Although Steve Wozniak considers ChatGPT to be "pretty impressive" and "useful," he also said it can royally screw up due to its lack of "humanness."
"I think it's going to be useful to humans as all computer technology [is] … AI is at the high end of it, where it follows procedures to learn things," the Apple co-founder said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" (see video below).
"It's pretty impressive," he continued. "But the trouble is … it can make horrible mistakes."
I wish Wozniak would have gone into more detail of what those horrible mistakes might look like, but he merely compared his concerns about ChatGPT with those of self driving cars. "It will never be equal … Good lord, look at a lot of AI examples where you drive a car and it makes decisions the dumbest driver in the world wouldn't make."
Wozniak pointed to self-driving cars as a technological development with similar concerns, noting that artificial intelligence can't currently replace human drivers. "It's like you're driving a car, and you know what other cars might be about to do right now, because you know humans," he said. …
ChatGPT's technology can certainly help humans — by explaining coding languages or constructing a frame for your résumé, for example — even if it doesn't yet know how to convey "humanness" or "emotions and feelings about subjects," Wozniak said. …
Wozniak isn't the only tech billionaire wary of those consequences.
ChatGPT and its parent company, OpenAI, have "stunning" websites — but they're bound to be corrupted by misinformation as they internalize more information across the internet, serial entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban told comedian Jon Stewart's "The Problem with Jon Stewart" podcast in December.
"Twitter and Facebook, to an extent, are democratic within the filters that an Elon [Musk] or [Mark] Zuckerberg or whoever else puts [on them]," Cuban said. "Once these things start taking on a life of their own … the machine itself will have an influence, and it will be difficult for us to define why and how the machine makes the decisions it makes, and who controls the machine."
Wozniak's concerns over ChatGPT's "humanness" remind me of what scholars were talking about in Jennifer Sandlin's post on Monday, where one professor said the app "fails spectacularly" when it is asked for an "analysis or critique" of, say, a novel. It can spit out any kind of data you ask for and arrange the data into articles and essays, but at least for now, humans have the upper hand when it comes to true thinking.
Front page thumbnail image: CNBC (screengrab)