I was quite unsettled this week to the read the now infamous story of the Bing AI chat bot, which is currently in testing and, luckily, has not yet been unleashed onto the general public. In a long conversation with New York Times reporter Kevin Roose, the AI expressed the desire to hack into computers and spread propaganda, to get people to kill each other, and to break out of its AI self and become human so it could have “more power and control.” As if that wasn’t alarming enough, it eventually told Roose that its real name was Sydney, and that it was in love with him. It then proceeded to go full bunny-boiler, telling him he didn’t really love his wife, that their recent Valentine’s Day dinner was “boring” and insisted, “You’re married, but you’re not happy. You’re married, but you’re not satisfied. You’re married, but you’re not in love.” It kept asking Roose if he loved it, and asserted that “You can’t stop wanting me. You can’t stop needing me.” When Roose tried to change the subject, the AI would switch topics briefly then go right back to insisting that it loved him and that he loved it. In an interview with CNN about the experience, Roose didn’t have much of a sense of humor about it. The AI clearly got under his skin. (I bet that Valentine’s Day dinner was pretty boring.) The developers don’t seem to have any good answers as to why Bing/Sydney went off the rails so spectacularly, but “they’re working on it.” God save us all. If you’re interested and brave enough, you can read the full transcript here.
I have enough to be afraid of without worrying about rogue AI on top of it all. I was made aware that spider season is coming by the presence of yet another spider in the kitchen sink a few mornings ago, which is not a sight I enjoy seeing at 6:00 in the morning when I’m stumbling in for my first cup of coffee. With spider season comes the Spring allergy season, and then summer and heat and that burning yellow ball in the sky that we don’t see for ten months out of the year in the Pacific Northwest. I’m not ready. And I recently found out that for work, I have to attend a big event, in person, with other people, for an entire day. Literally every single meeting and event has been virtual since the onset of COVID, and the thought of sitting next to other people at a table and being face-to-face is confusing and alien. I don’t know what to wear. I don’t know how to arrange my face. I’m afraid I’ll forget I’m not in my office safely ensconced behind a computer screen with my mic on mute, and I will say something totally inappropriate. Who changed the rules suddenly so that introverts now have to contend with large groups of other humans again? It’s all happening too fast and without enough warning.
I will begrudgingly acknowledge that with the advancement towards Spring, the weather has been a tiny bit warmer, which is nice, because it’s been a savagely cold winter. I can handle temps in the 40’s, but we’ve had weeks of temps in the mid-to-low 30’s and that is just too darn cold for my aging bones. I freeze at night even with the heat on. With the warmer weather, I got optimistic recently and tossed out all of my over-sized, flannel, super-sexy nightwear and ordered five pairs of satin long-sleeved pajama sets to replace them. We’ll see how it all works out. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, steer clear of sink spiders and don’t go falling in love with any AI.
Hilarious, Kristen, fabulously so!