"Ten years ago, many were expecting self-driving cars to be the dominant mode of transport by now."

Did they though?

I'm pretty sure once we got a few years into the new millennium most people gave up on thinking about the future because it was becoming painfully obviously that nothing had really changed that much in the real world.

We're now into the 4th decade of the 90s... all our "advancements" only exist inside a glowing rectangle.

Also: AI has been a thing since the 50s. The version the public is allowed to access has likely been around for decades. I'm partially joking when I say this, but also kinda not: there's likely a good reason why when you ask ChatGPT to be "creative", it comes up with stuff that sounds like it's the 50s and 60s.

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Lovely article - I am enjoying these.

In addition to the sensation of weird, I also feel a sense of hollowness to AI generated images. The technique can be very impressive, but the expression, for me, is not. I am continually surprised by our willingness to divorce intelligence from emotion and experience. I think this is something common in programming circles, where intelligence is seen as synonymous with logic, and the measurable ways of using logic. I also think it is subtly, or perhaps not so subtly, dehumanising.

Noam Chomsky - as contrarian as ever - had quite withering words for idea that GPT is in any sense intelligent. I would be curious what you think of this. Quoted from the NYT article "The False Promise of GPT".

"Note, for all the seemingly sophisticated thought and language, the moral indifference born of unintelligence. Here, ChatGPT exhibits something like the banality of evil: plagiarism and apathy and obviation. It summarizes the standard arguments in the literature by a kind of super-autocomplete, refuses to take a stand on anything, pleads not merely ignorance but lack of intelligence and ultimately offers a “just following orders” defense, shifting responsibility to its creators.

In short, ChatGPT and its brethren are constitutionally unable to balance creativity with constraint. They either overgenerate (producing both truths and falsehoods, endorsing ethical and unethical decisions alike) or undergenerate (exhibiting noncommitment to any decisions and indifference to consequences). Given the amorality, faux science and linguistic incompetence of these systems, we can only laugh or cry at their popularity."

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