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ChatGPT IS a threat. Not to us but to our internet

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ChatGPT IS a threat. Not to us but to our internet

17 Feb 2023

ChatGPT is a threat. Not to us, but our internet

Alot of the talk around ChatGPT focuses around apolyptic images of humanity enslaved by a matrix like machine world.

Calm down this isn't the future

While this is fun and compelling to think about, its not really practical and plays on fantasy more than reality. The reality is that ChatGPT has only exhibited “intelligence” in the most basic sense of borrowing and recycling human intelligence.

However, ChatGPT is a threat but not in the way that most are anticipating. The threat of ChatGPT is that it completely destroys the internet as we currently know it. While it is true that the portion of the population incapable of distinguishing ChatGPT from real human intelligence will continue to be enalsved to the internet under their new ChatGPT master, and this is a sad state of affairs, the net effect isn’t enslavement of humanity as a whole, but a near total abandonment of the internet itself by most reasonable people.

Here is a likely course of actions based on recent events:

  1. Noticing the potential of not having to pay writers and just generating articles based on click-bait by-lines internet content creators will fire all their creative staff and use ChatGPT to generate all their content. This results in the internet being flooded with non-human created content. We are on the verge of this point.
  2. OpenAI will create browser plugins to detect when machine generated text is on your website. They have already done this essentially.
  3. Third parties will notice the conflict of interest and potential for abuse and cencorship of OpenAI having both the algorithm and the cure for it and will develop their own plugins to detect ChatGPT.
  4. Third party plugins will be in an arms race with OpenAI for a number of years without much success, resulting in total confusion about whether anyone is being effective at detecting generated content.
  5. People craving genuine human interaction and creativity will begin abandoning the internet altogether as an unreliabe source of information.

While its maybe a good thing we collectively take a break from the internet as a whole, if you are connected to any company that makes is living off of advertisements on text based content of any kind, this includes Meta, Twitter, Reddit, any news website, then I would run away from them as fast as you possibly can because they are on the verge of catastrophic collapse. The best we can hope to come from their ashes is a kind of Wikipedia alternative, but likely Google will buy them all in a firesale once they have fallen. Instagram will continue to be safe for a time because detecting generated images is a fundamentally easier thing to do, but over time they will fall prey as well.

This is much more likely

I’m fortunate in that I work for a music company and machine generated music hasn’t really reached a state of maturity yet…hold up…Nevermind we are good.

This begs the question though that many of the companies that are involved with OpenAI and ChatGPT and its underpinnings are also profiting from selling advertising on text based content. Isn’t this self destructive? Maybe they don’t realize that the tool that they have developed to “help” their products may inadvertantly end up flooding it with useless content and destroying it. Or maybe it’s a meta strategy to level the playing field or knock out the competition. The main controller of OpenAI right now is Microsoft, who has failed as of yet to get a foothold in social media. Maybe this is ultimately their way of evening the odds.

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