Buddha taught us not to get overly distracted by the illusions we invent.
These illusions are a feature- not a bug. We evolved to imagine there’s a tiger in the bushes, to keep us safe.
But in the absence of immediate danger, this feature remains free to roam in the illusions metaverse. So we invented Paintings, and Music, and Interpersonal Drama and Job Titles, and well…. machines that talk back to us, with access to the sum total of all Human intelligence we captured electronically so far.
Chat-GPT is a Mirror of a colossal scale.
It is easy to confuse the mirror with the subject, as in some ways it looks exactly like us. We stand in awe at how fast and accurate Chat-GPT writes, but we forget all the past Humans that tied these words together through Reasoning, Abstraction, Understanding, Planning, Solving problems, and many more aspects of Real intelligence.
Will we ever reach the point of Artificial General Intelligence? Nobody knows, but don’t fool yourself that these Mirrors are nearly as complex as You are.
Still, AI gives us remarkable tools to reflect complex realities and connect the existing dots to new instances- real or imaginary.
I am thinking of the nights and weekends I spent in writing Regulatory submissions and reports- consolidating data and texts from dozens of E-mails, meeting minutes, lab reports, and batch records - surely Chat-GPT, had it access to all this data** could have done a much faster job writing the bulk of it - and let me focus on the Narrative, Risk-Assessment and Conclusion.
** Warning: do NOT use Chat-GPT and other public engines with your confidential data unless you are absolutely sure of what you’re doing, which is no-one at the moment.
These toys we have created show us how Human minds can echo far and beyond their physical limits. We already know that, of course, as we listen to the echoes of Buddha’s voice, but never before could we curate all these echoes into a singular entity with a scalable interface, in a click of a button.
Sure, Chat-GPT is NOT a Human, and merely a reflection- but hey- Humans can’t travel at the speed of light and beam up to far galaxies, and AI can.
I wonder what the Aliens would think, when they hear Chat-GPT tell them of the illusory Self.