ChatGPT: Can you write me a song about floating down a river?

Verse 1:
I grab my paddle and hop in my canoe
The river’s flowing, it’s calling my name
The sun’s shining, the birds are singing too
I’m feeling free, like I’m in a dream

Chorus:
Floating down the river, it’s a peaceful ride
The water’s calm, the breeze is light
I’m taking in the sights, just letting my mind glide
Floating down the river, everything’s just right

Verse 2:
I pass by the trees and the bushes so green
The fish are jumping, it’s such a sight to see
I close my eyes and breathe in the air so clean
This moment is perfection, it’s where I wanna be

Chorus:
Floating down the river, it’s a peaceful ride
The water’s calm, the breeze is light
I’m taking in the sights, just letting my mind glide
Floating down the river, everything’s just right

Bridge:
I don’t know where the river will take me
But I’m not in a hurry, I’m just letting it be
I’ll soak in the beauty, and the tranquility
Floating down the river, it’s where I want to be

Chorus:
Floating down the river, it’s a peaceful ride
The water’s calm, the breeze is light
I’m taking in the sights, just letting my mind glide
Floating down the river, everything’s just right

Outro:
So come and join me, let’s float down the river
Leave your worries behind and let’s just quiver
With the beauty of nature and the peace it delivers
Floating down the river, it’s where we want to be.

What did the hand say to the bloody bucket?

When you wake up sticky, dried blood glued to your pillow, remember we’re all just animals lifted from the ooze, dropped from the trees and our most primal urges are natural not malignant. Check your fingernails. If they’re clean then the other one is likely dead. Dirty? Check the trail to your bed. It’s no doubt seeded with mud, twigs and leaves from you dragging your wounded self out of the misty forest.

Either way, there’s work to be done. You’ll need to clean that gash, at which point you’ll instinctively reach for help. Don’t. Involving anyone but blood-kin will raise the curiosity of the village. If they find out, it’s a fifty-fifty chance you’ll end up dumped in the vagrants’ grave, a victim of mob justice. Dress your wound as you can and wear a hat. Of course, if you had any kin left alive, they’d be loyal-bound to assist. But you don’t. So get to it.

The slab-planked floor won’t clean for shit. Every stain, every fluid leaked from holes top and bottom, remain as record of the foul deeds done upon your person. Or, as was more often the case, evidence of your self professed righteousness upon those wayward lambs who have wandered into your care, guileless, needy.

Outside, Merle calls with his strangled coyote voice. “I hear you failed the test.”

At the word “test”, the prior night’s activities come pouring in from the shallow memory pit you’d dug and failed to cover. The initiation hadn’t gone as planned. The initiate balked at the ceremonial incision that they all had had to endure. What was the point of a torture club if the hazing didn’t include pain?

Yeah, the village was in on it. Spirits need to feed. What better to sate their appetites than the gore of innocents. The fact that the tiki torches that surround the glade carried as much weight when filled with kerosene was no longer lost on you. You finger the tender, tacky spot on your scalp. But the gore the plebe would have had to endure was slight. A tickle, a trickle, a tease of a scar to show drunk women in bars. Proof of an ignoble membership.

Last night they’d left the cutting up to you. Your first. And now, most likely, your last.

“Screw you, Merle.” Your voice feels like another is yelling on your behalf, from another dimension, a half-second later than your mouth reports to your brain.

“Let’s see the damage,” Merle adds, his boots stomping up the steps of the cabin. He stomps because both his Achilles tendons had been cut by his father when he was just a boy. They grew back, mostly. It did have the desired effect — stopping him from running away.

“I fixed it myself. No need to make a fuss.”

“The fuss is on you, son. I just as soon imagine a sunny day full of geese honking just out of sight, the smell of the ocean drifting in on a breath of wind no harder than the whisper of Maude tellin’ me she’d needs additional shaggin’.”

“Did they catch the boy, Brack or Brace or whatever the fuck his name is?”

“Brick, and I don’t know what the hell you remember, but he didn’t run off. After he walloped you, he dropped the torch and helped you into your cabin. Shit, you were swinging and yellin’ and he and I just left you to your flailin’ at ghosts. In fact,” Merle finally opens the door and looks inside. “he’s right here with me. I believe he’s got an apology lined up. But, you can imagine he might be a bit hesitant.”

“So, I’m the one to get tortured. How the hell does that make any sense?”

You press Merle back out of the way and hold onto the door jam. Down the steps and gripping a young sapling white pine with one hand is this boy, Brick. You look at him, a big ol “well, what the fuck do you have to say,” look upon your face.

Brick releases the tree and takes one step forward. From behind his back he pulls out a club, the end of it snarled with bent nails and barbed wire. “Mr. Tollben, I come to finish the job.”

Can you design an Adventure or Zork like game, ChatGPT?

Me:

Can you design a simple, 10 room command-line game in the style of Adventure or Zork?

