What Just Broke?: Generative AI and the Extinction of Ideas

An evening with Tata Consultancy Service’s futurists spurred questions about ChatGPT, and whether we should pursue AI-produced, digital creativity.

Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Editor

January 24, 2023

1 Min Read
Jazz musicians performing in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Should generative AI be trained to compete with all creatives, such as jazz musicians in the streets of New Orleans?Joao-Pierre S. Ruth

Last week, I attended a dinner meeting with some of Tata Consultancy Service’s futurists to talk about digital twins and AI across such sectors as agriculture, health care, ending animal testing, and other spaces.

I got into a side discussion that focused on ChatGPT, the digital wishing box everyone seems to be opening these days.

One of Tata’s futurists brought up the notion that college essays, along with other content, might be generated by ChatGPT, which raised a quandary for professors. “How would that be graded?”

How do you grade someone for work that was done by leveraging AI? There was some debate about whether use of generative AI is different from using a web search to find content. I will get to my opinion on that later, but first let’s acknowledge there are lots of arguments underway now about the ethics and risks of generative AI.

We’re talking policy clarifications from creators and vendors to protect their material as well as litigation to block generative AI from scraping and learning from original content.

There is also the security concern of ChatGPT being used to craft malware or crank out phishing emails. We really should have seen that coming.

Listen to the full episode of "What Just Broke" for more:

About the Author(s)

Joao-Pierre S. Ruth

Senior Editor

Joao-Pierre S. Ruth covers tech policy, including ethics, privacy, legislation, and risk; fintech; code strategy; and cloud & edge computing for InformationWeek. He has been a journalist for more than 25 years, reporting on business and technology first in New Jersey, then covering the New York tech startup community, and later as a freelancer for such outlets as TheStreet, Investopedia, and Street Fight. Follow him on Twitter: @jpruth.

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