Maybe ChatGPT is like the I Ching, the ancient Chinese oracular book, and to get good answers you have to know how to ask good questions. But with this oracle of bits, in the new Gutenberg moment in which everything seems forced to change as with the printing press, culture is experiencing a Madrid stew in which the chickpeas are the creators and the industry themselves. Last night the Fundación Telefónica de Madrid hosted the portico of the Hay Festival in Segovia, a conference moderated by Miquel Molina, deputy director of La Vanguardia, on the impact that advances in artificial intelligence can have on the cultural world and on our own intelligence. The conclusion was clear. The history of humanity has been governed by technological advances that have forced us all to change again and again. The question is how we use it and, above all, who owns it today.
“Opaque corporations that ambush the user, giving you free access without telling you what they do with you, and that take over intellectual property,” denounced the writer Lorenzo Silva, who recalled that the Hollywood actors’ strike was due in part to a clause by which the production companies can subject them to a facial scan through which “in the future they will be able to count on all their gesticulation and physiognomy without hiring them.” “They are not maneuvers inherent to the technology, but to the exploitation model of these large platforms accustomed to working with a patent of marque outside any legislation, delocalized and without paying taxes anywhere,” he stated. And he warned that the new technology already has a negative impact on the rights of creators and publishers, “devouring all types of intellectual property without permission and generating results to increase the value of technology companies on the stock market”, negative effects on learning, with students who submit their work to ChatGPT without learning anything, and negative effects on creativity, with amateur writers who request the novel from the tool and then tweak it.
Ricard Robles, co-founder and co-director of Sonar, stressed that AI poses enormous possibilities for expanding the frontiers of art and great challenges, but, he warned, “we cannot look the other way and think that we can handle it from the prohibition, but we can think that Its owners must relate differently to society, the problem is not technology, but rethinking big technology companies. “Their ability to organize or manipulate society does need a review.”
If the metaphor of ChatGPT as the I Ching was a suggestion by Sheila Cremaschi, alma mater of the Hay Festival Spain, after doing experiments with the new tool – “for it to answer well you have to ask the question well, and the image of the oracle came to me Chinese that you ask and he answers about your future, but if the question is asked wrong he also answers you wrong” –, the metaphor of culture today as the chickpeas in stew was by the editor Daniel Fernández. A stew, he said, in which “the first change was digitalization, where Google and other companies scanned all the world’s content for the good of humanity and told us ‘if you think you have rights, let us know’, and now we live the second turn with AI doing the same, loading this enormous database that is above all engineering that we call artificial intelligence just as we call piracy which is content theft. We need regulation. If there is a third overturn, we will not arrive.”