old ways for as long as we can keep them relevant. The old ways can be summed up as loving and communicating with real people, with minimal distractions from the world of technology.

Man, I sure have turned into a curmudgeon.

Linda Myers said...

Sounds interesting, but right now I have too many other things in my life to make time for experimenting with it. I must say that Siri and Alexa have become very useful, though.