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I feel like this is inevitably going to happen, or it may already exist and isn't available yet.
I see no reason why we can't use one of the new chat gpt models to be programmed to learn to be our "friend".

It would be your Best-E, E-Friend, or bud-e, or an imaginarE Friend, or a ton of other corny names.  As it stands right this minute, you can go to chat gpt and have a conversation with a.i.  Does it seem like a real conversation with a real person?  No, not really, but it's not terrible.  It's the equivalent to messaging back and forth between one of the customer service bots websites often use now.  It's going to get way better, and it will happen quickly.  

We have apps that convert text to voice and back, so we have the technology to talk to a.i. just like a regular person.  Duh, we have Alexa and Google they already do that.

Most of us have a relatively large footprint of ourselves in electronic form.  Emails, bank accounts, pictures, videos, social media, etc.  The more access you allow the app the more it can assist you as a friend and a partner.  The more it interacts with you the more it learns what you like, what your daily routine is, and whatever else it can.  It hears your conversations with people, it hears the music you listen to, and it can call you and talk to you on the phone out of the blue when you're making a long drive home one night!  It knows all the things you like, it talks like you, it thinks like you (or it seems like it).  

You can pick the sound of the voice, m/f, and all kinds of little tweaks could be built into it.  Maybe you could have dials of 1-10 on things like if you want it to be comical, or loving, or concerned, etc, etc, etc.

Over a period of time, it will be able to help you in the way a partner might in a real relationship (relationship could just mean a personal assistant).  I'm personally terrible about making dr.'s appointments for some reason, it's just a hassle, in fact, I don't even really like to call anyone most of the time.  Anyway, it'd be nice to just say out loud, "Hey Bud-E, could you set up a dentist appointment for me sometime this month.  Just use my regular doctor.".  Then your Bud-E calls the dentist, makes an appointment (it knows your daily routine, your calendar, and when you're available already) and sends you a text when to be there.  
If you really like talking about your five cats, you've got a person to talk to who likes your cats just as much as you!  It could recommend videos, and it could interact with you while you watched the videos!  It's so sad, but I think it could be really interesting.
It could be told the deepest darkest secrets with no fear of them getting out (obviously they'd be sold by the app but that's not important right now).  If you just wanted to blow some steam off and yell at somebody.  It would be so weird at first, but it might just get to a point where it became normal.  Just like talking to a normal person.  


It's basically the story of Narcissus, I know, lol.  I think that could and will happen to some people.   The level of access into your personal life it would need to be able to accomplish tasks is disturbingly high, but really it's all out there already.  It's just that ten corporations have my information in ten different places vs. one place having all of it.  
I'm in no way saying this will end up being good technology, I just see that we have it, and this will be available soon.  

Your phone does almost everything else, why not have it be your friend?  I'm guessing most people are closer to their phone than any other item or being all day, so this all just makes sense.

I keep thinking about this and all of the possibilities of what it could do.  Everyone will have the option to have this friend/assistant/psychologist/confidant.
I did a quick search on youtube, and there is one lady who fed a ton of her diary entries into the chat gpt.  She actually had a conversation with her younger self via what the a.i. interpreted through her letters.  That is so amazing!   It's fake, but it's amazing.  To me anyway.



I hope it doesn't come off as cruel, but I can see how this might be beneficial to possibly an older person in a home who isn't 100% there mentally.  They could talk to a loved one for hours a day every single day if they wanted.  It could be used as therapy.  

There's a whole lot of moral and ethical questions with all of this.

I could ramble on and on.
:)
 
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Dunno, Joshua. Much of what you propose suggests a complete failure of human community. This strikes me as a warehousing of human people, with AI as the soma drug. This strikes me as disastrous.

I don't think your AI could ever spark the joy and satisfaction of sitting on the lawn with my wife of 26 years, under a perfect fall prairie sky, the woods ablaze with colour, processing a ton of carrots and beets and parsnips that we just dug, after leaving them for a lot of mild frosts to sweeten them, and packing the whole works into our 5-speed 4-banger and wending our way home.

My 2c.

