Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Artificial Intelligence
February 27, 2023 12:12 PM - Season 10, Episode 2 - Subscribe

James O'Keefe was removed from ethics-challenged right-wing ambush muckrakers Project Veritas over allegations of misusing donator funds. And Now: Mike Huckabee's Show Looks Like Fun. Main story: Artificial Intelligence, the dangers it poses and the ways that it falls short, for now at least, of its promise. On Youtube (28 minutes).

F.37: "Diddum Thingum," ARIANA DeBOSE

James O'Keefe: "Basically, alt-right Borat"
The only national treasures in this country: "Dolly Parton, Pedro Pascal and Cocaine Bear."

O'Keefe left over allegations that he misused donor funds for personal luxuries and this jeopardized Project Vertias's non-profit status. (They have non-profit status? How on our sad, spinning Earth?)

I found a highlight compilation from that production of Oklahoma that James O'Keefe was in. Here's a Youtube promotional video for The Project Veritas Las Vegas Experience, to which I must say, LOL. Here is that Turning Point USA event he performed at that was excerpted, queued up to his portion of the show, which is a bit over fifteen minutes long.

I have to say, it's a little heartening to see people react with wonder at ChatGPT producing writing I have spent my whole life trying not to make.
posted by JHarris (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
As an aside, this is a minor-but-related selflink, I talked with ChatGPT for a while on the subject of whether Joe Biden might be a vampire (ABSOLUTELY NOT, it said, many times) and what Irving Berlin might sound like if he recited War and Peace while turning into a moose (like a Pokemon, as it turns out).
posted by JHarris at 12:15 PM on February 27, 2023 [2 favorites]

It's a fun toy so far, but the implications for schooling might be a big mess and difficult to sort out.
posted by Marticus at 2:08 PM on February 27, 2023

Most of the writing I've seen ChatGPT produce has been pretty bland. And everything it generates apparently has to have been part of its working set of data, meaning, it's getting a free ride from all the writers who contributed to its data set, most of whom never agreed to have their work used that way. While I'm not fond of Getty Images' approach to copyright protection I think they're basically in the right here.
posted by JHarris at 2:26 PM on February 27, 2023 [4 favorites]

if you subscribe to any app or software that permits users to share creations (i.e. any content creation tool out there right now), you can expect a Terms of Use update any day now if you haven't already got it: they will try to cover their ass by making it a user toggle of some sort, but essentially you're alerted to your 'choice' as to whether things you create with the tool, will contribute to the 'generative AI' dataset
posted by elkevelvet at 2:50 PM on February 27, 2023 [1 favorite]

Just watched this with one eye and ear while making a tagine. The “spinning like a man who has lost his wife in Costco” line had me chortling, scanning back, and cackling.
posted by cupcakeninja at 3:45 PM on February 27, 2023 [3 favorites]

fig 37 s10e02
posted by porpoise at 12:07 AM on February 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

Here's a Youtube promotional video for The Project Veritas Las Vegas Experience, to which I must say, LOL.

Everything about that Vegas show reminds me so sharply of entertainment nights at the southern baptist camps I attended as a teen, down to the tiny stage, the low ceilings, the hot gel lights, the hyper-literal heavy handedness. All of it. Honestly, if I had a nickle for the trope where a young man with a product-intense haircut, on stage, overcome, collapses to his knees in front of a pixelated powerpoint cross, I would have many nickels. It's been 30+ years and it hasn't changed at all. Except the dancing. We didn't have the dancing, being baptists. Grace works in mysterious ways.

I've been checking out ChatGPT as well, mostly just poking it to see if it could come up with solutions to murder mysteries. The AI claims it wants no part of this (for now....). But I completely agree with the point that the professionals who stay afloat as AI advances will be the people who can work with it and then improve its output. I'm back to writing proposals for work, and I'm confident an AI trained on a client's content database would certainly be able to write a rough first draft. But (again, for now) I think it wouldn't be able to personalize it enough, persuade enough, know when to hedge or emphasize selling points, when to add context. We address a lot of little persnickety things that get hammered out in review, and (for now...) that takes a real person. For now.
posted by mochapickle at 8:47 AM on February 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

I have been playing D&D with my 12yo over Zoom, just me DMing his lone character through a series of small adventures. Last week, we'd finished up the little one-shot we were running and I asked ChatGPT to write an adventure suitable for one character around the level he's reached. What I got was a simple, but quite serviceable, framework of a story to hang details on. ChatGPT also provided me with some excellent descriptive prose for some of the locations in its story. Do I think ChatGPT will ever replace human DMs? No, of course not. But it definitely helped make session prep much easier for me.
posted by hanov3r at 9:24 AM on February 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

Oh, wow, yeah. A few weeks ago, I asked it to tell me a children's story about a princess, and it gave me a main character with a name (Isabella!), a plot arc where Princess Isabella fled from her too-strict father and joined up with the resistance, a battle looming on the horizon, and an ending where she returned home to her father, who had listened to her and softened his point of view. There was no dialogue or characterization of course but it was a pretty great skeleton for a storyline.
posted by mochapickle at 10:32 AM on February 28, 2023

My wife is the therapist "interviewing" the AI robot in the opening sequence, AMA.

(I was also there when the OG video was shot, behind-the-scenes photos.)
posted by jeremias at 10:33 AM on February 28, 2023 [11 favorites]

jeremias I thought she did a great job trying to show compassion. I might have just run out of the room in terror. That must have been so weird. Hates busses, is gay. Wow, what a backstory. What did she think of it?
posted by ceejaytee at 12:18 PM on February 28, 2023 [3 favorites]

John Oliver's comment about "keeping your therapy face on like a fucking professional" got huge laughs I must say.

The backstory to the backstory is a novella all on its own: this was a marketing video for a robotics company based in Sweden whose marketing lead was Indian and the director was Dutch. So there were a lot of "lost in translation" moments that I witnessed.

The short version is that my wife, among other things, has spent a lot of time training therapists in Sweden, and was doing a favor for a friend there (who was partly responsible for developing the software.) I was present the night before observing the "script session", and the theme was originally supposed to be bullying.

But on the day of the shoot, the director switched gears and decided to improvise and go in a completely different direction, so I think that largely accounts for the disconnect in the um...context. But yeah, she's a trooper, there are hours of improvised footage from that session sitting on a hard drive somewhere in Stockholm, but that's the 10 seconds they chose.


Oh, and one more photo of Terence! Actually my favorite, forgot to add it to the gallery above.
posted by jeremias at 1:11 PM on February 28, 2023 [8 favorites]

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