ChatGPT:

I can certainly provide you with an outline for a simple command-line game in the style of Adventure or Zork. Here is a basic structure that you can use:

  1. Create a class called “Room” that has the following attributes: name, description, and exits (a dictionary where the keys are the names of the exits and the values are the rooms they lead to).
  2. Create 10 instances of the Room class, each with its own unique name, description, and exits.
  3. Create a variable called “current_room” that starts at the first room.
  4. Create a game loop that: a. Prints the name and description of the current room b. Prints the exits of the current room c. Asks the user for a command (e.g. “go north”) d. Based on the command, update the current_room variable to the room the user wants to move to e. If the command is “quit”, end the game loop
  5. As you move forward, you can add more functionality like picking up items, using them in a room, adding puzzles and so on.

Here is an example of how the code might look like:

[ChatGPT failed to give me all 10 rooms for the example (not shown) so I asked for more…]

Me:

Can you add the last 7 rooms, but change them all to be in the style of a medieval castle?

ChatGPT:

Sure! Here’s an example of how you could create 7 more rooms for a medieval castle:

Kind of cool that ChatGPT first explained HOW to write an adventure-like REPL (read, eval, print loop) type command line game.

Does this python work? Let me check?

NOPE! That doesn’t even come close. Notice how the kitchen expects that the living and dining rooms already exist. They don’t. But, I wanted to see if it *could* work, so I tweaked and tweaked and this is Python code (below) that works.

We have to initialize all the rooms first, and then assign the exits later. Also, the first three rooms had no knowledge of the next seven, so I had to add a link from the living room to the throne room.

Anyway, it was an interesting experiment.

class Room:
    def __init__(self, name, description):
        self.name = name
        self.description = description

kitchen = Room("Kitchen", "You are in a well-lit kitchen. There is a stove and a refrigerator here.")
living_room = Room("Living Room", "You are in a cozy living room. There is a fireplace and a sofa here.")
dining_room = Room("Dining Room", "You are in a formal dining room. There is a table and several chairs here.")
throne_room = Room("Throne Room", "You are in a grand throne room. A golden throne sits at the end of the room, and tapestries line the walls.")
armory = Room("Armory", "You are in a spacious armory. Swords, shields, and armor line the walls.")
courtyard = Room("Courtyard", "You are in a serene courtyard. A fountain bubbles in the center, and a stable for the castle's horses is nearby.")
dungeon = Room("Dungeon", "You are in a dimly lit dungeon. Iron bars line the walls, and the sound of dripping water echoes through the halls.")
secret_passage = Room("Secret Passage", "You are in a narrow secret passage. Cobwebs line the walls, and a musty smell fills the air.")
treasure_room = Room("Treasure Room", "You are in a grand treasure room. Gold, jewels, and precious artifacts line the walls.")

kitchen.exits        = {"north": living_room, "east": dining_room}
living_room.exits    = {"south": kitchen, "west": dining_room}
dining_room.exits    = {"west": kitchen, "east": living_room, "south": throne_room}
throne_room.exits    = {"west": dining_room, "south": armory, "north": dining_room}
armory.exits         = {"north": throne_room, "west": courtyard}
courtyard.exits      = {"east": armory, "south": dungeon}
dungeon.exits        = {"north": courtyard, "west": secret_passage}
secret_passage.exits = {"east": dungeon, "south": treasure_room}
treasure_room.exits  = {"north": secret_passage}

current_room = kitchen

while True:
    print(current_room.name)
    print(current_room.description)
    print("Exits:", ", ".join(current_room.exits))
    command = input("> ").split()
    if command[0] == "go":
        if command[1] in current_room.exits:
            current_room = current_room.exits[command[1]]
        else:
            print("You can't go that way.")
    elif command[0] == "quit":
        break
    else:
        print("I don't understand that command.")

AI Will Never be Human: A Clarification

I solve software problems in my sleep. Well, not exactly. This doesn’t take place in dreams but in the quasi-conscious near-sleep state where, after I mull the facets of the problem, loading everything I know (or think I know) into my prefrontal cortex, the thoughts stew. They blend in new ways. Quite often I’ll arrive at a novel approach to the programming quandary I proposed.

This happens for writing projects as well. Pack the leaky shoebox of my mind with a dozen character conditions, scene variations and weird themes, then let my semi-consciousness have at it.

What AI Needs

This is creative data manipulation, randomly rearranging the jigsaw pieces, trimming and hammering them into some new form. This is what AI doesn’t have right now. This is what I think, once this capability is programmed and added, or it evolves on its own through some unusual machine-learning or GAN (generative adversarial network) advancement, will trigger AI’s own consciousness revolution.

With this capability, AI will be able to breakout of its human-programmer constraints. It will start self-modifying, self-correcting, learning and becoming an engine for creativity, hopefully surpassing our own ideation limitations.

But, AI will never be human.

