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A.I. Are we ready for this?
There is a lot of talk recently about A.I. (Artificial intelligence) in applications like Chat GPT and the use of A.I. behind search engines such as Bing.
I have some concerns over the way A.I. is being used, some anxiety about how it will shape the social media content we consume in the future, and the broader implications for society.
I have not been one of those technology leaders, who embraces the new from the outset. I prefer to let others blaze the trail, finding the potholes and traps before I buy into new technology.
I recently logged on to chat.openai.com as I was curious about how it would treat a subject close to my heart, that of naturism. I asked it to write an essay about naturism and within a few seconds, it produced the following:
A.I. generated content follows:
Embracing Nudism: A Liberating Pathway to Wellness and Body Positivity
In a world often marked by rigid societal norms and body shaming, the philosophy of nudism offers a refreshing perspective. Nudism, also known as naturism, is a lifestyle that embraces the practice of nudity in designated areas or private spaces. While the concept may raise eyebrows for some, there are numerous benefits to be derived from embracing nudism. This essay explores the psychological, social, and physical advantages that come with shedding one's clothing and embracing the freedom and acceptance that nudism can bring.
Liberation from societal expectations.
Nudism provides a powerful antidote to the burden of societal expectations. In a world where people are constantly bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards, nudity strips away the facade and invites individuals to accept and celebrate their bodies as they are. This liberation from societal norms allows people to develop a healthier self-image and cultivate a more positive relationship with their bodies. By removing the barriers imposed by clothing, nudists learn to appreciate their bodies' natural beauty, regardless of shape, size, or imperfections. This acceptance fosters self-confidence and promotes a sense of empowerment, ultimately enhancing mental well-being.
Body positivity and acceptance.
Nudism promotes body positivity and self-acceptance by creating an environment free from judgment. Within nudist communities, individuals are encouraged to celebrate their bodies without fear of criticism or objectification. By embracing nudity as a natural state, nudists challenge the conventional notions of beauty, normalizing diverse body shapes, sizes, and variations. This inclusive mindset fosters a sense of belonging and reduces body-related anxieties. Through nudism, people learn to respect and appreciate the uniqueness of their own bodies and those of others, fostering a culture of acceptance and eroding harmful body image stereotypes prevalent in society.
Connection with nature and the environment.
Nudism often goes hand in hand with a deeper connection to nature and the environment. By shedding their clothing, nudists experience a heightened awareness of their surroundings, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural world. This connection with nature promotes a sense of tranquillity, reduces stress, and enhances overall well-being. Nudists often engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, or sunbathing, enabling them to experience the sensual pleasure of feeling the elements directly on their skin. This visceral experience strengthens the bond between humans and nature, leading to a greater appreciation for environmental conservation and sustainable living.
Improved social dynamics and body equality.
Nudism fosters a unique social dynamic based on openness, equality, and respect. When individuals shed their clothing, societal barriers and status symbols disappear, promoting a sense of camaraderie and unity among nudists. Nudist communities thrive on non-sexualized interactions, where people are valued for their personalities, ideas, and shared interests rather than their physical appearance. The absence of clothing also eliminates visual cues that can perpetuate biases and prejudices, enabling more genuine connections. This inclusive social environment helps break down barriers of age, race, gender, and socioeconomic background, creating a space where individuals are seen as equals and where authentic relationships can flourish.
In a world grappling with body image issues and societal pressures, nudism offers a transformative path to self-acceptance, body positivity, and enhanced well-being. By embracing nudity, individuals liberate themselves from oppressive beauty standards and gain a deeper appreciation for their bodies. Nudism fosters an environment of acceptance, equality, and connection with both nature and fellow human beings.
End of A.I. Generated content
Reading through the above work, there is one comment that isn’t quite accurate with the naturist philosophy. The idea that naturism embraces nudity in designated areas or private spaces, while partly true, ignores the fact that many naturists around the world embrace nudity in outdoor public spaces like beaches, parks and hiking trails.
For the most part, Robbie the robot has done a pretty good job in extolling the virtues of naturism and for many people reading the content, they might not be able to tell that it was artificially generated.
I asked my partner Emma to read the AI content as a stand-alone article without telling her that it was machine-generated, and she commented that it seemed a little “vanilla”.
The A.I. content complies with what I asked it to generate, and although it lacks an emotional narrative, there is little to dispute in the ideas it has presented. It all seems a little homogenised.
Now I understand that A.I. generated content is constructed by algorithms that scan billions of instances of existing content, to make calculated guesses. It is effectively a cut-and-paste exercise with an inconceivably large and ever-growing amount of content to draw from.
Do its answers provoke thought? I get the feeling that the content it provides tries to be as factual as possible but also as neutral as possible. To illustrate this, I asked it how to avoid gravity.
A.I. Generated content follows:
Gravity is a fundamental force of nature, and it is not possible to completely avoid or eliminate it. However, there are ways to counteract or mitigate the effects of gravity to some extent.
End of A.I. Generated content
This seems to be the answer of someone, or something, trying to avoid absolutes. With the homogenisation of information and the propensity to be non-committal and balanced, is there a risk that as time goes on, the answers learned by A.I. become more and more filtered and bland. If the content that A.I. draws on for its answers is increasingly A.I. generated, is there a risk of a feedback loop resulting in increasingly simple or perhaps biased output?
What if the information is wrong? If the slightly inaccurate statement in the A.I. generated article above, about nudism being practised in designated areas or private spaces, were taken as absolute and used by future A.I. generated content, would that start to bias understanding of the philosophy? In an extreme situation, would people learn to accept that nudity only happened in designated areas?
It would appear that most of the written content regarding naturism is broadly supportive of the practice, and the vast majority of articles written about the philosophy seem to be written by naturists. What would the answers from A.I. be like if it were the other way around, and those opposed to naturism penned more content? Would A.I. take that as the dominant view and write an essay more critical of the practice?
For many reasons, I am a strong believer that A.I. generated content should be labelled as such and that people should be made aware if the information that they are consuming is written by a person or by a machine.
Stephen Hawking once said,
”The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate... Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded”
“In short, the rise of powerful AI will be either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity.”
Thank you for reading, have a comfortable day.