A computer wrote this column … mostly

January 18, 2023
By Peter Vogel / B.C.  Catholic


What To Know

  • ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched in November 2022.
  • The core function of a chatbot is to mimic a human conversationalist.
  • ChatGPT is versatile. For example, it can write and debug computer programs, compose music, teleplays, fairy tales, and student essays; answer test questions (sometimes, depending on the test, at a level above the average human test-taker); write poetry and song lyrics; emulate a Linux system; simulate an entire chat room; play games like tic-tac-toe; and simulate an ATM.

Source: Wikipedia.org

The possibilities for, and interest in, artificial intelligence are growing rapidly. In particular, broad public interest is being driven by a service called ChatGPT, quietly released in November and now being overwhelmed by demand. This chatbot appears able to handle any task thrown at it

For example, I can ask ChatGPT, “Write me a short story on a trip to the desert.” Or “write me some computer code to solve the quadratic equation.”

I can ask ChatGPT to write me a poem about passwords and security, or a lesson plan on the water cycle, suitable for a Grade 5 level. I’ve even heard of a local priest who experimented with it in writing a homily.

In the process, ChatGPT is raising questions about where this sort of application will lead us.

I decided to try writing a column nearly entirely by using ChatGPT’s artificial intelligence technology. The resulting article was produced by combining two chat outputs and then removing one overlapping sentence. The inputs used were these:

(1) write me a 600-word piece on 5G telephone systems

(2) discuss health concerns surrounding 5G mobile phone systems

(3) write me a headline or title for a piece on 5G Mobile Phone systems

What follows is the result.

5G Mobile Phone Networks: The Future of Communication and Internet Access

5G is the fifth generation of mobile phone networks, and it is expected to revolutionize the way we communicate and access the internet. With faster speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity, 5G technology has the potential to change the way we live, work, and play.

One of the major benefits of 5G is its speed. While 4G networks offer speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, 5G networks are capable of speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. This means that users will be able to download large files, stream high-definition video, and access the internet at lightning-fast speeds.

In addition to its speed, 5G also offers lower latency (the time it takes for a device to send and receive data). This is especially important for applications that require real-time communication, such as virtual reality and telemedicine. With 5G, the latency is expected to be as low as 1 millisecond, compared to 50 milliseconds for 4G.

Another advantage of 5G is its capacity to support a larger number of devices. With 4G networks it is common for users to experience dropped calls or slow internet speeds due to network congestion. However, 5G networks are designed to support a much larger number of devices without experiencing such issues. This makes it ideal for densely populated areas and for the Internet of Things (IoT), where there are many devices connected to the internet.

Despite its many benefits, there are also some concerns surrounding 5G technology. While there is no scientific evidence to suggest that 5G poses a health risk, some people are still wary of the technology.

One of the main concerns surrounding the deployment of 5G mobile phone networks is the potential health risks associated with the higher frequency radio waves used by the technology. Some people have raised concerns about the possible effects of 5G on human health, including potential links to cancer, fertility issues, and other negative health outcomes.

It is important to note that there is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that 5G poses a health risk to humans. The World Health Organization has stated that the levels of radio frequency exposure from 5G are within internationally-accepted safety limits and do not cause any adverse health effects.

Additionally, 5G technology has been tested extensively by national and international organizations, including the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and no adverse health effects have been found.

It is worth noting that all forms of technology, including mobile phones and wireless networks, emit RF radiation. However, the levels of RF exposure from these technologies are generally very low and are considered safe for human exposure.

While it is understandable that people may have concerns about the potential health risks of 5G technology, the available scientific evidence does not support these concerns. The levels of RF exposure from 5G are within internationally-accepted safety limits and do not pose any known health risks to humans.

There are also concerns about the cost of implementing 5G networks. Building the infrastructure necessary for 5G can be expensive, and it is uncertain who will bear the cost. Some worry that the expense may be passed on to consumers in the form of higher phone bills.

Despite these concerns, it is clear that 5G technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate and access the internet. With its faster speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity, 5G is set to change the way we live, work, and play.

Yes, this column was in essence written robotically, although Input 1 did not in fact generate a 600-word piece. It was just 393 words. Input 2 generated the last seven paragraphs of the column.

In addition to the text, sister product DALL-E-2 was used to generate the graphic accompanying this column. It was produced from the instruction, “Van Gogh style painting of people on 5G mobile phones with a blurred city background at night time with radio signals across the sky.”

It produced the following image set:

Van Gogh-style artwork for this column created by artificial intelligence application DALL-E-2.

I then asked for a graphic in the style of Matisse:

Matisse-style graphic by DALL-E-2.

How do you feel about this growing use of artificial intelligence? Perhaps some of the letters to the editor for this paper are already being written by AI software. Over the next few years society will be grappling with the implications, ethical and societal, arising from the rapidly increasing use of AI.

Let me know what you think and we’ll run a selection of your responses. Just one rule: contributors must be human. (Mind you, how will I know?)


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