This guy got an AI to write some of his book. His fear isn’t that it did a better job than him, but rather that the job it did WASN’T THAT MUCH WORSE. I personally doubt the possibility of true sentience outside the biological kingdom, but we don’t need true sentience to die on the end of robot arm outfitted with a table saw blade. Even partial sentience would be enough to tell a system based on logic and rules that we’re the problem and eliminating us would make everything better. That said, if someone wants to create an AI to write a George Murray poem, let me know. I’ll just sit over here sipping margaritas and collecting the flood of cash sure to come in.
GPT-3 is a natural language processor, which means it’s trained to try to complete any prompt that it’s given. Its training data is basically the entire internet, so given a prompt, like a few paragraphs of text, it will make a guess as to what comes next. These guesses show that GPT-3 can really write. It can write in all sorts of styles, oftentimes as convincingly as a real human author. Like a medium, it can even channel the dead. The anxiety I feel toward it is different than toward any writer that once lived and breathed. I think it represents the first warning shots of an impending man vs. machine agon of language.