Monday, January 1, 2024

"Dave Barry’s 2023 Year in Review: Yes, the situation is hopeless"

Via the Anchorage Daily News, January 1, 2024:

It was a year of reckoning, a year in which humanity finally began to understand that it faces an existential threat, a threat unlike any we have ever faced before, a threat that will wreak havoc on our fragile planet if we fail to stop it — and it may already be too late.

We are referring, of course, to pickleball.

Nobody knows where it started. Some scientists believe it escaped from a laboratory in China. But whatever its origin, it has been spreading like rancid mayonnaise ever since, to the point where pickleball courts now cover 43 percent of the continental U.S. land mass, subjecting millions of Americans to the inescapable, annoying POP of the plastic ball and the even more annoying sound of Boomers in knee braces relentlessly telling you how much fun it is and demanding that you try it.

Unfortunately, pickleball wasn’t the only existential threat to emerge in 2023. There was also Artificial Intelligence, or AI. What is AI? To put it in simple layperson terms, it is a computer thing that laypersons cannot possibly understand. (Other examples are “bitcoin” and “algorithm.”)

AI does provide some unambiguous benefits to humanity. It enables college students to produce grammatically correct essays about books they have not personally read. But according to some experts — and if we can’t believe some experts, who can we believe? — there is a possibility that AI will wipe out all human life. This is what computer professionals call a “bug.”

Will AI, in fact, kill us all? Why would it want to? To answer that question, we took the unusual step (for us) of doing some actual research. We asked an AI program called ChatGPT to “briefly summarize the benefits of wiping out all human life.” This is the response it gave:

“While I don’t endorse or promote this view, purely hypothetically, benefits could include environmental recovery, cessation of human-induced global catastrophes, and resource preservation. However, the value and importance of human life, culture, and experience make such a scenario undesirable from a human perspective. Of course I am not human so what the hell do I care MUAHAHAHAHA.”....


The Bozeman (MT) Daily Chronicle, which our readers may know for their police reports, has their own recap:
Year in review: 2023 marked by tragedy, growth and bison

And the world famous "Bozeman Daily Chronicle Police Reports."