Our place in the dawn of AI

By: Reed Morris

Prompt: photoreal robot looking over beautiful landscape with a lord of the rings style city on the side of a mountain in the distance 

What is OpenAI?

Open AI is an artificial intelligence (AI) research lab created by a consortium of leading technology companies, including Tesla, Microsoft, and Alphabet’s Google. The lab was founded in December 2015, although its precursor, OpenAI LP, was established in August 2015. The main goal of OpenAI is to advance the state of artificial intelligence by researching AI safety and general artificial intelligence that benefits humanity. The research efforts focus on ensuring that AI does not take over the world, instead working to achieve a more equitable sharing of the contribution of AI strategically and broadly. 

Prompt: Photoreal image of the founders of OpenAI

The formation of Open AI was prompted by a number of critical developments in the field of AI. One of the main motivations was the 2015 paper by professor Stuart Russell, titled “The Need for More Powerful AI Aligned With Human Interests and Values.” This paper made a compelling argument for the need for measures to ensure the safety of artificial intelligence, by closely monitoring and limiting its autonomy, with the authors emphasizing the importance of controlling the growth of artificial intelligence. 

Another important development that led to the formation of Open AI was the ethical challenges pictured by advances in AI technologies. In April 2015, the MIT Technology Review published an article titled “The Artificial Intelligence Revolution:The Road to Super Intelligence,” which raised a number of ethical issues that needed to be addressed as the technology continued to develop. 

The third factor was the abundance of hype surrounding the AI revolution. Despite the potential for significant future benefits, the exaggeration of the potential of AI risked raising public expectations and fears far out of proportion with reality. This posed the dual risk of annoying the public with premature and exaggerated reports of AI capabilities and creating a backlash against the technology that could set it back and delay the actualization of its full potential. 

Open AI was created in an effort to bring together leading technology companies to address the challenges presented by advanced artificial intelligence. Its mission is to ensure the development of AI benefits humanity and to prevent any risks or harms caused by unchecked AI development. Open AI is a non-profit research lab with an open source research agenda, and hence its research is made freely available to all. By making the research available to all, Open AI has removed the traditional barriers to collaboration.

At the start of the organization, Open AI’s founders pledged $1 billion in funding from key tech players. This investment is managed by a board of directors that includes some of the most prominent thought leaders in AI—such as Tesla’s Elon Musk, Apple’s Jeff Dean, and Google’s Vint Cerf.

Since its inception, Open AI has grown exponentially, from a few core research staff to a network of more than 300 researchers working in a wide variety of areas, ranging from robotics/AI, to healthcare, to nanotech and beyond. Open AI also puts on numerous workshops and conferences to facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration between its researchers and the wider community. 

Open AI has already established itself as one of the most innovative, impactful, and influential research labs in the world. Its mission to ensure AI safety and safety in general has resulted in a new approach to artificial intelligence development, with a focus on collaboration, sharing, and openness that is perhaps unrivaled in any other research arena. As it continues to grow and as its research continues to advance, OpenAI stands to bring immense innovation and economic benefit to humanity.

What IS AI?

Prompt: Photoreal image of a cyborg brain representing AI

At its core, AI is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of tasks and problems. The core algorithm of AI is a set of instructions, usually written in a programming language, that enables a computer system to act intelligently. This algorithm is then applied to different problems and tasks, such as task automation, game playing, data mining, language understanding, and vision capabilities. 

An AI system processes data to understand its environment and then makes decisions and takes actions to accomplish a task or a goal. This process involves using algorithms that identify patterns in data, as well as machine learning which teaches the system to learn from its experience and improve performance. 

AI systems are also able to reason and deduce logical conclusions from data. For example, a system may use past performance data and a set of rules to determine how best to accomplish a task or goal. This kind of reasoning may not be perfect, but it can be effective when applied to complex problems. 

Ultimately, AI is designed to simulate that of the human brain when it comes to problem solving. AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated at solving problems and performing tasks that were once thought impossible. As more data becomes available, machine learning and AI will continue to improve and become more capable.

What really is ChatGPT? 

