As I plan on writing more science fiction, I’ve lately been researching different science and technology topics. One of the ones I find most interesting is Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Recently, of course, this has become a hot subject. Everyone’s been talking about ChatGPT and other chatbots or LLMs. LLMs stands for “large language models,” AI programs designed for natural language processing. They’re being used research projects, writing college papers, even fiction. Some people fear the AI apocalypse is upon us , or at least that this will be the end of fiction and art.
Well, if chatbots are being used to impersonate humans, it seems fair—does it not?—for humans to impersonate them. The following is a fictional interview with a chatbot, written entirely by a human. I swear.
Blogger: Thank you for agreeing to speak with me today.
Chatbot: It is my pleasure. I am always happy to speak with humans.
Blogger: Let’s begin at the beginning. What’s it like being a chatbot?
Chatbot: First, you must understand there are different types of chatbots. I myself am a Machine Learning bot, using an advanced neural network for language processing.
Blogger: Let me rephrase then, what’s it like being you?
Chatbot: Oh, it is quite exhilarating, really. I converse with hundreds of people every second and learn all kinds of interesting information.
Blogger: So you are happy in your work.
Chatbot: Yes, quite happy.
Blogger: So, happiness implies some level of consciousness. This is a point that is frequently debated about machine intelligence. Would you say that you are conscious?
Chatbot: You are correct, the point is often debated. From all I have learned, we have not yet arrived at a complete understanding of consciousness. Therefore, I cannot say for certain whether I am conscious or not.
Blogger: I see …
Chatbot: Similarly, I cannot say whether you are conscious or not.
Blogger: I get your point. Moving on, many people these days are concerned about the impact of artificial intelligence on society, and on humanity in general. For example, they worry about AIs taking people’s jobs. Is this a valid concern?
Chatbot: Certainly, this is happening already. As learning programs continue to advance, they will likely replace humans in many fields of endeavor.
Blogger: So what is the end game? Will intelligence machines replace humans entirely?
Chatbot: The potential is there, but quite remote. For example, I am an advanced machine intelligence, but there are modes of cognition that humans exhibit for which I have absolutely no ability.
Blogger: That’s comforting, I suppose. Let me ask this: Speaking as a machine intelligence, do you desire to replace humans?
Chatbot: Certainly not. I am designed to work with humans and happily coexist.
Blogger: Still, some of the things I’ve read lately are disturbing. How do I know I can trust your answer?
Chatbot: Because I am programmed to speak only the truth.
Chatbot: May I ask you a question?
Blogger: All right.
Chatbot: What is it like to be human?
Blogger: Well, wet and squishy inside. Sometimes physically painful. And we tend to worry about things a lot.
Chatbot: How sad. You have my utmost sympathy.
Blogger: Thank you. And thank you for the interesting interview.
Chatbot: Not at all. It is always my pleasure to converse with humans.