Computing post

The computer as a collaborating co-creator

The advent of artificial intlligence is a paradigm shift in the way how we interact and work with computers. It is nothing short of amazing and will completely reshape how office work on computers is done.

Artificial Intelligence and large language models like Chat GPT and their ilk are not new, but since autumn of 2022 the race towards AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) has picked up a lot of steam. Since the release of Chat GPT 4 and Microsoft integrating it into it’s search engine Bing there has been an unprecedented growth in that segment. Chat GPT 4 is the fastest growing Software application of all time and has reached more than 100 Million users faster than ever before. And everyone that has tried the capabilities of this or a similar Software has to acknowledge that this is not a fad, a hot new thing that will go away. It is here to stay and it’s impact is so overwhelming that for now we cannot be sure how this will play out. To figure this out is impossible a task, because it’s reach is so far and it’s applications are so broad. Nearly everyone that is working with text of any kind, be it fiction or Powerpoint Presentations will have to face the threat of Chat GPT on his or her work.

It is not all doom and gloom

Since I have to work at least 30 more years I have no choice but embracing this new technology and all that it brings with it. For someone like me, wo likes to write on the side as a hobby and a way to form more complete thoughts and to reason about things, the advent of tools like Chat GPT is a blessing. Especially when writing fiction it me flesh out rough ideas and storylines more quickly, help me find a tone for a story or help me to explore the same story in different genres or from different points of view. This is exciting. It helps in making the process a less technical and a more creative task.

The same goes with programming. I am not a programmer, but I know my way around enough JavaScript and PHP to build simple websites. But for me coding was always 20% coding and 80% hunting solutions for errors on stackoverflow. Then along came Github Copilot. A tool that helps you bring your rough ideas to code faster (by regurtitating lines it ripped from millions of hosted codebases of which a large amount did not allow using it’s code for such a purpose, ignoring (as most other ais out there) copyright laws and legally required compensation for their own benefit.) Copilot made my coding less of a chore and more of a joyful creative process, where I could test out new ideas or explore codebases and libraries without diving deep into the docs.

A new way of interacting with the computer

This process of telling the computer what we want or try to achieve albeit in written form, is the most natural interaction for us humans. Language is one of the oldest interface there is and compared to computers it is much older. On top of that we start so early with the learning and speaking of language that by the time we come into contact with a computer it is already the most natural way of interacting with other humans (or even other mammals.)

So talking to our computer seems only the logical conclusion. And everybody that has worked for even a few days on a computer knows how hard even seemingly easy things can be.

In my daily work as a graphic designer there are so many rote and boring tasks that would be a lot easier and faster if there was an ai that could be interfaced with with words.

A win for accessibility

People who are physically not able to input there commands into a computer, but who stille posess the ability to speak, could be empowered to work with a computer. The same goes for elders that are no longer able to work on a computer but would be perfectly capable of interfacing via language.

It needs open standards and an open ecosystem

One of the main drawbacks of internet connected technology in a capitalistic society is that everything i monetized to the max. As we already know from a large enough sample size of leaks from Smar Speakers and smart Doorbells and robot vacuum cleaners that scan every inch of your house the only way to know who is really looking at and using your data for profit is when you yourselft are in control. But for the rest of this article I leave this problem untouched.

Imagine the possibilities

My utopian view is that we are developing into the direction that is depicted in Star Trek, where there is a benevolent AI that helps humanoid species aboard the ship to creatively develop ideas and themselves into a better future. And I try to leave out all the versions of Terminator’s Skynet that have been depicted in movies.

Just imagine the possibilities. You are at home or at work not just sitting frozen in front of your computer, but walking around the room, talking to it. Not just like someone who is dictating a speach to some secretary but more like thinking out loud like in a brainstorming session. Or imagine one step further, you are not talking to the computer, but you are having a dialogue with it, taliing with it. A creative talk that leads to new ideas. Ideas that have space to form, because you are freed from memorizing all those different buttons from your Software’s menu bars. Imagine your computer as being a collaborator, maybe even a kind of cocreator you are using as a sparrings partner to make your own work, your own ideas better. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I guess it would be!