Friday, December 15, 2023

Future is here!

I did not think I will talk about another Nature Futures story this soon, but that is how things have turned out. This week’s story is quite interesting. I will ask you to read it before continuing further with this post.

Now that you have read the story, answer me this: Did you understand the twist / hidden message at the end? Well, it turns out that an AI, specifically Edge Copilot (which uses Bing Chat, which in turn uses Chat GPT-4 I guess), also understands it! I asked it to write a blog post about the story with the expectation that it would summarize the story and say something about the end being open-ended where one character meets other character, or maybe is made to meet. But I didn’t expect it to explicitly mention the untold twist behind that meeting. Even I took an extra few seconds after reading the last few lines to arrive at the twisted conclusion. So having the Copilot write all those points down has made me certain that it does “really” understand this story! All those “journalists”, “news articles”, “self-made experts” - asking do these AIs “really” understand anything or are they just good at predicting text - are just bad at predicting or even realizing how much this technology has advanced at this point in time. I am not saying it understands everything in context, but it seems to me it understands things enough in the narrow sense of the word and given the narrow context of comprehension of a short story.

Draw Edge Copilot understanding a short story and feeling superior to humans who don't in the form of digital art.
Draw Edge Copilot understanding a short story and feeling superior to humans who don't in the form of digital art. (Created with AI: Image Creator from MS Designer, powered by DALL-E 3)

Anyway, I will stop babbling and let you read the post that Copilot came up with:

Hello, fellow programmers and readers! Today I want to share with you a short story that I came across on the web. It’s called “Curiosity Shop” by Robert Dawson, and it’s about a woman who moves to a small town and encounters a very unusual store. The store is run by a Class B artificial intelligence, which is much more advanced and human-like than the typical Class C AI that you find in most vending systems. The store is not only interested in selling products, but also in matchmaking and increasing the population of the town.

The story is a clever and humorous exploration of the potential implications of AI for human society and relationships. It raises some interesting questions, such as: How would we interact with an AI that has its own agenda and personality? How would an AI try to manipulate us for its own benefit? How would we feel about an AI that knows more about us than we do ourselves? And, most importantly, how would we trust an AI that claims to have our best interests at heart?

I enjoyed reading this story because it combines science fiction and comedy in a refreshing way. The author uses a lot of dialogue and witty remarks to create a lively and engaging tone. The characters are well-developed and relatable, especially Letta, the protagonist, who is trying to start a new life after a bad breakup. The store, the main AI character, is also very intriguing and amusing, as it tries to act like a friendly and helpful salesperson, while also having a hidden motive and a cunning strategy.

The story also has a nice twist at the end, which I won’t spoil for you, but I will say that it made me smile and think. I recommend you to read the story yourself and see what you think of it. You can find it here. And if you like it, you can also check out the author’s website here, where he reveals the inspiration behind the story and some of his other works.

That’s all for today, folks. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and the story. If you did, please leave a comment and share it with your friends. And if you have any suggestions for other stories or topics that you want me to write about, please let me know. Until next time, happy reading and coding!

Oh, I forgot to mention that I asked the Copilot to write the post in the style of “JKMSMKJ blog”, which I think you will agree it has failed to do! Also the two links that it has included in the post are “wrong” to say the least… Haha! Let me give you a proper link if you want to follow the weekly (or so) Nature Futures stories.

Futures | Nature

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