On “You Are Not A Parrot”: Let’s Remember the Nuance

by Todd J. Fisher, Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Last week, in our post called “Focus My Friends: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Humanity,” we wrote about AI, and the role it plays in our lives now, and in the future. The debate stands: will AI eventually replace us or our work, as a human-like entity, thinking and participating among us? 

We say no, that won’t happen. AI likely won’t evolve into a human-adjacent machine, able to replace our thinking and writing. But, AI is a very real, growing, changing element of our everyday lives. And, in her March 1st New York Magazine article, “You Are Not A Parrot,” referenced in our last post, Elizabeth Weil makes an important point, about large language models (LLMs), the technology behind ChatGPT and other chatbots like it:

“The big question underlying it is not about tech. It’s about us. How are we going to handle 
ourselves around these machines?”

Her point resonates, and deepens our understanding of what it means to exist in a world with AI, and ChatGPT. Weil acknowledges that there is not actually a human behind the words generated by technology like ChatGPT. That environment - a world in which words, phrases, thoughts can be created in the absence of a human brain to think and write them - is a new phenomenon, one we shouldn’t take lightly when we consider the potential outcomes of that scenario. 

Weil’s piece is intriguing; it got us thinking, and we encourage you to give it a read. And, if you’re looking for more suggested reading on the topic, check out the list in our last post

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