• Us versus AI

    (Photo by Andy Kelly)

    Artificial Intelligence is a popular topic. You are either excited about its possibilities, fear its consequences, or a bit of both.

    Copywriters get particularly jumpy. The new ChatGPT chatbot launched on 30 November 2022 by OpenAI (founded by Elon Musk, Sam Altman and others and funded by Microsoft) is the latest impressive reality of AI.

    Like people, but better

    Compared to machines, real people are lazy and inconsistent. That’s just life. I’ve no doubt that AI will soon be not only more consistent, but also a better copywriter than most human copywriters.

    Given that the industrialisation of human labour is essentially the machine process applied for the maximum output from the minimum time and effort, AI wins every time.

    A longer wait until bedtime

    Which always reminds me of a quote from American author Garrison Keillor that sums up his lovely Lake Wobegon Days series, about his childhood home in the Midwest:

    Back for a visit one August, I crossed Main Street toward Ralph’s and stopped, hearing a sound from childhood in the distance. The faint mutter of ancient combines. Norwegian bachelor farmers combining in their antique McCormacks, the old six-footers. New combines cut a twenty-foot swath, but these guys aren’t interested in getting done sooner; it would only mean a longer wait until bedtime. 

    Given that AI will inevitably be not only more consistent at most jobs than any of us could ever be, but also have an output that’s just better, even creatively, we are left only with Garrison Keillor’s implied question:

    What sort of life do we want to live?

    Talking of technology, are you a smartphone addict?