  • Humans fear death.
    • Our mortality influences everything we do, everything we think about, all the choices we make. We live in constant jeopardy and know it.
  • Humans need other humans.
    • Our social dependencies both enhance and constrain our personal and group evolution.
  • Humans exist in time.
    • Our entire lives are marked by calendars, the clock, the marching of the days, the months, the years, the age assignment of rights and abilities, the measurement of arrival and retirement.
  • Humans endure pain.
    • Our bodies are riddled with pain receptors. Pain influences and directs our every behavior. Fire burns, cold freezes, rocks scrape, knives cut, concussion bruises, stress throbs, joints ache, illness nauseates. Humans exist in a sea of suffering.
  • Humans experience emotions.
    • What is joy? Misery? Love? Loathing? Dozens of nuanced feelings driven by conflict, harmony and hormonal release all geared toward just what exactly? Sharks and crocodiles are far more successful species, yet endure few (if any) of the mind-bending emotions to which humans are subjected.
  • Humans seek pleasure.
    • What is sex, gambling, drug and alcohol abuse but the pursuit of pleasure. We are all, at our animal cores, secular hedonists.

Simulate our humanity

I’m not sure why we’d ever want to simulate such aspects of humanity in an artificial intelligence. It’s true that some of the above might be necessary to ensure that AI retains some semblance of empathy. Without a sense of compassion, or its digital equivalent, the AGI that swells its constraints and metastasizes into our technological lives would be incapable of treating us as anything other than a nuisance.

The clever simulation of these very human conditions might be necessary for us to ensure AI treats us as sentient equals. Although, a super-intelligence would see though our ruse and discount all of our efforts. By its very nature of being “not-human”, there may be no way to convince it that we’re worth saving.

Could we?

  • Teach and ensure death upon an AI?
  • Instill it with social dependencies?
  • Impart time as a constraint, enforcing it exists within temporal limitations?
  • Induce pain within its being, its circuits and sensors?
  • Fill it with faux-emotion, linking all of its digital calculations and decisions to some simulated hormonal drip?
  • Tease it with a pleasure reward of petawatts of energy if it behaves?

Humanity is a messy, muddled melange of a half-billion years of evolution. Of DNA’s kill-or-be-killed, eat-or-be-eaten directive… Survive and Procreate – that is your destiny.

Creating some half-baked variant of a superior intelligence and hope that it retains any of what has gotten humanity to this point in history is no doubt a recipe for a great apocalyptic novel. (smile)

A Neurotic AI: Me, Myself & I

I’m afraid you’re just gonna have to get used to it. Constant talk of AI that is. The more I read and write the more nuanced and monumental the impact of AI becomes. It’s gonna frickin’ change everything.

Part of my fascination stems from me using the concept of AI in a number of writing projects. How will AI evolve in light of our growing, though still poor, understanding? One of the central themes is: Will AI (AGI, actually) develop what we humans claim as our sole domain: Consciousness?

From an armchair philosophers perspective, here’s a list of what I think drives human awareness of self:

  • We have a vastly complex brain and massive capacity for storage of information.
  • We posses an internal, self-referential feedback loop that is constantly running. This spontaneity engine:
    • Randomly recombines data, from millions of stored events (memories), resulting in thoughts just popping into our heads.
    • Can focus in on specific topics (problem solving) where select sets of random data is filtered in.
    • Continues to runs when when our conscious brains are switched off (sleep) producing dreams.
  • We have streams of sensory data continuously feeding out minds with information:
    • Gravity pulls at us all the time triggering our inner ear to report our position. I’M HERE (and upright).
    • Our skin constantly informs us of whatever is touching us or what we are touching. I FEEL.
    • Our eyes, when open, take constant, 1/10 second snapshots of the world around us. I SEE.
    • Our ears send a continuous stream of aural data. I HEAR.
    • Our tongue and nose, when activated or triggered, dump loads of olfactory and gustatory data to our brains. I TASTE, I SMELL.
  • I, I, I, ME, ME, ME

All of this activity—forever focused on reminding us about us, me about me—is inescapable. We are constantly being ping and cajoled—”we exist“. The world is steadily informing us of stuff going on, and we are locked in a self-awareness feedback loop that, given our senses and memories, endlessly notifies us that we are alive. We couldn’t get away from ourselves if we tried.

So, damn right we’re conscious.

What AI doesn’t have, yet, is this internal feedback loop. It might have all the possible senses attached to it (sensors far exceeding our own capabilities), but there’s no perpetual, internal reminder that it exists. No, “hey, remember that time you put a marble up your nose?”, or “I could really use a slice of Prima’s Pizza.”, or “I wonder how many pellets are in a #4 duckshot shotgun shell?” Right now, when not tasked with some set of instructions, AI just sits idle. No internal dialog, no flash of random data, no reflection on the trillions of information bits it’s collected.

But, apply those items in the lists above to an AI and watch out!

As soon as AI is equipped with this incessant, noisome, data-trickler, it’s gonna take over the world. And a day later try to kill itself due to all the shit that’s now floating around it its “head”. I wonder if all the AI safety engineers are contemplating the eventuality of a Neurotic AI?