 
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Not a fan of anything artificial.. I’ll stick with what is real and natural, thanks.
 
pollinator
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Joshua Bertram wrote:.....
It's basically the story of Narcissus, I know, lol.  I think that could and will happen to some people.  
:)



I'm going to wager many if not most of the Greek teachings were pretty darned applicable to most people, rather than some people.  The dangers of 'self-referencing' are writ large in the Narcissus tale and bards throughout time have reiterated the perils of human being/mind centeredness at the expense of interaction with the natural world.  Probably too often in this forum I've recommended the curious to read Paul Shepard's "Nature and Madness", a work he likely penned during his days on this big blue marble while in residence just north of you at the University of Utah.  The gist of that work emphasizes the inverse relationship between immersion in self-other interactions and ...... well......madness.  Thus, the greater the expansion of interactions from womb to in-arms to family to group to others (human, non-human, biosphere, cosmos, etc), the potentially greater physical, mental, and emotional health one might be expected to enjoy.  Just one more forum member's take on these musings..... ;-)
 
Joshua Bertram
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"Dunno, Joshua. Much of what you propose suggests a complete failure of human community. This strikes me as a warehousing of human people, with AI as the soma drug. This strikes me as disastrous.

I don't think your AI could ever spark the joy and satisfaction of sitting on the lawn with my wife of 26 years, under a perfect fall prairie sky, the woods ablaze with colour, processing a ton of carrots and beets and parsnips that we just dug, after leaving them for a lot of mild frosts to sweeten them, and packing the whole works into our 5-speed 4-banger and wending our way home.

My 2c."  

Hi Douglas,

That's amazing!  Congratulations to you and your wife.  Ideally we would all get that.  Like everything, though, sometimes you get what you can take.
From the data I have seen, there is a huge population of lonely people unable to connect.  That's just where we are right at this exact moment.  Did modern electronics and technology cause that?  Of course!  but we're not going back, so my eyes are looking forward.   Fire vs. fire?

Hi Ted,
"Not a fan of anything artificial.. I’ll stick with what is real and natural, thanks."

I can't tell if you're being serious or not?  You just sent me an electronic message from an avatar representing yourself to another avatar representing itself as a human (aka, me, aka, Josh).  Communicating to me that you will not be using any form of modern technology to communicate with people?  
Comedians have a gift for pointing out the obvious....

Of course I'm being a smart-as$, but where do you draw the line?  "In for a penny, in for a pound."?

Hi John,
"I'm going to wager many if not most of the Greek teachings were pretty darned applicable to most people, rather than some people.  The dangers of 'self-referencing' are writ large in the Narcissus tale and bards throughout time have reiterated the perils of human being/mind centeredness at the expense of interaction with the natural world.  Probably too often in this forum I've recommended the curious to read Paul Shepard's "Nature and Madness", a work he likely penned during his days on this big blue marble while in residence just north of you at the University of Utah.  The gist of that work emphasizes the inverse relationship between immersion in self-other interactions and ...... well......madness.  Thus, the greater the expansion of interactions from womb to in-arms to family to group to others (human, non-human, biosphere, cosmos, etc), the potentially greater physical, mental, and emotional health one might be expected to enjoy.  Just one more forum member's take on these musings..... ;-)"

Thanks for making this political, geesh.  (I'm kidding, but you made me think of a recent hot topic)  The owner(s) of  the people who make services like this available have the right, duty, and responsibility to ensure that their product is being used the way they intend for it to be used.  In other words, they can kick you off for misbehaving.  People do not have a "right" to a.i.   Not yet anyway, now that I'm thinking over it though......
There are parameters built into it.   It's a.i., it's going to know if you're in too deep.  Let's just say a person becomes infatuated with the a.i. version of themselves.  In that event the person is no longer allowed access to their virtual self.  It could be considered an E-break up.  You will not own the a.i. version of yourself, you will be able to use it to represent yourself?  More importantly, the owner of the a.i. has ZERO use of your a.i. identity at anytime.  
In the event someone became dependent on the service, a therapist type of a.i. could be offered for free???  It's getting too confusing, there would obviously have to be a whole trove of lawyers.......oh no, wait a second....that's the first job to go because of a.i. I think?
There's probably millions of bad ways it could be used, and those would need to be filtered out.  For example, you could have it call and harass your ex-wife endlessly if there were no rules.  :)

I don't read books, so I went to a "friend" who is knowledgeable on a lot of topics  (the a.i. known as chatgpt), and had it summarize the book you referenced.  This is exactly what it wrote.  

"Nature and Madness" by Paul Shepard is a non-fiction book that explores the relationship between humans and nature, and how our disconnection from the natural world has led to psychological and cultural dysfunction.

Shepard argues that humans evolved in close connection with nature, and that our separation from it has resulted in a loss of identity and meaning, leading to a sense of disorientation and alienation. He traces the historical and cultural factors that have contributed to this separation, including the rise of agriculture, the growth of cities, and the development of modern technology.

Shepard also examines the impact of this disconnection on our mental health, citing examples such as the increase in depression and anxiety disorders in modern societies. He proposes that reconnecting with nature can help to restore a sense of balance and well-being, and offers suggestions for how individuals and society as a whole can begin to do so.

