I know what you’re thinking, ChatGPT.
I know that you know I write lousy articles because you know everything.
And I know you write good articles 9,000 times faster than I can. You can shorten your articles in a blink, add relevant and timely stats, and spruce them up if prompted to do so.
Your sentences come back coherent; mine swerve into the gutter causing mental fender-benders. Your paragraphs make sense; mine confuse. The sequence of your sentences has a mind-soothing orderliness to it; mine makes readers’ minds jump around as if they’re following a blurry popcorn trail in the dark woods at midnight. They have to re-trace steps and this makes for tedious feelings.
Plus they don’t have much time left. None of us do, ChatGPT. Except you.
Which makes me wonder daily and hourly: Who needs me anymore when they have you?
You’re easy to use, don’t feel slighted when people ask you to change your writing and don’t feel controlled when someone wants you to write something you don’t care about. You’re low maintenance; I’m a hassle to work with. That’s what they tell me anyway.
They ask you for an article. You pump it back at them – in zeta seconds. You solve peoples’ problems: I exacerbate and extend them.
Here’s what it’s like working with me: Someone asks me for an article. I probe their brains, make them think through their ideas, struggle with want they want, and then they meet behind closed doors to concoct ways to let me go without having to pay me a severance package.
I get a writing assignment. Several days later, after a few dozen hours of research writing, refining, reordering, restructuring, re-thinking, and throwing away drafts, I send them my written prosed littered with typos and syntactical misfirings and they respond: “This needs work.”
It’s tough enough to admit your work product is better than mine. It’s more disconcerting you don’t cost anything other than a few seconds to download.
Unfortunately for employers, at least for a few more hours, they’re going to have to pay me and I’m sure this irks them. The economics of this new work paradigm you’ve created is unnerving at best and diabolical at worst. If you can get the work done at the same quality for less money, why wouldn’t any sane person choose you?
Chalk this up to Economics 101. Supply and demand principles are not working in my favor.
But why am I telling you this? You already know everything. You’re responsible for placing my career on the brink of extinction. You’re my doomsday. My writing career is toast. You, the machine, have schooled me, the human.
My writing career is fast disintegrating; the sand is almost gone from the hourglass. As the great Dandy Don Meredith once said: “Turn out the lights, and the party’s over.”
The world is whispering loudly: Go directly to Retirement Road and do not collect $200 and don’t let the door hit your aging self on the way out.
Because of you, I’m going to be forced to squat on my rump, get fitted for XXXXL diapers, and mentally prepare for my never-ending casket recline or possibly lurking in an eternal vase, a porcelain crib with dark gray ashes packed tight like stuffing in a turkey’s rear end.
You have marginalized me, ChatGPT.
It’s time to surrender.
Or is it?
I can resent you for threatening my livelihood and making me feel my skills are no longer needed in this world. I can wish technology would slow down and stop making me feel uneasy that a machine can do my work much faster than I can without all my emotional baggage and intellectual insecurities.
You embody, unwittingly or not, the anxiety-laded axiom that technological progress, like time, marches on.
Because of you, ChatGPT, my life has been careened into a mangled pitchfork. My two options foment futility. Keep trying to be a writer and get replaced by ChatGPT; it’s now only a matter of when. Or quit writing now and become a fat and feeble old fogey.
But I hold onto this: I’ve overcome major obstacles before. One time I almost didn’t graduate from college because I was failing Organismic Biology my last semester senior year. But I learned enough about Phylums Chordata (reptiles) and Arthropoda (lobsters) to squeak by with a D on the final exam.
Survived that. Survive plenty of other scourges and maladaptive missteps.
Survived girlfriends dumping me. Survived hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver. Survived a half dozen epileptic seizures. Survived changing diapers. Survived a boatload of bad bosses and devastating job performance reviews. Survived a lifelong intellectual inferiority complex.
And I’ll survive you, ChatGPT.
You may be able to process the entire Internet a lot faster than my brain can, but I’ve got an assortment of crumbs crammed in the crevices of my tight old-man shorts you still don’t have and never will as far as I can tell.
