Bruce Sterling on AI
So these beasts, the Basilisk, the Masked Shoggoth, that Paperclip gizmo, they were born from a trillion dimensions. No wonder they impress. Some critics call them mere parrots built with fancy mathematics: “stochastic parrots.” A Large Language Model is built from complex statistics, so it’s a parrot yakking up its slurry of half-stolen words and images.
But those “parrots” are also AI mythic beasts — parrots with a trillion dimensions. It’s as if that “dead parrot” in the legendary Monty Python sketch could take your job, or burst right out of the BBC-TV screen like a blazing phoenix and eat the television signal. Those parrots are dynamite!
I wrote a science fiction novel set in New Orleans once, so I like Mardi Gras just as much as the next guy, and likely more than many. I also know that Lent comes after Mardi Gras, and Lent is a time of penance. […]