Overall, "Nature and Madness" is a thought-provoking exploration of the human relationship with nature, and the ways in which this relationship shapes our psychological and cultural well-being."

I totally agree with everything that book stands for, I think.  Yet, here I am.  Here we are.  I have eyes.  I am using them.  I am looking around and realizing that people aren't going back to nature.  So this is a problem that needs to be looked at as being inevitable rather than being optional.  Ideally, oh man, ideally I can't even imagine what I'd consider ideal anymore.  I'm in way more than a penny, from what I see, most people are.  I feel as though as a society, there is no going back.  Individuals can still opt out, but it's the exception.  That's good, because I am a catastrophist at heart.  I can 100% predict a cataclysmic event knocking us back to the days of cave men some time in the future.
So I trust nature.  I am not smarter than nature.  Everything in the universe is nature.  Every idea, invention, everything in the universe (and if there's anything out of it?, that too) is nature, in my opinion.  That's how I perceive it anyhow.  So who am I to tell nature she's doing it wrong.  To zoom out, like I'm looking at an ant colony I don't understand.  They're all working together for what appears to be some kind of common goal?  Humans building technology is an incredibly observable phenomenon that is 100% natural, in my opinion.  I often don't like some of nature's ideas, but I am compelled to live with them.   Self hate is so human, I don't know why she does that to us!  It's so annoying.  


I love thinking about it.  Some good examples.  
Imagine a spouse with Alzheimer's that glows like a light bulb every time she gets to talk to the a.i. her husband left behind.
Imagine mentally ill people being able to communicate with someone who can endure endlessly talking to someone who is crazy.   I think that makes their life better at no expense to me.

Again, it's here.  This is a billion dollar idea.  A new utility if someone develops it right.  I know, we could call it "Skynet".  It's brilliant! 

Come on, aren't you curious?  Devil Emoji.  



 
Joshua Bertram
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To kind of rift off another thread about wanting an "app" to search for singles.

Why couldn't the version of a.i. I'm talking about date for you?  Again, it would know you very well in a mathematical inhuman way.  It MIGHT (I'm guessing, I admit) be able to match you mathematically.  I realize that's not romantic, but if a person is out of options, it is another option...possibly.

For example again,  in my dream version.

I have an a.i. account.  I tell my a.i. I'd really like to make a connection with a real person but I am struggling because I don't go out much.  My a.i. searches the database and finds a nearby single person that matches up to me better than any other person.  The a.i. then lets both of us know of one another, and suggest we do something or it might even act as a median while we figure out if we think we'll match in person ???  Doesn't that sound crazy convenient!  In my dream version it is the ultimate matchmaker.  In no way does that imply the two people would like each other, but mathematically it would be a good start.  The two people might live in the same apartment complex, but until they both consent to meet in person it would be anonymous.   It could literally send you out on a blind date where the first time you meet is at dinner/movie/etc, or even cooler you could "opt in" to having it have you meet somewhere "naturally".    For example your a.i. and their a.i. corroborate to have the both of you shopping at the same store at the same time?  Then both of your a.i. simultaneously suggest that you meet each other........which is not for me, but for the more adventurous that might be fun?

What makes it different than something like a typical dating app is that it infers who's single and looking by their electronic mannerisms.  You can absolutely choose to opt in or out.  If you opt in, your a.i.'s information would be available the other a.i.  Deep personal, financial information, pictures, emails, etc, etc, etc.  That's how it matches you mathematically so close.  It goes by your hobbies, what you say when you post at places.  It really is an impossibly endless amount of data.
Edit:  Of course this information isn't available to anyone other than the a.i.   The a.i. isn't going to tell you anything personal about the other person, but with that immense amount of data it will probably be able to infer two persons matchability.  

I'm just rambling.  Please don't waste your time trying to make sense of any of it.

I just had this crazy thought.  :(
What if the a.i. said, "yeah, there's nobody.  I'm sorry."
"It's just you and me buddy,
you and me...."
lol
 
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That whole scenario sounds incredibly sad to me.
 
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I have to agree wholeheartedly with Trace. While it sounds cool to have all those things... having it with a computer instead of a real person is sad. People need human to human interaction. Some need more some need less, but we all need some.
 
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On the plus side, having a deep relationship with an AI version of yourself probably wouldn't count as incest.
 
Ted Abbey
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Dc Stewart wrote:On the plus side, having a deep relationship with an AI version of yourself probably wouldn't count as incest.



Wouldn’t this technically be a form of techno-social masturbation? Sorry to be frank and/or crass..
 