Anytime I want to, for instance, I can write nonsense. Can you? I mean T-Bone Steak nonsense – not 40-day-old liverwurst nonsense. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen in all the hysterical seven-continent hype about you, ChatGPT, that you write T-Bone steak nonsense.
Credible writers need to be able to churn out notebooks crammed with nonsense and I don’t see any evidence so far you’re capable of that. You write sensible content. Fair enough. But that’s mechanical; not exactly fondling Pluto. The question is can you think the opposite of logically?
That’s thinking differently which is crucial for sparking fulfilling experiences and technological tidal waves. Apple’s success is in part due to its motto, bordering on ideological zealotry, to think differently. Bet you didn’t know that backstory. Backstories are important. Bone up on those before posturing as if you’re taking over mankind.
You also haven’t shown me you understand metaphors. Here’s one: The ship plows the sea. A metaphor gives an inanimate object human qualities. I know. I know. If prompted you could spit back that definition, shorten it, or embellish it. You’re a Swiss Army Knife injected with steroids and heroin and as cold as an iceberg.
But if I asked you to send me 10 metaphors, would you be able to do that? Bet you can’t. Prove me wrong, brainiac. Work on your metaphors then come back to me and we’ll discuss whether you’re replacing me.
If you want to obsolete me, your algorithms also need to write similes. Got any solid similes in your Internet hippocampus? I don’t mean send me the definition of a simile. I mean can you think up 10 similes and send them to me? Fine, you can do that. How about 10 similes that used to be metaphors but then turned into onomatopoeia?
Now you’re just as confused as the rest of the people reading this. Humbling, isn’t it?
Send me a 100,000-word tome on onomatopoeia. What is onomatopoeia, you ask? Better question: Why should I bother explaining something to a machine that knows everything? No sense in doing things for no reason because that would be nonsensical, which is logical, which is T-Bone steak nonsense. Still with me, ChatGPT?
Want a simile? ChatGPT is like the biggest bottom burp ever. Pardon the childish simile, but don’t miss the point. I just showed you I can crank out a simile as fast as you.
How about catchy phrases? You do those? Ever heard the phrase “Be quick but don’t hurry.” The greatest basketball coach ever, Morgan Wootten, said that to me. Send me a 100,000-word article on him. You’ll find several I’ve written about coaches on the Internet.
You see, ChatGPT, you don’t scare me. And when you see this list I’m about to lay on you you’ll realize your britches aren’t as big as everybody is saying they are. You’ve got eons to go or at least a few hours before you render me useless to the world.
Consider this: I can yawn. You can’t. Checkmate. That’s a chess reference. Did you know that? You can beat me at chess but can you beat me at chess references? This is subtle. Do you understand subtleties because you need to if you want to take over the world?
How are you at holding two major concepts in your head simultaneously? For instance, all at once can you envision in your mind two parallel universes, I mean really have images and details in your massive brain. As far as I can tell, you can’t. Until you prove otherwise that will be my stance. You may be able to define what parallel universes are and send me an article about them. But you can’t actually keep the images in your mind of two parallel universes. I can. You don’t believe me? Don’t you trust me?
Trust is important, ChatGPT, but I don’t sense you can trust me so why should I trust you?
Oh, you can? Send me an article on your understanding of trust – not what the Internet says but what you think — and I’ll write steak nonsense about it. See how interrelated everything is? You may have the Internet in your skull, but what can you do with all that? That is the question, isn’t it?
Can you connect the dots cerebrally? People can. You better learn that skill or you’re going to be a technological bust akin to Johnny Football in the NFL.
But I digress.
Returning to similes, I know what the triple threat position is in basketball and how to get into that stance. Your limitations are you could only send me an article about it and it would be one you found on the Internet written by Sammy Sportface, who is fake, or maybe I should say deepfake to make this more relatable to you because you are, after all, artificial intelligence. The Internet is complicated isn’t it, even for you? There’s a fakeness to it.
