I am not a robot

What AI lacks

This is what comes out when I access my SSS account.  You are supposed to check the box “I am not a robot” and submit. In some web sites, there is a test where you choose similar photos with vehicles or stop lights.

It’s frustrating for a senior citizen dealing with recorded automation. And this is just on landlines. I hate it when I dial a number on my landline and is prompted  by a recording that instructs you to press a number or # * depending on your purpose. Sometimes, I am too slow to punch the 16-digit number  that I get the prompt “I am sorry you have reached the time alloted please try again later.” Then they put you on hold for 30 minutes while you listen to their damn jingles. I just want to talk to a human being on the landline, not some recording.

I wonder why email addresses are not on the website. Click “Contact us” and voila, there’s a box you can type your message in or “chat” or send an email. But who knows whom you are talking to? ”

If you want to order food, the call center agent at the other end is helpful but is not familiar with your place. I often volunteer the nearest outlet so the delivery is fast and not expensive.

If you want to complain, good luck. If you want to terminate a service or close your account, they make it so hard. I usually ask to talk to the manager. However, they give you the manager of the call center, who gives you a scripted reply.  The wise bank officers put a barrier so they don’t have to deal with irate customers of credit cards. And that’s the job of the call center agents.

It’s a different case about bank sales agents. They call early at 7:30 am and cut the call. This goes on for several consecutive days. When I decide to answer, I find out it’s the bank offering loans. Then confronted with their incessant calls, it turns out it’s on automatic dial. That’s automatic marketing for you.

Welcome to the frustrating world of AI (artificial intelligence)—the virtual customer relations officer.

WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). In other words, what some programmer input into the machine, that’s what you get.

The whole world is talking about AI and the good and bad things it can do for business, education, and whether or not  jobs will be lost. The EU and the Asian countries are scrambling to make a law to limit this run-away app before it exposes all the secret data that could create chaos in the world order. AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton says the technology “poses ‘existential’ risk to humans”  and is calling on the world’s tech and political leaders to put in all the resources to “figure out what we can do about it”.

I hate ads interrupting videos I watch or vlogs I follow so I skip them

In a way, AI is nothing new. We’ve been using it in search engines like Google, GPS like Waze and virtual assistants like Alexa. AI puts together  related information that appears in searches that it has accumulated a vast grouping of individuals with details  of each interest and preference (read market) and connect them with businesses and products (read ads). This is what is called algorithm—a set of instructions or steps  to accomplish a task, in this case, to sell. I hate ads interrupting videos I watch or vlogs I follow so I skip them.

On social media, algorithms give you content of what you like and share.  I like it when I get content on history, literature and nature. But when it comes to politics, this creates a bubble where you don’t see the other side of the picture so you tend to believe or reinforce your belief. This is what happened to misinformation like anti-vaxers and conspiracy theories. Let’s face it, there are a lot of evil people who sow disinformation and confusion out there for whatever reason. Elections in many countries had been lost and won using AI and the state of the nations had been greatly affected. The need for extreme vigilance is great.

ChatGPT is an app that is rocking the world with fear, awe and curiosity. But AI tends to “hallucinate” like in the case of a New York lawyer who used ChatGPT to write his pleading. It turned out it was full of non-existent and invented cases. Then the ability of AI to change the face of a figure and make it “say” words in a video. This is what you call deep fakes. That’s why it is so important to check the source before sharing.

SIM registration could help. However some duplicitous people were nabbed selling registered SIMs for possible use by scammers, using the registered data of unscrupulous or needy people who sold their SIMs.

As a writer, I don’t want to use ChatGPT, the latest research/writing bot that can scan the data available on any subject of your choice. It can make an outline, write a paper or a speech, or even a poem based on your instructions. The more detailed, the better.  In whatever genre or style you wish. It’s the ultimate ghost writer! But for me, it’s like cheating. It feels insulting to depend on AI. Surely we know better.

Or what’s this app that lets an “artist” “create” his/her own version of Van Gogh or Picasso? What happened to creativity and originality, or even plagiarism? Where to draw the line? Intellectual property discussions require AI usage to be disclosed, since AI output can never be copyrighted. Honesty and transparency are paramount. Developers are trying to catch up to detect AI components.

No doubt AI technology is a boon to production, logistics and inventory. Machines can analyze data patterns faster. But on creative work, I  think AI is very useful in research in literature, art, music and even the sciences, if it’s available online. It is so convenient. But make sure you draw your own conclusions, your own creation/interpretation after assembling the myriad available references out there. I want to see the sources. I don’t want a readymade content.

The AI is only as good as what a human being inputs in his program and memory. It just puts together words, data and patterns it can find that reasonably makes “sense” but it has no critical thinking or feelings. And worse, what if it’s fake?

One thing that AI lacks is human discernment. That is why…

I am not a robot.

About author


She is a freelance writer and editor, a former columnist, occasional poet, and frustrated cook and plantita. She writes about her grandchildren, women's issues and seniors coping with the pandemic. She is a reluctant "catwoman" (the cat chose her).

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