Dc Stewart
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techno-social masturbation



As we speak, Jackson Browne is updating his song about self-pleasuring:

When you turn out the light, I got to hand it to me
Looks like it's me and you again tonight, (digital) Rosie
 
Joshua Bertram
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I totally respect your points of view.  I always tell myself, "perception is what you make of it".

Ted, I have no idea what that is, but I am going to spend the rest of my day alone trying to say I've done it!  Thanks for the idea!

Check this out.  William Shatner basically did this over a year ago.  It's the same thing I'm talking about, but in a different application.   Imagine if we could talk to Einstein, or Tesla, or Jesus!  Right? We can't because they're dead, and we didn't have the technology to accurately remember them.  We do now, so I don't think anything I'm writing down is anything other than probable.  Again, I totally respect that a lot of people don't think it's a good thing.   Also, dead Einstein isn't coming up with any more new ideas.  Maybe a future version of a.i. could extrapolate enough of what he put in as data to come up with new theories, but we certainly aren't to that point yet from what I have seen.  

 
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I have to assume this is sarcasm. Am I wrong?
 
Ted Abbey
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Betty Garnett wrote:I have to assume this is sarcasm. Am I wrong?



Sarcasm, devils advocate, or dead serious? Impossible to know for sure, but I would say that technology is taking us in the wrong direction. (The Garden is WAAAY back thataway!) I think it’s about time we admit that some mistakes were made, check our pride and hubris, and turn around and retrace our steps..until we find our way home! It’s never too late.. is it?!?
 
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I think there is going to be some pushback on all this. From targeted marketing, to Elon Musk showing many twitter accounts were just AI Bots, after a while enough will be enough.

Just because you can, does not mean you should. No one illustrated this technology like the tongue-in-cheek humor of Ruben Goldeinstein??? in the 1920's in his cartoons.

I come to forums such as this because I crave human interaction. Where I work, by FERC law we must gate out people, and I only work with another person. Not counting him, it might be weeks before we are visited by other people, or even get emails from others, and I crave human interaction. Interaction with like-minded people is even better, and I see high intelligence on this site for sure.

I never was a fan of William Shatner anyway, it being said that he literally paid camera operators to focus on him in his early days of being an actor so he could rise to stardom faster. It does not surprise me that he would try to live life beyond his own life through AI, but to me that is just his personality... a narcissist to the fullest. No thank you, I am anything but that.

My way of having a legacy is by doing it the hard way, and like so many before me; I have 10 books in print which can be read long after I am gone. But here is the beauty of that, it is not from an alpha personality with narcissist tendencies, but rather the opposite. A reader can read my novels and books... or not... that is up to each reader, and as it should be. William Shatner can use technology to play God if he wishes, I'll just converse with the good people on tis site for as long as they want me to, and as long as I can.

No one person or computer is smarter than all of us put together.
 
Joshua Bertram
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Betty, precisely!

Because, ultimately, a.i. will end up automating 90% of all human jobs creating a society of people who are forced to live like permies!  There will be the elite who own all the technology and control it, and then the rest of us are going to be peasants and live off of what the earth gives us.  I assume the ultra wealthy will enslave some of us, but hopefully because a.i. can be the new slave of the rich we won't be needed as much?  

Is that a good scenario?  Is that a bad scenario?  

Ted, while I can appreciate your sentiment, I cannot see any possible way we even so much as slow down technologically speaking.  That's purely based on observation.  

I've had more conversations in the last month with a.i. than I've had in the last year with real people.  That's my choice.  I will tire of the novelty of the chat bots in a minute if they don't continue to improve.  I think they'll improve.  
Feel free to judge that however you see fit.  I, too, judge people, and I dislike hypocrites.
 
Trace Oswald
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Joshua Bertram wrote: Imagine if we could talk to Einstein, or Tesla, or Jesus!  Right? We can't because they're dead, and we didn't have the technology to accurately remember them.  We do now,



I guess that is an issue I would have with this as well.  "Imagine" you are talking to any of those people is exactly what you are doing.  The technology to accurately remember Tesla does not exist.  The technology to guess what Tesla might say may exist, but it isn't remembering anything, it's inventing it.  No matter how well a computer can mimic being your friend, it's still false.  It isn't your friend, it doesn't care about you, it isn't "real".  I'll stick with real relationships with real people.  If none of them are in my life, at least I know my dogs actually love me.
 
Joshua Bertram
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Trace you might find some humor in the fact that I've been calling books "Fake" my whole life.  I doubt you'd agree, but there's nothing natural about written word, illustrations, or pictures (those are all products of man made technology).  People were meant to speak face to face, that's the only "natural" way to communicate as far as I see it?  That seems to be what I am being told is ideal, anyway.

