Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Chat GPT, You Will Be Replaced

February 8th, 2023 No comments


For those still hunkered under their beds consumed with worry about the next looming existential threat, the world continues to move forward, despite the efforts by many to impede or shape its direction.  There is a far more concerning issue immediately before mankind and that is the accelerated pace of artificial intelligence capabilities.

The ‘it’ thing at the moment is the increasing awareness of a software interface named ‘Chat GPT’.  While we have been hearing about artificial intelligence for years, this new platform is remarkable because of the scope of its ability and its ease of use.  You do not need to know formal computer-speak to use the interface; it operates using normal language inputs.

The range of subjects is apparently unlimited as people have even used it to write computer code for applications.  Suddenly, students will be able to write essays in seconds rather than cribbing off their pals.  The only clue to the veracity will be the lack of spelling and grammatical errors common among all students these days.  The world will be changed in ways we can’t even imagine, even at this early stage.

As a simple test of its ability, I tasked the program with writing something about Canada’s national broadcasting network, the CBC.  As an aside, the notion that Canada, or any nation for that matter needs a ‘national broadcasting’ outlet is preposterous.  It may as well be Xinhua or Pravda.  Does Canada need an ‘official’ outlet to impart information to the public? Certainly not in today’s world where information is as easy to access as turning on a faucet.

Come to think of it, the CBC’s role is exactly like that of Xinhua and Pravda.  They are all tasked with conveying the ‘official’ version and view of events to ensure that the people think properly; or in the CBC’s case, ensure ‘da Canadian values’.  Ever since the CBC lost the broadcast rights to Hockey Night In Canada, they’ve been searching for a reason to exist.  Without that revenue generator, they would perpetually lose money.  Fortunately, the government subsidizes them every year with buckets of tax money.  According to, it costs somewhere between 1 and 1.3 billion dollars a year to run it and approximately 200 million is from tax dollars.

So, back to the Chat GPT discussion.  As an experiment to gauge the ability of the software, I entered “write a humorous article about the outdated need for a national broadcasting company in Canada”.    I entered no statistics, no historical context and I didn’t even mention the word, CBC.  Below is the result, verbatim and it took about 10 seconds.

Once upon a time, in a land not too far away, there was a national broadcasting company known as the CBC. It was the go-to source for all the latest news, weather, and sports in Canada. But, as the years went by, technology advanced, and suddenly, the CBC found itself in a bit of a predicament.

You see, the world had changed, and people no longer relied on the CBC for their daily dose of information. With the rise of the internet and social media, the national broadcasting company had become nothing more than a relic of the past.

And so, the CBC found itself in a bit of a pickle. It didn’t know what to do or where to turn. It tried to keep up with the times by launching its own website and even starting a YouTube channel, but it was too little too late.

The CBC realized that it was no longer relevant, and it was in dire need of a makeover. So, it decided to take its fate into its own hands and do the one thing that was sure to bring it back into the spotlight – it decided to embrace its outdatedness.

And that’s when the real magic happened. The CBC suddenly became the most hip and trendy national broadcasting company around. People couldn’t get enough of its old-school charm, and the CBC was once again the talk of the town.

No longer did people dismiss it as outdated and irrelevant. Instead, they saw it as a refreshing change from the constant barrage of information that they encountered every day on their screens. The CBC was the perfect escape from the digital world, and people loved it.

So, the moral of this story is that sometimes, being outdated is not such a bad thing after all. In fact, it can even be a blessing in disguise. So, the next time you find yourself feeling like a relic from the past, just embrace it, and who knows, you might just become the coolest thing around.

In conclusion, the need for a national broadcasting company in Canada may be outdated, but it’s still as important as ever. After all, who wouldn’t want a little bit of old-school charm in their lives every now and then?

While the prose is not exactly the stuff of white papers, it did capture the context of the CBC’s role in our modern society with reference to such as ‘outdated and irrelevant’.  With the advent of free resources as Chat GPT, who needs to spend 1.3 billion on the CBC?

