Blacksmiths, A.I., and Artists

My people were blacksmiths.

My grandfather’s forge was a working concern through the 1980s. His neighbors would bring him holed pots, and when he was finished they’d be better than new.

Granted, this wasn’t his job in the 1980s; he’d retired long since. He was a machinist, trained to repair bombers in the Second World War. He worked in the family garage, and later on construction equipment. And he kept and used hammer and anvil from time to time.


ChatGPT: Brilliant, Dangerous… Or Both?

The world has been amazed of late by the advances shown in human-taught artificial intelligence that resulted in ChatGPT. For those few of you still unaware, it is a seamlessly interactive virtual assistant capable of near-perfect responses. It can interact conversationally, using the same questions and responses we would see from a reasonably intelligent human; from such prompts, it is capable of followup, discovering some of its own errors, and even challenging incorrect input.

The advances are astounding, the potential even more so — not merely for this application, but for the sister app InstructGPT and the architecture behind it. And yet, there are those who would warn us rather of its dangers, and of a humanity that is not yet ready for the tools becoming available.