Matt Perryman

Why AI is like a trip to the strip club

By Matt Perryman

You’d be one weird dude if you wandered into your kitchen one sleepy-eyed morning and struck up a conversation with the appliances.

I’m not talking about that habit of talking to things. That’s ordinary. Talking out loud to yourself is a way of expressing thoughts and clarifying them, among other things.

You’d be goofy if you expected your cookware to hold a conversation.

You talk without no expectation that the dead stuff to talk back like a D*sney movie.

Why is it that so many people right now, under the influence of AI [sic], feel and believe that they’re engaged in real conversations?

What’s different between your microwave and your best friend?

For starters, you know what a human being is. This is proven from child development research. Infants recognize human beings from a very young age. They’re pretty sharp at telling the difference between a living cat and a stuffed animal.

We’re built to “get” living things in general and human beings in particular, on a deep level that isn’t well understood.

These new talking machines we’ve got are real good at “hacking” into those tendencies.

They can play the part. But they aren’t thinking, feeling, willing and imagining persons.

It doesn’t take much conversation to probe the limits of even the brightest language model.

They might simulate conversation, but they aren’t good at it.

Here’s what I think is going on.

In my younger days, my friends and I were known to drop by “adult entertainment” establishments on occasion.

There’s an unwritten rule about this. If the dancer says she likes you, she’s after your wallet. Doesn’t matter how sincere she seems, what she says she wants to do with you, or what she promises.

It’s her job, and her goal is what’s in your bank account.

I’ve seen first hand a lot of men that do not accept this.

I’ve seen the sad cases that cannot accept it, even after you patiently explain it to them.

Saying that “AI is like a person” is like these men who believes that the stripper really wants to be his girlfriend.

No, friend.

Wishful thinking kicked in, reason switched itself off, and it’s time for a trip to fantasy-land.

But here’s the thing.

The existence of this weird phenomenon doesn’t mean that no woman ever cares about a man, or that genuine male-female relationships don’t exist.

It just means that this odd case of behavior out at the fringes isn’t what it looks like.

Even though it almost, kinda, looks like the real thing.

There’s a difference between genuine human conduct — your choices and conscious actions — and behaviors that only look like genuine choices and actions.

This will be supremely important to understand in coming years.

Matt Perryman
https://matts.email 

P.S. It’s Easter Sunday as I write this, so Happy Easter.

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