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ChatGPT is a stupid machine, we have to reprogram it technology



One of the great myths surrounding technological innovation is the promise of creating new things. In this way, ChatGPT seems to have been the last expression of mankind’s upward evolution in history. After Google’s search engine changed the way we access knowledge, creating a kind of global digital library, Microsoft’s chatbot prototype was ripe for reconfiguring our relationship with education and the world of work and radically changing human relationships.

Aside from the fact that the logic of ChatGPT is an inheritor of Cold War times (pattern comparison, designed to predict and react in war environments), as with the search engine, Google’s GPS, or other technologies like the iPhone, the obsession with categorizing seemingly rational thoughts illustrates an event. Paradoxical: the irrationality behind the way we understand technology.

On the one hand, because he is trying to solve the problems created by the “previous” digital world, which ultimately creates more problems. This is what Evgeny Morozov calls solutions: Because this AI has been trained with billions of pages and information from the Internet, which until recently we agreed was an ocean of fake news, many of the answers it gives are unwise. Although it has the ability to generate text, this tool is something of a way to institutionalize disinformation, even though it now exists Plugins and sophisticated urge.

But, does anyone think that this will be the technology that history books remember as the library of the 21st century in the same way that were, for example, similar cultural institutions established by Felipe II in El Escorial? The problem is that ChatGPT is trying to solve questions about our community that we should approach in a different way. For example, in terms of education, the problem is that the machine is able to generate theses automatically or that public education systems (which suffered the cuts first, and Google search later) still not able to enjoy their innovative digital infrastructures?

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The problem is not that students have more tools to copy, but rather that education does not have a teaching and learning model that prioritizes the acquisition of analytical and synthetic skills over the information domain. As the philosopher Roberto Mangabeira-Unger has expressed, the question is how to create tools that help people reach a certain selective depth at the expense of encyclopedic superficiality in content processing, or that prioritize collaborative action (between students, teachers, and centers) rather than individualism and authoritarianism in the classroom. To handle each topic from contrarian and honest points of view, we need AI that is very different from ChatGPT: machines trained with other data sets, designed to learn or discover new authors and pieces of knowledge, not to automate an outdated learning model.

Something similar happens with other domains. In the book Shitty Jobs, American anthropologist David Graber developed a theory in which he asserts that having jobs without any purpose has devastating effects on society and becomes psychologically devastating. So why create artificial intelligence that attempts to solve this problem by automating such jobs, instead of creating machines to reduce workload, distribute derived capital gains through some form of universal basic income, as Francesca Bria has proposed, and allow human creativity to express itself freely?

Evgeny Morozov has argued that ChatGPT is neither intelligent nor artificial: it draws its power from the work of human beings, be they artists, musicians, programmers, or writers, whose creative and professional output has been appropriated in the name of saving civilization. Given this reality, how can we reprogram AI to make human intelligence visible and capable of creating new art, cultural fiction, or stories, rather than spending huge amounts of money and energy resources on data centers and machine learning models? Wouldn’t it be smarter to rethink the digital library for the 21st century by following sustainability criteria, creating tools to shape the future we would like to live in, with knowledge of what has worked in the past, rather than something like automating global warming while casting doubt on a robot?

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Ekaitz cancels He is the author of Digital Utopia: Imagining the End of Capitalism (Verso Libros, 2023).

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