ChatGPT, threat or opportunity? “Yes to machines, as long as you put effort into critical thinking”

With its omniscience and advanced language, is ChatGPT a threat or an opportunity to man? For the business philosopher Luc de Brabandere, such innovations above all invite him to be conscious and skeptical, unlike an artificial intelligence that “doesn’t know what it’s doing.”

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Should we be worried about the emergence of automated conversational agents like ChatGPT, because this software mimics language so finely and provides both quick and detailed responses?

A tool has many reasons to be stronger than man. Therefore, it should not be surprising. ChatGPT a a major step forward in human mimicry. We are in no danger. The real danger, rather let it be and not being able to take control of these machines. Computers do not experience emotions or feelings, but some can imitate them. If a bank implements a chatbot, the law should require it to repeat every thirty seconds that it is a machine. Similarly, when we ask a robot for information, should we say thank you? Nope. This is the place difference between man and machine. Words matter. There are no so-called “autonomous” cars because they depend on multiple objects and software. They are unable to accept their own rules.

There is no argument: it is the man who uses the machine, not the other way around.

Does this reasoning also apply to the concept of artificial intelligence (AI)?

The word “intelligence” became a subject of research only two hundred years ago. At that time he focuses on genetic engineering, eugenics. The intelligence unit assumed that there was intelligence mathematics and logic. After World War II, we saw the emergence of a huge movement of multiple intelligences: emotional, spatial, musical, etc. Cheers! And then, what …technology, we are bringing intelligence back to the singularity. The paradox, in my view, is that mathematical logic, which was the monopoly of two hundred years ago, has been replaced by “artificial” intelligence.

Is the line between human intelligence and so-called “artificial” intelligence tending to fade?

A philosopher loves praise. When a computer is very powerful, we call it artificial intelligence. I would like to know where the line is. Let’s not lose sight of thatthe computer doesn’t know what it’s doing, that he does not experience either joy or sadness, that he does not avoid rationality. I recently saw a smart parking ad: I don’t want to be told one day that I’m smart like a car park. So my personal definition is: that’s what intelligence is the ability to make good use of one’s abilities. So, a person with a very good sense of humor should also have the ability to use it properly. So I don’t think we can measure intelligence. IQ has no meaning here, as it measures an individual’s ability to think as if he invented the exercise.

Luc de Brabandere, teacher and business philosopher. © Loop Press

No matter what artificial intelligence solutions are implemented, does the concept of responsibility lie with humans?

It always stays the exterior of the car. It goes on forever in a box that someone defines. So this question: who is behind ChatGPT, what is it their social project? Other than Microsoft, dangerous people I don’t like like Elon Musk or Peter Thiel (Editor’s note: Founder of Paypal), we invested in OpenAI, the origin of ChatGPT. Let’s imagine ChatGPT was only programmed by women or Ethiopians: me the result would be quite different. Critical thinking is my major at the moment wondering about the origins of what is in front of me, to the strength of the argument, to the channel that brought me there. And doubting myself.

Therefore, as it is today, is it dangerous to allow artificial intelligence solutions without questioning their feasibility?

The problem is fact let it be a boulevard. Forty years ago, I read one of the first books about children and computers: Brain storms, by Seymour Papert. One of the last sentences is: “Finally, when I see a child in front of a computer, the question is who is programming whom.” I think it’s great. Are we using the internet or is the internet using us? There is no debate on this question: it is man who uses the machine, period. Hence the importance of existence aware of what is happening. Yes to machines, provided you put a lot of effort into critical thinking. This is the full force of wonder, question, doubt. Otherwise, they can pose a real threat. I see we try sometimes give them functions they shouldn’t have.

Can we reconcile the philosophical question of having or not having AI solutions and regulations as Europe prepares for 2024?

The legislator has no choice but to do so make categories. However, a classification is necessarily imperfect. Remember the classification of sectors called “essential” or not during the pandemic. I think this arrangement is necessary when we know from day one that it will never be good enough. It will be weaknesses that people will rush. But the worst would be to do nothing.

In addition to the collective responsibility that legislators can translate into regulations, should we be more careful on a personal level with AI software?

Many people calculate a opportunity to think less. However, I find it to be the case quite the opposite. Believing that we can regulate everything is an illusion. Therefore, we must invest in critical thinking.

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