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The giant life size crochet elephant in the room

Can we take a moment to consider the elephant in the room?

I’m sure in your news feed on social media this week, you have scrolled past the life size crocheted elephant photo that has been doing the rounds.

However, all is not what it seems.

Take a look… a real close look and you will see that the images and text are likely to be Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated. The shadows are not quite right, the stitches wouldn't make sense with the construction, perfectly smooth path, the elephant has 5 legs, and so on. If this image is not AI generated then it has certainly had some photoshop style editing take place.

AI generated copy and images seems to have really taken off lately as the technology is more accessible through software such as ChatGPT. These outputs are well documented on the internet, try a search for 'these people do not exist' and 'these cats do not exist'. The results can be humerous, especially when the outputs go wrong.

What exactly is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI designed to generate human-like responses to natural language input provided by users. This makes it a powerful tool for things such as customer service chatbots, language translation and text summaries. ChatGPT has been trained on a massive amount of text data from the internet, allowing it to understand and generate coherent responses to a wide range of topics and questions.

Limitations of using ChatGPT

However, while ChatGPT is an impressive language model, it has some limitations that should be considered when using it. It can only process and generate text-based responses, so it is unable to understand non-textual information such as images, videos, or audio.

These limitations include restricted knowledge as ChatGPT's responses are based on the limited data it has been trained on, which means that it may not have knowledge of certain topics or events that are not widely covered on the internet. In particular, anything beyond 2021 was not included in the training data so ChatGPT is unable to use this knowledge.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence and does not have emotions or empathy like humans do, so it lacks empathy. It can generate responses that appear empathetic, but these responses are based on patterns in the training data rather than genuine emotional understanding.

It also lacks context as the responses it gives are based on the input it receives without understanding the context of the conversation. This can sometimes lead to responses that are irrelevant or even inappropriate. Some of the text it generates is just plain wrong. I asked it to write about the history of my hometown Hartlepool. The AI gave a very convincing article, that correctly discussed the shipbuilding history, the military history with regards to Napoleonic Wars (including referencing "H'Angus the Monkey" mascot), and post-industrial decline and regeneration, however, it also included reference to the historic castle. This 'castle' does not exist - nor has Hartlepool ever had a castle!

In addition to this, ChatGPT's responses may contain bias, as it has been trained on text data from the inernet that most definitely contains biases and stereotypes. It is important to be mindful of any biases that may be present in ChatGPT's generated text.

Will tools like ChatGPT make people redundant?

My thoughts are that this kind of technology can certainly support the creative industries, but it needs to be used carefully.

AI tools such as ChatGPT have the potential to automate certain tasks, and enable people to generate copy at a much faster pace. It is important to understand that AI is not a replacement for humans but rather a tool that can be used to augment and enhance human productivity and creativity. You must be able to construct appropriate prompts and know enough about the subject matter it generates to be able to edit effectively.

For transparency, this blog post was created partly through using ChatGPT, rewording and writing with my own thoughts and inputs. I think it is a useful tool, as long as the limitations are understood and accounted for when using any of the outputs it generates.

Did you go back and read this post again to see if you could tell which parts were AI generated?

If you would like to explore more of the 'life size crocheted animals' I've included the source link below for you to make your own mind up. Try and follow the 'instructions' to make one yourself.

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1 Comment

I'm using chatGPT to re-write my thoughts, rather than come up with new information. Its a useful tool, and I like that it doesn't argue with me (unlike the husband!). Thanks for your insight.

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