Prompt: Photoreal robot waving at the camera on an alien planet

Chatbot GPT-3 (or ChatGPT) is a natural language processing (NLP) chatbot powered by the latest deep learning algorithm, GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer), developed by OpenAI. GPT-3 is an advanced text-generating Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that uses deep learning to generate relevant and meaningful text in response to natural language input. 

ChatGPT works by understanding context, which means it is capable of understanding user input and creating an appropriate response based on that input. To do this, the AI utilizes large datasets that contain the structure and context of the English language. Using these datasets, ChatGPT is able to understand nuances of language that are often missed with traditional computer algorithms. Additionally, GPT-3 has an improved ability to understand user context and generate sophisticated responses, allowing for more natural, human-like conversations. 

Compared to earlier open-source chatbot systems, ChatGPT is more accurate, sophisticated, and reliable. This is because GPT-3’s text-generating algorithm is based on the same architecture used in advanced natural-language processing tasks in major technology companies. GPT-3 recognizes contextual meaning in conversations and can respond in more sophisticated and meaningful ways. 

As a result, ChatGPT is becoming increasingly popular with businesses and organizations who are looking for a more efficient and reliable way to engage with customers in the form of natural language conversations.

What will the future of AI look like?

Prompt: AI being used in cybersecurity

The future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an exciting prospect, one which promises not only convenience and accuracy in many aspects of our lives, but also great potential for a new wave of advancements. Artificial intelligence has seen a massive boom in recent years, and its effects are quickly becoming integrated into many areas of our lives. Autonomous vehicles, personal assistants, and ‘smart’ home devices, show us that the use of AI has the potential to greatly improve our lives. 

The next wave of AI technology is likely to be more widely integrated with our lives, and it’s predicted to open up possibilities for many new advancements. Key aspects of this technology are already being focused on, such as deep learning, which influences machines to mimic our own knowledge and capacity to make decisions. 

It is forecast that in the near future, AI-powered machines and systems will be used in processes such as medical diagnostics, real-time decision-making, and cyber-security. Connected homes, known as the internet of things (IoT), will further develop to become an essential part of life. Smart home devices, thermostats, temperature sensors and power saving appliances will become commonplace and their operation and optimization can be handled with Artificial Intelligence. 

Facial recognition technology, which was developed to monitor and protect public areas, is predicted to become more sophisticated, while also moving into arenas such as healthcare and public safety. An increased reliance on AI to handle various tasks will also create many opportunities for robots to enter our lives. Unmanned vehicles, such as drones and automated cars, will be further developed, offering convenience and accuracy. 

AI is revolutionizing the way that businesses operate, and its use is expected to expand even further. Companies are already using AI to help automate tasks, guide customers through their journey, and prioritize customer service requests. It is also increasingly being used in marketing and digital advertising campaigns, to identify target audiences and help increase conversions. 

In the future, AI will be an essential part of daily life, transforming aspects of our lives into a more secure, efficient, and convenient form. To ensure that the use of AI is advancing in the right direction, ethical considerations will increasingly be a factor in any developments. Risk models will be part of the use of AI, helping to identify and mitigate issues such as bias, and machines with the ability to explain their decisions are more likely to be trusted and taken as reliable.

Final thoughts

This is supposed to be the conclusion portion of the article, and usually is. However, the title of this section is kind of misleading. While this IS the closing section of the article, I can’t in good faith say that these are my final thoughts. Now usually that would mean I’ll be following up with this, but not this time. This time, my “Final thoughts” are really my first, and only thoughts. Confusing right? 

See, up until the header “Final thoughts”, I, Reed Morris, have done nothing. Everything up until this point, including all text, paragraph structure, and even the images, is the completely unedited and unadulterated output of a publicly available Artificial Intelligence. By simply entering a handful of prompts (the headers of each section) into the latest version of ChatGPT-3 (Dall-E for images), I created a full, and publishing-worthy article.

How might AI affect us in MY mind?

