(BLOG) About Poems, Artificial Intelligence and a Planet in need…
Golden rays of light,
Shining bright and warm,
The sun in the sky,
A beacon of hope, a steadfast form.
It rises in the east,
And sets in the west,
Guiding us through day,
And giving us rest.
With its warmth and light,
It brings life to the land,
Nurturing plants and trees,
And helping them to stand.
The sun, a symbol of strength,
Guiding us on our way,
A constant reminder
Of the beauty of each day.
What a beautiful poem, isn’t it? However, I have to admit that I didn’t write it by myself. My computer did indeed. Almost independently. All I had to do was give him a few instructions, about the same as a good hearing pet, and he did the job.
If I had not requested my computer for a poem but had asked it to write an essay about the construction of turtle shells, it would have done that as well, with the small but significant difference that an essay about the construction of turtle shells is not that well readable as a poem.
There are numerous opportunities offered by artificial intelligence but none is as popular as the chatbot ChatGPT of the company Open AI at the moment. But what does that mean for us as society? What happens if artificial intelligence gradually can replace human actions and thinking? And what does that mean for our planet?
It’s nothing new that the digital space is taking up more and more space in our lives. Analogue work, the consumption of information, or communication would be hard to imagine without the digital counterpart. The fact that the achievements of technology and possibilities offered by artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly greater are fascinating in a frightening way. It seems as if people could hand over more and more responsibility to their computers and retreat into the domestic reality of life. It is understandable that when we can show off quality results by lifting a few fingers, humanity enters a state of inertia. If chatbots are able to create business plans and write homework that even surpasses the performance of some students, what is the value of one’s own work, done with a lot of effort and time? In fact, why am I bothering to write this text myself?
Patricia Nogueira is a poet herself. Her written words have the power to touch the hearts of people. Instead of asking ChatGPT I also could have chosen lines from her. The realization that at once the internet can create in the tone of a human being with the ability to express certain feelings must feel overwhelming.
“I am worried about the jobs that might be extinguished, but I am sure that people will find a way to balance it out.“ However, Nogueira is able to find a glimpse of hope in this recent development: “There will always be a human, emotional edge that machines don’t have. Machines don’t really get to the bottom of things, which is what we need most. So I don’t think that ChatGPT will change reality so much, because we are in search of creating moments. But it makes a difference in knowing what is real and what is not, and for people who are less informed, that can be a tricky thing.“
This technological milestone is just demonstrating to humankind how tempting it is to give up work and spend the time gained on more enjoyable pursuits. Something like sitting in the sun or looking at turtles in the zoo. Whatever the case, the threat of inertia must by no means become a general trend. Our climate change endangered earth needs more than ever before active citizens who are not only seated comfortably behind their screens but take action. Now. Because no matter what ingenious suggestions artificial intelligence has for us, they only have an effect if there are people in the real world who implement them. Fortunately, people can be found on every corner of this earth who have recognized exactly that and are trying to transform our world and society with creative ideas. In significant differences to the human species, no artificial intelligence system is able to jump out the screen beneath its hiding, go on the street, and ask for people’s ideas and opinions on important topics (at least not yet). However, this is what we at Contextos did in the last month.
Monique Cardoso is the founder and owner of the two brands “Aconchego“ and “Alfaiata do Olfato“, under which’s name different cosmetic products following the standard “simple, biodegradable, vegan“ can be found. The young entrepreneur has realized that using vegan and sustainable products is better for both her own health and the environment. Cardoso makes every product by herself and puts a lot of effort and love into its process. Based on the fact that the huge transformation begins small and local, the self-employed woman has plans for the future: “Here in Faro, I want to transform oil from restaurants into shampoo and soap.“ Less waste, more benefits. Following principles and ideas like that, change begins.
“We are living in a culture, where everything has to be fast“, Mia Le Fay says. Specialized in spirituality, meditating, and Chinese medicine, Le Fay has recognized under which pressure digitalization has put society. “Society demands a lot of things from us, and we always answer, answer, answer. How many people do you know that just sit and observe themselves for five minutes?“ Caring about oneself, connecting to true inner feelings, and finding distance from the digital life is a way of personal sustainability.
Sustainability. This is a word often spoken out lately: no matter in regards to advertisements, written articles, or big political conferences. Observing our use of language it seems like people finally must have realized how necessary it is to finally tackle climate change.
Worried about climate change, a young student of Faro says: “We need to really understand what is going on. People think: ‘Oh, it’s never going to happen in my lifetime so what I do doesn’t matter.’ Consequently, they just don’t do anything. But for us, the newest generation, it’s more important.“
“I’m scared of losing everything in this world, because I like to live“, her friend agrees with her. Although the common awareness of the tragedy which threatens our planet has risen in the last year, apparently, above all young people have understood the urgency of taking actions to stop climate change.
When I asked ChatGPT for one sentence that could tell the planet, it said: “Let us work together to preserve and protect the earth for future generations.“