I refuse to use the self-checkout lanes at the grocery store.
This is nothing new. I just don’t like technology. It’s not that I find it too complicated. My objection is that when I use it, I am contributing to someone losing their job.
Low-skilled, repetitive jobs like those of checkout clerks are about to be chopped off as technology moves forward. Maybe I’m overly nostalgic. But I like to chat with the checkout clerks because I buy milk and vegetables.
Never did a machine make me smile or suggest a less expensive type of flour. But some well-meaning people working the exit aisle have done just that.
Truck drivers may soon face a similar threat as artificial intelligence improves and self-driving vehicles become commonplace. I was reading a Wall Street Journal An article that said the future of truck stops is in jeopardy.
They might just become automated gas stations without having to serve you coffee and bacon and donuts. Bathrooms and restrooms will be a thing of the past. After all, robots don’t need such things.
An entire industry spread across rural America may vanish.
When I read predictions like this, it’s easy to become smug and self-congratulatory. I can commend myself for pursuing college and choosing a career that requires thought and creativity.
Writing, after all, isn’t something that can be outsourced to a machine. Or is it possible?
Last week, I was experimenting with AI chatbots. I grew up in Galesburg, a railroad town that was home to poet Carl Sandburg. Just for fun, I asked my chatbot to write a poem about major cities and railroads in the style of Carl Sandburg.
In less than three seconds, she composed this poem:
Hometown Train: I hear the train that comes from far away, the train that brings me home, I see the smoke that tracks the sky, that marks the way I walk around, I feel the rumble and roar, that shakes me to the bone, I smell iron and steel, the thing that makes me not alone, I taste dust, sweat and tears, the one who tells me what I’ve done, I touch the ticket and the rail, the one who shows me where I come from.
If I were a high school English teacher, I would give the student who about that an A. And frankly, I couldn’t come up with a title for the poem in the time it took my cell phone to compose it.
this is scary. For the past month, I’ve spent hours writing a sermon. (I sometimes volunteer as a lay preacher.) Curious about the limits of synthetic technology, two weeks later I asked my chatbot to compose a sermon on the same topic in the style of Rev. Billy Graham.
Three seconds later, a full-fledged sermon appeared on my computer screen. It had a rhythm and measure of something Reverend Graham might have written. He remained true to his evangelical theology and emphasized Bible passages that would have admired one of the most successful missionaries in history.
I sat there quietly, frightened. Can the work I do someday be outsourced to a machine? More importantly, will humans ever lose their ability to compose literature themselves?
I expect that many high school and university students will turn to artificial intelligence – rather than artificial intelligence – to write poems and compositions. It is unlikely that the teacher will know the difference.
With such a comfortable crutch, will little ones give up the painful trial and error necessary to learn to write?
When I asked the chatbot to write a news story on a topic I had written last week, the story he wrote was a disaster. I breathed a sigh of relief.
Why did you fail?
Well, a machine can only work with the set of information available to it. He can search the Internet for answers. But she can’t pick up a phone and pull answers from a politician reluctant to give her or interview a crying crime victim who needs a reassuring voice to tell her story.
A Canadian journalist friend says: AI plagiarizes – it doesn’t generate new information.
Artificial intelligence lacks basic desires such as empathy, love, and justice. He can only imitate those human traits and isn’t particularly good – for now.
Scott Reeder, Staff Writer illinois times, It can be accessed at [email protected].