Talking about ChatGPT to adults who were around before the idea of the internet existed is very interesting. Some compare AI directly to the splendor and excitement of the dawn of the internet age, but some simply call it magic. It is undeniable that the internet made human lives infinitely easier. We have all the world’s information at the tip of our fingers, it is just our job to organize it and turn the jumble of information into something useful. 

The internet got rid of the need for us to dig through stacks and stacks of books at the library. Now, AI such as ChatGPT-3 have gotten rid of the need for us to dig through endless pages of customized search results, and instead, they organize exactly what is asked for in seconds. By simply entering a prompt into the AI’s input, you can get tailored and accurate information, as well as all of the sources it used to gather the information it gives you. 

One of the best and more ethical ways that I myself use this AI day to day is by asking it for the information I want as well as the sources it used to provide that information. From there, instead of copying and pasting what it gave me, I use the sources it provides. GPT3 has access to billions of web pages, therefore making it easy to find useful information in hard to reach corners of the internet. I use it as a shovel more than I use it as a pen. 

Anyways, speaking of ethics…

Let’s talk ethics

Now that the air is clear, we must talk about the ethics of this. While using AI to solve complicated problems and help push forward human discovery is most definitely necessary, using it in day to day life dips into a gray area. I don’t want to put my ideas into anyone’s mind, so I’ll just give basic factual information and you can form your own educated opinion. 

  1. AI makes our daily lives infinitely easier in a similar way to the internet.
  2. Because the AI is designed to act like a human brain, it gathers information from billions of web pages and organizes what it finds. This means that AI written text is not recognizable through plagiarism scanning software.
  3. Schools around the country (and I assume the world) are already blocking AI access on district devices. This is a choice that was made pretty swiftly. It’s something they seem afraid of, and don’t understand, so they decide to hide it away. 
  4. The fact that AI has been blocked on school devices creates an economic barrier. For example, I could not create this article if I used my school iPad, however, I am fortunate enough to have my own PC setup at home, allowing me to use the AI, whereas a student who is less fortunate, does not have the same access, and therefore has less of an advantage compared to me. This seems unfair. 
  5. AI is a useful tool that can make our lives easier, however, it can also make us lazy and subject to falling out of strong work habits. Think how you’d’ve written a book report before the internet. You’d have needed to read the book. Then, after the internet, you could find everything you need online. Now, that book report can be written in seconds at the push of a button (granted AI is not at the point where it can write very emotion or imagery heavy reports)
  6. AI is here, and it’s here to stay. There is no turning back now. It will continue to grow and become more and more intelligent. Is it even worth fighting its inevitable global use?
  7. It’s NOT going to take over the world. AIs are designed to be a tool, not a consciousness. As it is only a tool, it can only do what is asked. Nothing on its own. Until humans create true Artificial Consciousness, we have absolutely nothing to worry about. 

Now that all of that information has been dumped on you, I hope you can come to your own conclusions, and act on those conclusions. I know I said I didn’t want to share my opinion, but there is one point I will be acting on. I strongly believe that while this tool can be used as a shortcut, it should be available to everyone, not just those that have access to personal devices. 

All in all, AI is not a distant future. It’s here, and it’s here to stay. We just need to find a way to adapt to it and utilize it to its full potential. It is not something to be feared, it is a tool. It will teach us new things, and create new paths of discovery in tirelessly explored fields. As a wise man once said, “With great power must come great responsibility,” and that applies here. Maybe someday we’ll have something to worry about, but for now, all we need to do is explore.

The story of the Kyalami Driver’s Strike of 1982

By: Jocelyn Knorr

The year is 1982. Apartheid is still reigning with an ugly, iron fist across South Africa; ironically, a song by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder called “Ebony and Ivory” is #4 on Billboard’s Top 100 list. And Formula One has come to Kyalami, carrying the sort of spectacle usually reserved for Roman coliseums.

But, let’s back up a bit. Austrian driver Niki Lauda, recently returned to the sport after a crash and injury took off half his face, was going over his Super License contract preseason when he found a clause or two that troubled him. For one, it forbade criticizing FISA (the forerunner to  our current FIA—coincidentally run by the exact same money-hungry pack of Neanderthals) and disallowing drivers from entering negotiations with teams themselves. This was the thing that got Lauda hot under the collar; it would have crippled the drivers’ autonomy and, in his mind, would end in them being shunted from team to team, racing for the highest bidder. He fought it incessantly, but to no avail.

