I crossed over All the Way. I fell in love with artificial intelligence. We need it and I’m in.
My conversion was sudden. It happened on a memorable day, February 8th, 2023. It was a sudden strike of Cupid’s arrow into a worn-out heart.
My love life with technology has been either unrequited or chaotic. I’ve always been the one who ruined the relationship, I’ll admit that.
It started with computer typesetting. I was a dedicated, hot guy. I didn’t want to see this painted lady, computer technology, destroy my divine relationship with hot guys. But she did, and when I tried to make amends, she was, uh, cold, froze me.
Likewise, as an old newspaper man, I was very competent and happy with telex. Computer technology has separated us.
My first encounter with the internet was the worst.
I followed the history of nuclear fusion at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. A lab technician tried to get me interested in the new device he was using to send messages: the Internet. I messed it up. “It’s just telex on steroids,” I said.
Ms. Internet doesn’t want to be despised, and she nearly cost me my publishing house when she exacted her terrible revenge. She killed many printing papers as well as hot letters. In that way, she was a vengeful siren.
My transition to AI started harmlessly. I listened to a reporter on National Public Radio explain how Microsoft’s new AI search engine would not only transform the world of online search, but also put Google in a serious fight for its money – billions of dollars, I could in say brackets.
Google is on the brink unless it can get its AI to market quickly. I was fascinated.
The illustration used by NPR reporter Bobby Allyn was to buy a couch and carry it home in your car. The new search engine, Allyn explained, will tell you if the couch you want to buy will fit in your car. It knows the dimensions of the car and maybe also of the couch.
Then I watched a wild, unruly hearing before the House Oversight Committee. A long-suffering group of former Twitter execs has been targeted by the Republican members. Some of these members could never ask a question: their time was spent entirely scourging the Witnesses for alleged collusion with the Biden administration and Hunter Biden’s laptop. The worst sides of the new house were on display.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., was visibly nervous about not being in her seat when her time came to question the witnesses. She fell back on it and was so excited she was almost confused.
Then there was Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who was adamant that Twitter is driving a political agenda by accepting the science that vaccines helped control the COVID-19 outbreak. She claimed Twitter had a political goal in denying her the right to free speech by suspending her account after she was frequently warned about her dangerous anti-vaccination public health positions.
Any Southern charm she might possess was shelved in favor of verbal abuse. She told former Twitter execs that she was glad they were fired.
The highlight of my switch to AI had nothing to do with the brutal caning of the experts, but with the statement by Yoel Roth, former Head of Trust and Safety at Twitter, who indulgently explained that there were hundreds of Russians then and now with fake accounts on Twitter aimed at influencing our elections and digging deep into our politics. Likewise Iranian and Chinese accounts.
Then it occurred to me: AI is the answer. Not the answer to the immorality of the House hearing, but to the whole vulnerability of social media.
We must fight cyber excesses with cyber: only AI can cope with the volumes of malicious domestic and foreign material on the web. Too bad it won’t solve the problems of free speech, or the one that surfaced at the House hearing: the right to lie without restraint.
Llewellyn King, executive producer and host of “White House Chronicle” on PBS, wrote for InsideSources.com. Contact him at [email protected]
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