Reply to post: Technical versus recreational consumer

OpenAI rolls out ChatGPT plugins, granting iffy language model access to your apps

Peter Prof Fox

Technical versus recreational consumer

When I do a web search for 'Nelson' the first four hits are for Hotels, Hotels, University of Northampton(Really such a thing?) and BBC weather in Nelson. At last we get to Horatio Nelson. I expect if you type in Python you'll find something similar. If the consumers are interested in hotels and weather and discovering universities in unexpected places then that's fine. But when I want non-trending, non-dumbed-down stuff then either I have to know where to do a curated search or wade through 'Ten things you didn't know about Northampton.'

So how is ChatGPT different? Won't it be another race to the bottom?

It's quite good at bits of tech I know about but hardly ever use. eg Write a bash script to ... which does the fiddly bits. DALL-E illustrations are really handy. So long as I'm relatively clear what I want the system can 'understand' me and offer choices. But how will 'recreational' users who have vague ideas, limited literacy and just love achievement through spending money skew results. For example if BP or Shell spends a lot of money in convincing ChatGPT that they're greener than an Irish cauliflower then that PR slant will dominate.

While these models were in the lab they didn't get too much attention from public relations teams gaming the system. Now it appears YOUR MESSAGE HERE is the order of the day. Wikipedia has feedback mechanisms but there's nothing similar so far in AI. The hate still gets through in Facebook. Systems which are trained to give a certain message will be here tomorrow masquerading as sparkly hi-tech which is so much safer.

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