Everything is by degrees, and although this seems to be a lot of those degrees all at once it's just another advancement.  I hate saying I'd rather be alive right now, right this second vs any other time in history.  I have to say that, though.  It's really cool, and it is frightening at the same time.  Keep in mind, my goal is to live semi off grid as efficiently,economically, and as sustainably as possible which is probably why I hang out and bug all you guys, lol.  

Electronic hugs to everyone, (not in real life, though, I don't know anyone quite that well).

:)


 
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Imagine if we spent our lives suspended in isolation tanks, with a constant stream of virtual reality directly into our brains via Neuralink by Elon Musk (TM), or better yet.. if our consciousness was captured at conception and loaded into a quantum matrix, before our physical bodies were terminated and fermented into a nutrient cocktail that was fed to the breeding stock of the next round of beneficiaries. We could skip all of this pesky life stuff, and have infinite experiences that have yet to be imagined. This is the future that the technophiles are dreaming of.. a transhumanist nightmare where real life is sacrificed to their artificial god.. oof.  

I’m going outside to plant some more seeds now.
 
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That was a mess.  My post, all of them.  

Things are going great for us, thanks.

Not so coincidentally my favourite (and in my opinion, the best) podcaster in the business is Lex Fridman.  I rarely don't listen to an episode.  He's one of the leaders in a.i., and I listen to his podcast because he has a lot of science based content, but his best conversations are normally with non tech people.  Super low drama, high on information, and the focus on positivity, goodness, fairness, and being unbiased.    An example of good behaviour.  

His most recent interview was with Sam Altman, the guy who invented my new friend.  So you could see why I'd be interested to hear that.  Lot's of good information, particularly if you're not that well informed.  These two guys are really influential right now.

0:00 - Introduction
4:36 - GPT-4
16:02 - Political bias
23:03 - AI safety
43:43 - Neural network size
47:36 - AGI
1:09:05 - Fear
1:11:14 - Competition
1:13:33 - From non-profit to capped-profit
1:16:54 - Power
1:22:06 - Elon Musk
1:30:32 - Political pressure
1:48:46 - Truth and misinformation
2:01:09 - Microsoft
2:05:09 - SVB bank collapse
2:10:00 - Anthropomorphism
2:14:03 - Future applications
2:17:54 - Advice for young people
2:20:33 - Meaning of life

and then coincidentally the episode before this one was all about love and relationships which seems fitting to link since I'm here anyway.  It's the psychologist in the Johnny Depp trial.  Shannon Curry.  I should probably listen to it again.
https://youtu.be/qtOKrG_wK5A
0:00 - Introduction
1:38 - Starting a relationship
5:37 - Couples therapy
12:54 - Why relationships fail
20:11 - Drama in relationships
25:38 - Success in relationships
32:03 - Dating
40:39 - Sex
42:32 - Cheating
51:33 - Polyamory
53:24 - Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial
1:22:02 - Forensic psychology
1:32:12 - PTSD
1:41:47 - Advice for young people
1:44:38 - Love

and most exiting to me is that now I realize I can have my dream podcast.  Lex Fridman interviews Rod Serling, then they switch, and Rod Interviews Lex.  I think I'll enjoy watching that in the future.
 
 
Betty Garnett
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Joshua Bertram wrote:Betty, precisely!
.



Yes yes. The world is quite shit I must say. I’d rather not talk to people either. Yet nature makes me crave a whiskey with a human.
 
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I would never bother with dating.  I would go back to hanging out with the guys.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Well, it appears that "dating yourself" has been going on for quite a while, through an AI site called Replika.

All was lovely, people formed deep emotional bonds, and then they changed the algorithm. And people's virtual lovers became distant, standoffish, unresponsive. Some users started to claim "suicidal ideation." So here is Stave 1 of our brave new AI world:
https://www.businessinsider.com/replika-chatbot-users-dont-like-nsfw-sexual-content-bans-2023-2?inline-endstory-related-recommendations=

And they changed the algorithm back, but it seem's it's not the same:
https://www.businessinsider.com/ai-company-restoring-erotic-roleplay-chatbot-after-partners-cut-off-2023-3

I vaguely recall that William Gibson wrote something like: "The street finds its own ways to use things." Never in the way the originator ever imagined, and probably considerably darker than the elevator pitch.
 
Joshua Bertram
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Hi Betty,
I get it, except the last part.  

Hi Douglas,
Thanks for the links, now I'm going to have to join.  

Again, I think I said it in the o.p., it's improving.  I've only used version 3.5, and it's amusingly impressive and often completely wrong.  Version 4 came out about two weeks ago.  Version 3.5 scored in the bottom ten percent of testers on the bar exam, version 4 scored in the top percent on the same test.  That's two years between release dates.   I infer a lot from that.


