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eThinker: ChatGPT, Scary Good or Scary Bad?

There’s been a lot of buzz about the new ChatGPT app, an AI tool that can write and debug computer programs, compose music, stories, and student essays; answer test questions (sometimes at a level above the average human); write poetry and song lyrics; simulate an entire chat room; and–this is comforting–simulate an ATM.

Elon Musk called it “scary good. We are not far from dangerously strong AI.” 

Make that scary bad. The academic world in particular has had to take measures to prevent students from using the new technology to write their student essays and term papers, including oral pop quizzes to determine if the student actually understands what he supposedly just wrote. And sometimes the generated paper flunks on its own merit, by stating inaccurate data with great confidence.

Here is another reason to approach ChatGPT and its ilk with caution. Yes, AI mania is taking the corporate world by storm. Traders have been bidding up the stocks of many companies–including smaller, unprofitable ones–who are trying to make a name for themselves in the AI arms race.

We’ve seen other speculative crazes in the world of tech. Remember when crypto-related stocks soared in 2021 and then tanked in 2022? And let’s not forget the epic rise of many dot-com companies in the late 1990s and their subsequent plunge in 2000.

This might just be another bubble waiting to burst.

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