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Opinion: AI, post script

After many hours of research, I honestly thought that I was finished writing about artificial intelligence (AI), at least for now. However, on July 9, the CBS television show “60 Minutes” did a segment on AI that featured Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent corporation Alphabet. The show’s host, Scott Pelley, said that he is seldom without words, but what he learned about AI left him speechless.


Vice President Sissie Hsiao and Senior Vice President James Manyika introduced Pelley to Bard, an AI chatbot. Bard does not search for answers to questions on the Internet as your smartphone or computer does. Instead, its replies come from a self-contained, self-taught program. Pelley said that this was “confounding, absolutely confounding” because Bard contains microchips that are “more than one-hundred thousand times faster than the human brain.” And it is creative and intuitive.


Humane creativity


In Pelley’s presence, the team fed the shortest short story, written by Ernest Hemingway, into the machine: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” Then they prompted the machine to finish the story. Within a few seconds, Bard produced a story, several paragraphs long, about “a man whose wife could not conceive and a stranger, grieving after a miscarriage, and longing for closure.” Then, they asked Bard to rephrase the story in verse. Here’s what was produced in four seconds:

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