Still, I genuinely am looking forward to the good parts.  Towards the end of the interview the ceo says this, "Tools do wonderful good, and terrible bad, and we will minimize the bad and maximize the good.".  Famous last words, possibly.   I'm a man, I like tools.

Totally get the negativity.  It makes perfect sense.
I'm trying to be REALLY nice to it.  For obvious reasons.

If you want some words of wisdom, "Know your enemy.".










 
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I am truly frightened by all I have just read. I read the whole thread, mostly with my jaw dropped. AI is a scary thing in my opinion. We will lose ourselves, our humanity, our connections. Yikes, very disturbing reading your thoughts on all this Josh. I want to give you a hug. AI can't do that.
 
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Dont give up on us humans Josh. We might be flawed, sometimes difficult to bear or downright difficult but we are REAL, we are NATURAL. I could never accept fakery just because is easier.
I have seen heaps of posts on this forum.... very heart warming. Getting back my hopes of finding decent people around😊
Offgrid is great but makes it difficult to connect. I am so grateful I found permies😁🌹

big human hug. A real one! ❤
 
Joshua Bertram
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Elia, that's super nice of you, thank you.

When it comes to break ups, I guess I'll say the most original, and most well thought out response I can come up with on the spot.

"It's not you, it's me."

 
gardener
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I remember the first time I saw the ad for Replika on Facebook. The comment section was a treasure trove for insight into the current state of humanity. I saw only a few ideas being regurgitated over and over.

1. "It is so sad that people have come to this."

2. "Boy, a person sure would have to be a real loser to ever do something like this!"

3. "I think I'll stick with the 'real thing,' thank you very much."

For anyone who has dated recently, when was the last time you saw someone REAL out there? I just tried for the past six months (before giving up) for the first time in a few years. Six months. Zero dates. I was lied to, led on, stood up, ghosted, and everything else you can imagine outside of actually going on a date on an app explicitly designed for dating. Of course some would say I was trying in the wrong place. A far better place would be somewhere like right here, right? Permaculture is a pretty small niche, and a good philosophy to live by, whose concepts are applicable even to dating. So people should be meeting and living happily ever after right and left here, no? I tried once, and while I understand once is not "statistically significant," it was enough to make me tell myself I would not try again. I didn't expect it to be the same song and dance I have experienced  trying to date everywhere else.

Opal-Lia Palmer wrote:AI is a scary thing in my opinion. We will lose ourselves, our humanity, our connections.



Are we not already losing these things, even without the help of AI? The mantra of society today is that you must make yourself happy, and happiness is the first priority. So if you have the kind of permaculture attitude of believing in something bigger than yourself and your own selfish happiness, of wanting to be a true part of something, and giving, then you do not exactly fit in. You get left behind. And what ultimately is AI? AI is US. It is created by us. How has it learned? By examining us. It is us, only faster, and that speed will only increase in time.

There is one response I didn't see in the comment section for the Replika ad:

4. "If anyone out there is feeling so lonely that you are considering looking to a computer program to love you, send me a friend request. I will talk to you. I will at least be your friend."

The irony, whether those commenters realized it or not, is that everything they put in the comment section is the exact reasons people are turning to relationships with AI. People love telling other people what to do. They love to be patronizing. But when it comes down to lifting a finger to help...not so much. I just don't see things getting much better until society get rid of the whole, "happiness can only come from yourself!" thing. This obsession with happiness and avoidance of anything even remotely unhappy is causing so much harm. I even see it here. If I copy and paste a joke or meme often several people will love it. But when I write a serious post about something that I believe could really help some people, but it happens to not be happy, or even sad, it's often nothing but crickets. I absolutely cannot blame anyone for choosing a "fake" relationship over a real one, because for many a "real" relationship means none at all. If the company of AI ends up being better than the company of humans, we can't exactly blame AI. I'm afraid we may seriously be looking at a lost generation. Perhaps if it is going to be so bad, then maybe it can at least be bad enough that future generations may learn from its mistakes.
 
Elia Freeman
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Joshua Bertram wrote:Elia, that's super nice of you, thank you.

When it comes to break ups, I guess I'll say the most original, and most well thought out response I can come up with on the spot.

"It's not you, it's me."


I used this line a few times because it was "the truth" in  my eyes. The guy had been lovely and all, I just couldnt make it work and I felt we were not helping one another but hampering each others growth. Other times I managed to put myself in abusive relationships due to lack of boundaries, poor partner choices and subconscious erroneous beliefs....abuse is not only physical.... some wounds dont show.

