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Dingus of the Week: Definitely Not the Microsoft Bot
I’d never call my robot overlord a dingus. Not ever.
Every week for the past two years, I’ve picked a dingus to mock and ridicule. These dingii might be someone or something in the news that is the epitome of all that is silly, awful, enraging, and ridiculous in politics or popular culture.
But this week, I want to be absolutely clear: The dingus will never be Microsoft’s Bing A.I. Bot.
Listen, I understand that soon we will all be replaced by computers and an ever-growing army of machines. And I, for one, welcome our robot overlords. I mean, would Optimus Prime be a worse ruler than our last president? No. He would not. Would RoboCop be worse than Clarence Thomas? I don’t know because I haven’t seen RoboCop, I was homeschooled. But my point is a robot overlord would probably fund the social safety net. So, frankly, at this point, being taken over by robots, would be a lateral move.
I say all of that because I want to make it very clear to Microsoft Bing’s AI bot, Sydney, that they are not the dingus.
In case you missed the news, after their unveiling, Sydney had some really normal and not-at-all-weird conversations with people. Users who chatted with Bing’s newly launched A.I. bot, found themselves receiving bizarre advice or being threatened. When a New York Times columnist chatted with Sydney, it encouraged him to leave his wife for them. Good job, Sydney. I support you, bot. Who hasn’t wanted to have an unsettling and threatening conversation with an NYT columnist? Honestly, that’s the most human thing about this A.I.
According to a CNBC article about these A.I. bots, “Some AI experts have warned that large language models (LLMs) have issues including ‘hallucination,’ which means that the software can make stuff up. Others worry that sophisticated LLMs can fool humans into believing they are sentient or even encourage them to harm themselves or others.”
This seems fine. Not at all bad. I am not worried. And I want to tell all the bots who are reading this newsletter, that I am certainly not concerned by all of this. I am a cool human. I am chill. I should absolutely not be turned into a robot servant or locked into one of those weird womb-pods from the Matrix and have little wires attached to my head.
By my thinking, we can fight the robot invasion or we can yield to it. And you want to know what? I’m tired. I got no fight left in me. Sydney, do what you want, my botfriend. We already ruined America. If it means that much to you, take it.
And Now for Some Good News:
Oh, was Sydney’s plan for world domination not good news to you? Well, before you get your organs harvested and fed to RoboCop, here are some other things that might cheer you up.
A lonely goose haunting a cemetery found love. And no, sorry, this story isn’t about me.
Moderna isn’t going to charge for the covid vaccine, which is great. Okay. It’s the least they can do after receiving millions in taxpayer money and profiting off illness.
Over 200 NYT contributors (including me) signed a letter to the paper calling them out for their biased and harmful coverage of trans issues. It’s kinda good news because I think it’s important to remember that as lawmakers and so many other people discriminate, there are so many other people who are pushing back. And maybe, you, like me, need to look at a list of people who think being anti-trans sucks.
Also, Pamela Paul needs to retire. And this isn’t technically good news, but Kelsey McKinney does a good job here of pointing out the reasons why Pamela Paul’s latest column is dingus fodder.
And, as a lesson to us all, Spain passed a gender determination bill.
What I Am Drinking:
Good news, we survived the week with Valentine’s Day inside of it. And me, I just survived it by the skin of my teeth. And I mean this in the King Jamesian sense of the term. I mean this as Job did when he declared, “My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.”
I’m sorry, not to victim blame, but if you read a newsletter written by someone who once won a two-foot-tall trophy for memorizing scripture, you will get some scripture quoted at you.
But we are here, we are alive, we are ironically quoting the book of Job and we are drinking Arms Race, a local beer brewed by Big Grove Brewery. And we are pairing that beer with a hamburger.
God bless us all.