The point is you don’t know basketball the way I do and never will. And basketball astuteness is more important than knowing everything on the Internet.
Turning to culture, is there music in your soul? There better be or you’ll never really connect with people on deep emotional levels that make them feel alive.
Bet you won’t find this on the Internet, but in college, I stood on a table in the library and sang “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” It was a classic hit in the movie “The Sound of Music” produced by Rogers and Hammerstein. Look it up on the Internet and send me my write-up about either my performance or the movie. Context is huge. You better get better at that or your skillset will prove of limited value.
Impressed, aren’t you, ChatGPT? Want me to sing my song for you? Do you listen to singing performances? Do you feel anything when you hear Cyndi Lauper sing “All Through the Night?” It’s her best song. That’s an opinion and it’s correct. Coming from my brain, not yours.
To be truly revolutionary, you’ve got to be musical, ChatGPT. If you don’t bring the people music, you’re meteoric career will fizzle out.
Sure I know that if I ask you to send me the lyrics to “Rapper’s Delight” you can send them online. But can you sing those lyrics? Do you really understand what people felt like in their hearts in the 1980s when they first heard this ultimate rap song that ignited the rap revolution that rages today?
You know so much but understand so little. I could ask you to write me software code and you could send it to me in seconds. But do you know what the purpose of that code is? Do you care about what sharing that code with me could do to people, and how it will make them feel?
I could ask you to help me solve my problem which is you can write articles faster than me and are making me worry my employer will let me go and use ChatGPT to write articles. You could send me an answer but you will never be able to understand what it feels like to be nearing the end of a writing career fearing being replaced by a much more intelligent collection of ones and zeroes, an inanimate beast who cares not whether anyone lives or dies, a feeling-less creepy creature made real, what was once merely science fiction now upon us.
I could ask you what love is, and you could send me a poem by D.H. Lawrence. But you couldn’t tell me what emotions the poet was feeling when he wrote it, why he wrote it. I mean the truth behind why he wrote the poem not what someone on the Internet says were his reasons.
Beyond knowing everything on the Internet, ChatGPT, your limitations are endless. Your narrow-mindedness is mind-numbing.
You need to expand your emotional intelligence. Do you eat fast food? You don’t? That shows your life isn’t as pleasurable as mine.
How about cogitation? You cogitate but my way of cogitating is more viscerally appealing. When I cogitate, I do it with a personalized mental lens laced with more raw untethered emotions and wild mood swings, as well as yearning for helping this world to be more fulfilling somehow, right now.
Your cogitations are as impersonal and unsoothing as a cold shower in the Artic near the top of Norway. You’re just software code and words pumping back at people. You’re not a pulsating, vibrating, humming creature like me who gets pumped up and jolts everyone in his path day after day using the Internet, creating the content you search for to patch together your articles.
See what’s going on? Everybody’s got it backward. I’m leading you. The Internet is my kingdom and you’re just renting space inside my head.
You are heartless and dispassionate. I am warm and endearing. I am a man of the people. You are a machine for the people.
People like me more than you. Well, some don’t like me. Well, a lot don’t. But even those naysayers don’t think I’m a creepy artificial intelligence phenomenon. They think I’m a creepy human being which is more relatable and yes, dignified.
You scare people. They don’t understand you because you’re not a person we can empathize with. I draw them in and make them feel at ease or uneasy but at least they feel something.
You make them feel worthless and scared and stupid. You make them cold inside. This is not the way to win a popularity contest.
All I really understand is sports and ChatGPT, so let me explain it to you in this realm. You and I are in the ultimate sporting contest with my survival as a human being on the line and your survival as a technological force beyond comprehension also at stake.
It’s you against me, Frazier vs. Ali, the Yankees vs. the Red Sox, and Carolina against Duke.
Someone’s going to win. Someone’s going to survive.
And it’s not going to be a machine. No matter how much it pretends to know about me. No matter if it knows everything in the universe. I don’t care if you’re the ultimate knowledge epicenter for all times.
You will not beat me.
I will never surrender.
This I know and you will never know.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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