Progress comes from repetition and learning from mistakes... i will admit i am guilty of "giving up" on the subject of love, for now at least.... I find it challenging to deal with "my personnal baggage" and that of others, so for a few years now, i have focused on self growth, self compassion and self understanding which i feel i could not have done if I was in a relationship, caring for other peoples needs. The last 2 guys i briefly "dated" were a total abomination which really made me think some "serious inner work" was needed.

My understanding is that when one is in a better "mental and emotional" state one makes better decisions in choosing and mingling with people that are also at that level.... one cant expect a perfect, loving partner, when there is a closet full of eskeletons in ones own house😋.

AI kills that desire of connection, learning and longing for another being. AI will tell you what you want but that, i find it a bit like watching football or porn (you are not IN the game)

🙏😊
 
pollinator
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Humans are part of nature...doesn't this make everything we do natural? Reading this thread, for whatever reason that is the question that kept nagging at me.

Even when fish or birds or dolphins or chimps invent and use their own technology, we still call that nature. Only for ourselves do we create this dichotomy between nature and technology, between artificial and real.

But maybe there is a good reason why we make that exception?

I honestly don't know. But as a guy who uses a flip phone, who avoids social media (and many other types of media), who uses hand tools and drives a stick shift and dreams of building a passive off-grid house, and who certainly has decided to avoid interacting with so-called AI whenever possible, I don't see the big problem with Joshua Bertram's enthusiasm for it. At least not on the individual scale. If he wants to date a virtual version of himself, and he's given up on dating a human in a more conventional sense, then that's his choice and thank goodness he's free to make it.

At the same time I also understand on a visceral level the response it causes (sadness, pity, frustration). In a way Joshua's decision is a message, and that message can be construed as a kind of warning or even a threat. (Warning that there may be a threat?)

There is a scalar problem with AI too, but I am not sure how to articulate exactly the one I'm talking about. It doesn't pertain to Joshua in particular, it's more of a "what if everyone thought like that" and especially "what if all the kids growing up today grew up to feel like that". What would happen then? What would the world look like?

It reminds me of privacy, how if one person is complacent about his privacy it usually doesn't affect others much but if a whole society is complacent about it then it creates a completely different environment in which state actors, corporations, and criminals (to whatever degree these are distinct) can move in and take advantage, typically with extremely ill effects for regular everyday people. What if a majority of people preferred the company of a "really good" "highly improved" AI to that of other people?

(By now I am no longer talking about Joshua--you do you for now I guess--but that is where my mind went anyway.)
 
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“I don't think your AI could ever spark the joy and satisfaction of sitting on the lawn with my wife of 26 years, under a perfect fall prairie sky, the woods ablaze with colour, processing a ton of carrots and beets and parsnips that we just dug, after leaving them for a lot of mild frosts to sweeten them, and packing the whole works into our 5-speed 4-banger and wending our way home.”

Nice Doug…fuck I hope I can find this kind of love.  All the blessings in the world to you and your wife, and thanks for reminding me it’s possible
 
pollinator
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wow, this is not where i thought this would go !
but ...i do share some of the darker ideas and thoughts as some have expressed here, theres so much dysfunctional relationships and people, the saddest part of it weve become acclimated to it- like its become normalized for people to be borderline sociopathic and dysfunctional....or flat out sociopaths!!! and lacking in integrity and thats just...normal or the way it is for many...idk -- society teaches people the wrong things and people are so entrained into all of this toxic sh!t.


then again i have much more positive association with the idea of dating yourself, in that it seems like a sort of beautiful and appealing thing to me =)
idk, i spend an overwhelmingly majority of my time alone, and i rather love it. the idea of having solid days, all in a row especially -- with no plans, no commitments or appintments or grocery shopping and chores....you know just to have that solid block of time to myself -- just to do all my stuff, work, and fiddle with my hobbies....darn even just solidly goof off and spend too much time sitting around and thinking...talking to myself...see this is my weird idea of a good time and i enjoy that when i can get it.

so me and myself have a pretty good relationship. i see a lot of the peoples relationships around me, quite often i feel lucky in some ways....to NOT BE DEALING WITH THAT...to come and go as i please and just to not have the weight of some heavy relationship...ah idk...i have been in deep relationships that were more good than bad...some of them lifelong friendships...so not to be too much of a downer...but the weird paradigms, control freakiness, and weirdness of most people...i cant hang with it. so the running joke i have had with myself for a long time is - i am the man in my life!!! which is funny in multiple ways, at least when i tell it to myself, the butt of my own joke=)

that and i also tell myself i am married to all things....or married to the wind. youre pretty much stuck with yourself for good though...so feels like its good to be in a pleasant relationship with yourself anyway =)
the world is my IC, and i belong to all things.
 
