AI. It’s inducing panic. It’s saving countless work hours. It’s here, but not many people really know what it is. Don’t worry: I don’t either. Perhaps that’s why I was asked to “write” this. I guess I’m here because I’m enough of an every-person – someone who’s just trying to survive – to be worthy of the job.
Most interesting to me so far: OpenAI’s own Sam Altman lobbying for regulation before congress. He was so eager! Cute, that. Though, to me, his performance smelled of get-out-in-front-ism: brown nosing in an effort to preserve his organization’s “lead” in an industry that doesn’t really know what it’s selling. Panic at the top, too, it seems.
Though, OpenAI is a nonprofit, right? Sort of. It’s a bifurcated entity, part nonprofit lab, part for-profit subsidiary. Be careful with that last word: It doesn’t mean less than. And, note: I didn’t say half and half. Lastly: Remember that Microsoft has inserted about 11 of its $ billions $ into this particular equation.
Caption: “The Creation of Adam,” Michelangelo. I found this by searching “God finger Italy painting” because … I’m a dumb, lazy human.
I can’t really put my finger on why, but the tech doesn’t scare me. Tech never does because tech is us. In most all our imagined hellscapes, we’re the source of our fears. Yeah, yeah, aliens. But the masterpiece Alien, it’s about our weakness and hubris, mostly. Also, our tech, and our inability to keep the murk of existence outside of our selves. (We can travel vast distances in city-sized ships using god-knows-what for fuel but can’t keep an alien from humping our face? Yikes.)
Maybe that’s the root of the fear? AI is us, revealed. It’s a scrape of our everything … at least the web version of our everything. It can do us almost as well as we can. And that can leave one feeling invaded, subverted, turned into a vessel for. A corporation? Aren’t we already, kind of?
No. And yes. We’re a vessel for our selves. Collectively and singularly. I used quotes above because almost everything I’ve written, it’s been inspired … by another human. Let’s be real. We’re all scraping everything we can in the effort to scrape by.
Haines Eason is a dumb, lazy human who has a dream of working for himself as a freelance everything. His dream is called Freelance Kansas. He uses ChatGPT to speed his efforts and is polite when he asks it for help. He lives in Lawrence with his sons Jack and Oliver and forever-partner Joni Lee. Learn more about him at haineseason.com.