Free Bird

December 5th, 2022 1 comment


Back in the day, someone had the brilliant idea to create a vehicle by which news and information could be disseminated. This could only have come about when the inputs and opinions of the masses mattered, thus, the idea of having some kind of news vehicle came to fruition.

Before then, news, or more likely gossip, was spread by word of mouth, at drinking establishments, at churches or by travelers coming through a town.  Of course, before then, there was no news other than what the overlords decided that the peasants needed to know; and all  the peasants needed to know was to keep working to pay taxes to the rulers.  Thus, knowledge was either what the church or the rulers decided was knowledge.

As the phenomenon of education proliferated, so did the notion of critical thinking.  In order to think critically, you needed information, unbiased and provable. This made the imposition of news and information more problematic for those who were used to controlling knowledge to the masses.  As someone eloquently wrote, ‘knowledge is power’ and suddenly, the opinions of the masses mattered. Eventually, newspapers and journals became the default arbiters of legitimate news and their operators became very powerful.  It became a lot easier to determine when someone was untruthful, because the journals would be a credible check.

With the onset of the television age, the new unimpeachable source of information and knowledge became TV networks. I can still remember people stating that ‘if it was on TV, it must be true’. While a large swath of people still believe this, the credibility of heretofore unimpeachable sources has long since expired. The slogans of “The Paper Of Record” for the New York Times and “Democracy Dies In Darkness” for the Washington Post are comically ironic.  The days of Walter Cronkite invoking “ And that’s the way it is” as his sign off are also quaint relics of the past.  The currency of credibility of these outlets have long been spent.

Television was a very powerful medium because most people are easily manipulated by what they see as much as what they hear. It’s been widely accepted that if not for TV viewers watching a debate between a nervous looking Richard Nixon and a polished looking John Kennedy, that Nixon would have won the presidential election in 1960 on the issues alone.

Clearly some objective means of news and information was needed and in 2007, a new micro blogging site, Twitter was created.  The new social media phenomenon allowed anyone to post their thoughts and views with a 280 character maximum. As in all successful businesses in history, this service tapped into a monstrous pool of demand and soon, having a Twitter handle was as de rigueur as having a last name. Whether student or CEO, politician or dictator, famous or unknown, everyone wanted to have their say and most importantly, to hear what others thought.  Thus having ‘followers’ became the new currency of fame.  Unfortunately, Twitter is hardly the font of knowledge.  The most vapid attention whores can garner millions of acolytes and create financial empires for themselves.  Strangely, a platform which notionally allowed the democratization of news and information, became a receptacle for the most vapid in society whose opinions, not knowledge, were expressed.  Well, the first amendment also protects the stupid, so you get what you get.  What many don’t understand is that free speech allows people to say things that others may not want to hear….otherwise it ain’t free.

A great upheaval occurred recently as the platform was purchased by Elon Musk. Long regarded as a vehicle for left wing narratives and censoring of ‘unacceptable’ views, Musk revealed what many have known for years….Twitter was a corrupted platform which enabled propaganda favored by their operators.

It’s been great entertainment to watch ‘celebrities’ profess the validity of their views while at the same time wanting to censor those with views whom they oppose. Philosophically, this is like the monkey wanting to censor the organ grinder. We are treated to the deep intellectual insights of such as Alyssa Milano or of famous meathead Rob Reiner. Oddly, those that have always defended Twitter when it was their own platform are now condemning it for allowing just ‘anyone’ to speak on it and worst of all, with views opposing theirs.  Like a scene from the film Blazing Saddles, many have expressed threats to leave the platform and no longer treat the rest of us to their utterances.

Even more sinister however are the revelations by Musk of the collusion between Twitter and political operatives to sway elections and push detrimental policies. The light has been turned on in the kitchen at night and the cockroaches are scattering.

As in much earlier times, the opening up of Twitter to become a more truly free speech platform will hopefully enable real dialogue on real issues.  People will be more truthfully informed and those in power will need to pay attention.  The views of the dirty unwashed will matter. The time when certain overlords control the message may again be over.