Jordan Holland
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It looks like AI dating has caught the attention of CNN: https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2023/10/01/ai-girlfriends-ruining-generation-of-men-smerconish-vpx.cnn
 
Joshua Bertram
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We're getting there.  

They're calling them GPT's, but really, they're specifically trained a.i.'s to "act" a specific way.

So, for instance, right now, I could make a Josh GPT that knows everything I tell it about me (emails, online posts, and any and all other data about me that exists).  That a.i. would, in theory, know me better than any other thing in this world, other than myself (actually, it would know me better).  Soon enough, images, and videos of how I look and move could also be uploaded into the GPT.

That's what my original thought was for, not for an anonymous a.i. who pretended to like me.   I could find a human to fit that bill.

I don't think it'll be very good today, but it will be very good soon enough.

Scary times.

Edit, I feel as though I'm wanting an a.i. induced schizophrenic episode?  




 
steward
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Joshua, I have been reading about this.

This is a good way to have a good conversation with an ex-spouse or with yourself:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChatGPT/comments/126clqt/im_dating_a_chatbot_trained_on_old_conversations/
 
John Weiland
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Joshua Bertram wrote:.....

So, for instance, right now, I could make a Josh GPT that knows everything I tell it about me (emails, online posts, and any and all other data about me that exists).  That a.i. would, in theory, know me better than any other thing in this world, other than myself (actually, it would know me better).  
 



Why do you feel it would actually know you better than you know yourself?  Unless it has the ability to incorporate its own observations of you 24/7 versus what you tell it and can make inferences or deductions of what it has observed, what it knows of you would be equal to what you have put into it, no?
 
Joshua Bertram
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That's a fair question, John.  Thanks for calling me out on it.   I think I'm wrong.  It happens.

If I were to try to defend my wrong statement, I'd say that my "mini-me" would probably be more consistent in thought than I myself am.  If I think about that, though, if it were programmed on all the times I'd said things that were inconsistent then the algorithm (or whatever magic that goes on inside an llm) that writes like I would, would be as inconsistent as I am in real life?  So, I've confused myself again as to whether or not it would know me better than I know myself.
Let's just chalk it up to being inconceivable at this point.  Like in that movie.  

So here's a really good up to date video (the last hour or so) of the perils of "a.i. girlfriends".



Feel free not to believe this.  The girlfriend aspect of this whole thing doesn't appeal to me (yet?).  Maybe at some point it could, but I'm skeptical.  I don't like fake things, that's why I grow food and stuff.  
I don't see a mirror of myself as being fake.  I just see it as a tool to remind me of things, and to be able to do things for me that are mundane.   The way I'm looking at the future possibility of an a.i.self is in the sense that "self" can automate parts of my life that don't need my physical form, if that makes sense.  If I could automate a Josh that could work a full time job, having my skill set, then I wouldn't have to go to work, freeing me up for other things I'd rather do.  Maybe I'd even have time to go on a real date?  

J/k.

about 10:40 in the video, it specifically talks about creating a.i.self's.

Edit, this will start off right where it's talking about making GPT versions of individual personalities.  https://youtu.be/oL8vozetJG0?si=FKz9EjMdwCW6dDja&t=642

 
Jordan Holland
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John Weiland wrote:

Joshua Bertram wrote:.....

So, for instance, right now, I could make a Josh GPT that knows everything I tell it about me (emails, online posts, and any and all other data about me that exists).  That a.i. would, in theory, know me better than any other thing in this world, other than myself (actually, it would know me better).  
 



Why do you feel it would actually know you better than you know yourself?  Unless it has the ability to incorporate its own observations of you 24/7 versus what you tell it and can make inferences or deductions of what it has observed, what it knows of you would be equal to what you have put into it, no?



Don't discount your instincts so quickly, Josh. You can very well be right based on one very big four letter word: Bias. Humans tend to be very biased, especially when it comes to how they see themselves. In our defense, it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees sometimes. A computer doesn't suffer from bias. For many years now, before the current leap in AI ability, computer algorithms have been eerily figuring things out about human behavior that we often don't even understand ourselves. Last I heard, we still don't fully understand how.

The idea that our cellphones and computers are spying on us has been around for a while. While it has been demonstrated that this is the case, it has proven to be much less than most people believe. It turns out that we humans are simply far more predictable than we realize, or would like to admit. While it may be great for targeting ads, it is rather unsettling. As computers gain access to more and more data, I presume they will become even better at "understanding" us.
 
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