There has been a lot of press recently about artificial intelligence (AI), in particular ChatGPT, with predictions reaching from mass unemployment to the end of the human race as we know it, laced with amusing stories of auto-generated images creating pictures of people with six fingers and suchlike. So I just wanted to take a brief moment to discuss what it might mean and how Global Indian Stories sees things.
A simple explanation of AI is that a computer system is trained up using examples to produce intelligent responses to queries. A good example of how useful it can be was with a water-quality system that was trained to spot when impurities made the water unsafe to drink. It’s a simple system where a sensor looks at the water and puts out a number that can be used to decide whether the water is pure enough for human consumption.
ChatGPT is far more complex than that. However, there is a key similarity, ChatGPT is trained on examples. All of its output, no matter how clever it looks, comes from those examples. Much has been made of conversations that appeared to show a level of sentience or self-awareness of the AI system, but ultimately if ChatGPT has had examples of how to answer questions about being “alive” then it can dutifully use those previous answers it was given. No need for new thought.
That’s not to say that what has been achieved isn’t impressive, but there’s something core that’s missing. It’s not alive, it’s not a person. It’s not even always to be trusted. Recently, a colleague of mine asked ChatGPT to grab some quotes from the transcript of an interview. The quotes looked great, really insightful and exactly what was required, with one small problem, none of those quotes were in the transcript. Actually, several of the words used weren’t even in the whole conversation. I’m glad I checked the results against the original text.
At Global Indian Stories, our goal is to share the experiences and feelings of actual people. We aren’t here to auto-generate clickbait. There’s no value to be added to the human race by doing that. This is about giving people a voice and allowing others to share and understand other people’s points of view. Even having AI “fix” a written piece can change the meaning or tone.
The world becomes a better place when we all try to understand a little of what others are going through, to learn about their struggles and triumphs. It helps us feel connected and can bring an empathy towards situations where people are persecuted or in peril. In short, sharing and reading stories from real people makes the world a better place, and that’s exactly what Global Indian Stories is striving to do.
Jonathan has a varied history, having written for publications such as Asian Woman but also technical magazines such as Networking+. He also has a background in IT so he's been instrumental in the technical side of getting Global Indian Stories launched. As co-founder, he also keeps writing, sub-editing, and handling the social media.