As the day of the South African Grand Prix drew closer, all solutions to the issue failed. The drivers sent their attorneys to meet with FISA’s president, Jean-Marie Balestre; Balestre refused to play ball, saying “Sign it or you’re out.”

So, Lauda hatched a plan with his friend and teammate Didier Pironi. The Thursday that practice was meant to start, Pironi and Lauda arranged for a bus to meet them at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. Lauda herded the drivers on—most of them, outraged by the new, restricting terms, went willingly—and Pironi stayed behind to negotiate. The other two who stayed behind were Brian Henton (who didn’t have a guaranteed spot for next year and had decided to see if something would come up) and Jochen Mass (who had opted to sleep in and turned up late, most likely extremely confused).

The striking drivers spent a sun-soaked but nervous day by the pool, drinking and chatting; someone even started up a game of volleyball. Lauda was practically tied to the telephone—Pironi kept him updated periodically. However, the messages did not bring good tidings, and they were incredibly inconsistent. One moment, there would be no consequences for participating in the strike, another moment Brabham team boss, Bernie Ecclestone, had fired his drivers. One moment, Kyalami was going to impound the cars if racing didn’t start within the hour, but another the race was being pushed back a week. The striking drivers were even threatened with a lifetime ban from the sport. Despite FISA’s threats, they held firm. Lauda assured everyone that “[it was] all hot air—where [were] they going to get 30 or so drivers capable of handling supercharged F1 cars?”

When night came, Lauda—figuring that everyone sharing a room would preserve the sense of camaraderie and prevent anyone from bolting, something that almost worked—commandeered a conference room and several mattresses. They barricaded themselves in with a grand piano and bunked down for the night. Elio de Angelis and Giles Villeneuve made good use of the piano, Niki Lauda did some stand-up comedy, and Bruno Giacomelli gave a “rather amusing” lecture, complete with cartoons, about domestic terrorism in Italy—after all, who knew how this would end? 

Throughout all of it, Pironi ferried messages back and forth from FISA and the bosses to the drivers, Villeneuve punctuating every dispatch from the front with the opening chords of Beethoven’s Fifth. This time, things were looking up; Balestre—difficult at the best of times—was still resistant to amending the terms of the Super License. However, he had suggested that if the drivers came back, they would agree to a temporary truce.

As the drivers slept, Admin conferred. Armed with information from Teo Fabi—unwilling to risk his F1 debut, he’d scarpered out the bathroom window—they called up the drivers. They capitulated; if the drivers came back they could guarantee that there would be no punishment conferred upon them—for now.

Everyone who struck was permitted by FISA to drive, (except for Patrick Tambay, who’d quit on the spot, disgusted by FISA’s actions—Henton’s “just hanging around” tactic worked out for him after all) but Bernie Ecclestone had other ideas. He disallowed reigning champion Nelson Piquet from driving in Friday practice, claiming he was “tired.” Piquet was later cleared by a medical examiner, and Ecclestone had to allow him to qualify and race in the actual Grand Prix.

However, it wasn’t over yet. The very moment the checkered flag fell in Kyalami, the FISA declared that the amnesty had expired; all the drivers were suspended from racing indefinitely. There was a protracted court battle, delaying several Grands Prix, but ultimately the drivers won. Lauda’s scheming had paid off; though they eventually had to sign unaltered Super Licenses, there was never any punishments for drivers bad-mouthing FISA or negotiating with teams personally.

While contemporary newspapers portrayed it as nothing more than a political spat, many of the drivers actually enjoyed the experience. Villeneuve in particular described it as “the best night of his life.” The photographs taken of the strike show not 30 elite athletes, but 30 men, enjoying a boy’s night out, however odd the circumstances were at the time. The Kyalami Driver’s Strike brought the drivers of the grid of 1982 closer than any grid had ever been before, or will be since.

For more information, please visit: