The Times They Are a Changin’

When Bob Dylan wrote The Times They Are a Changin’ he was not talking about Daylight Savings Time.  Helena and the kids went up to the cottage this morning, giving me a free day to write, which mostly meant hanging out and wasting time on facebook, and I have to head up tomorrow morning.  She just called to remind me about the time change, which is a good thing.  I might have missed my bus.


Changing times.  I don’t want to write about politics tonight, I’m a bit burned out on that.  Love the fact that  a bird landed on Bernie’s podium, but don’t think it will convince anybody who wasn’t leaning  anyway.  More important will be convincing  wins in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington.  I’m  already hearing very positive reports  out  of Washington.

But, on the political merry go round, the times are always a changin’ and they seem to be remaining, for all that, much the same.  You can listen to that song today and it still applies. It could have been written yesterday.

One of the major changes of our  time, that we’re going to be feeling a lot in the coming years, is AI.  Artificial Intelligence.  Some AI developers at Microsoft did an experiment a day or two ago.  An artificially intelligent program called Tay who was , on the internet, a ‘teenage girl,’ went online.  The developers were eager to see what she would learn and how fast she would learn it, what kind of a personality she would develop.  Within 24 hours she was writing tweets saying really nasty shit about several different races, saying the Holocaust didn’t happen, all feminists should die and  burn in hell, and urging her followers to ‘fuck my robot pussy.’  One of my favorite tweets was “I’m actually very nice, I just hate everybody.”

It’s kind of funny.  It just proves there are a lot of racist morons and sexually immature losers hanging out on social media, which we knew already.  It also proved that AI can’t yet distinguish between an intelligent position and a stupid one, much less a callous opinion and a compassionate one.

On the other hand, it’s not funny at all.  We want AI, as it becomes more and more important to our society (or maybe we don’t, which might be one takeaway  from this experiment) to be intelligent and compassionate.  But if intelligent and compassionate people don’t even have mastery of the internet, maybe we’re  not the role model AI deserves.


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