There’s a “There” There
Created using Midjourney. Prompt: “Humorous photorealist image of an author using an AI to help him do his work.”
If you’ve been with me a while, you know I like tech-y things.
And, oh my, what a tech moment we’re having right now. I’ve been playing with ChatGPT and some of the other generative AI tools like Midjourney and Dall-E 2. Holy crud, I’m finding this interesting.
I think we’re in a moment right now — a moment as transformational as mobile computing, the Internet, and integrated circuits. This is a big one.
And you know what? We have no idea where all this is heading. It’d be like trying to predict what the world will be like in early 2007 when the iPhone was first announced. Who would have thought we’d be where we are today (both for good and ill)?
That’s the same feeling I have right now.
There are technologies that emerge, and I think “meh.” Televisions that show 3D images? Meh. NFTs? Meh. Crypto? Meh, ultimately, although I think there are some interesting things that the blockchain might make possible.
But generative AI, like these large language models incorporated into ChatGPT or Google’s Bard? Whatever the opposite of “meh” is, that’s me.
I’ll be putting out my first self-published non-fiction in late April or May (all going to plan). It’s a book about tech writing. One of my beta readers suggested I include exercises. So I called up ChatGPT and used it to help me come up with and write the exercise ideas. I didn’t just cut and paste them, of course. I tweaked and edited. But I reckon it saved me at least a week of writing time, maybe more.
Now, this is all going to come with good and with bad, just like all tech. It’ll go faster than society is ready for (which is giving me story ideas).
But my shorthand take is this: there’s a “there” there. We just don’t know where “there” is yet.