It starts with love. It’s always like that.
When we are looking for love, we tell ourselves that we are looking for something real.
Not the kind of fake where someone tricks us. Not the kind of fake where we’re chained up, just because we’re cute and we have a nice apartment. Not the fake kind where we’re told we’re the love of someone’s life, when we really are the love of their week.
We want the real. Because in a life where the real is the only effective – albeit temporary – bulwark against death, we need something concrete, something we can count on.
Then came the technology industry.
No, that’s not fair.
It’s more than along that a tech industry has come that embraces everyone, makes money from everyone, and is beginning to radically change human behavior.
When it comes to love, the tech industry promised us we’d be more likely to meet the real thing. As long as we tell more about us to the owners of the technology.
Before we knew it, we started to feel flattered. We were getting messages from members of our target gender, people who seemed likeable and accomplished.
Too often, however, we never got to meet them in the end. Because they ghosted us. Because they were bots, created specifically to trick us into believing in technology and to increase the number of dating site engagements.
We were still slow to understand.
The more we interacted with the internet world, the longer it took us to realize that all was not as it appeared. Not everyone either.
We worked hard because everything was so involving and, well, everyone was there.
More and more new internet services have appeared, there to exploit our data while drawing on our emotions.
Many of these services needed us to be mesmerized, inspired, fascinated and, perhaps most importantly, angry.
At the center of it all was, of course, Twitter.
Pushed into the full maelstrom of humanity, we were suddenly confronted with words, thoughts and opinions that kept having our goatee.
How could people be like that? How could they think like this? How did the world even work with those kinds of people?
Again, we have been slow to adopt.
We didn’t quite realize that many of the loudest screamers on Twitter were bots created in faraway places to create the one thing so many nefarious political types love: chaos.
What brings order to chaos? Why, strong leaders. And, understandably, strong tech companies built on overwhelming principles of rationality.
Or so we are told.
And now we have reached what for many may be the final countdown. With a strong accent on the last syllable.
As AI makes its way onto our screens and into our lives, we are beginning to realize that nothing is real anymore.
But is it nothing to cling to?
Even those who create the likes of GPT-4 confess that they are afraid of what it could do. Or, perhaps, what it could end up being.
But they continue, because shipping is more important than depriving society of its last grip on reality.
He and Steve Wozniak will be our defenders for sure. They demand that no more AI development is done after GPT4 — for at least six months.
Meanwhile, the pictures you see, the words you read, the people you meet, anything online that makes you sad, happy, smart or angry may not be real at all.
On Twitter, it may no longer be free for allbut it is a free game for anyone with destructive motives.
Yet we always tell ourselves that we know what is real. As we do in love.
Still, you don’t know if I really wrote this column or if GPT4 did it for me, do you?