We’re in the throes of the spring semester here, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve changed your major (twice), gone into a deep depressive episode and have considered running away to Canada and getting a new legal name. I hear Toronto is nice in the spring.
If I’m being honest, this article has not been at the top of my to-do list. When my editors hired me in December, they said I would be writing for something called "The Culture Issue." You can imagine my surprise after learning that many more issues come after that one. Regardless of whatever this “Automation Issue” business is, my final draft is due at dawn and I have little more than a disjointed grab bag of punchlines.
I’m short on time. The convenience store near me is wiped clean of all Red bulls and Monsters. I guess I’ll have to settle for a Birthday Cake Bash Bang Energy. I have two C’s with five assignments in each gradebook, and I’ve eaten nothing but a turkey sandwich everyday for the last week. I’m too close to my deadline for comfort, so I’m abandoning my principles as not only a writer, but also as an artist — I’m using artificial intelligence to do my work for me.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five months, you’ve heard about the AI breakthrough ChatGPT. An auto-generative system that’s been released into the hands of the common man, ChatGPT can turn any half-baked thought into a manuscript — or a discussion board post that’s due within the hour. Getting someone else to do your homework used to require beating up a nerd or something. Now, with the touch of a button, anyone can make a robot do the work they’ve been putting off.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. With some added flair, of course.
The end of reality: How virtual reality is blurring the lines between what's real and what's not
It’s the end of reality as we know it. The clunky, sweaty nightmare that is virtual reality is blurring the lines between what’s real and what is not… according to ChatGPT
Editor's note: Bolded text was generated by ChatGPT, normal text was written by the satirist.
Virtual reality is a technology that allows users to “immerse” themselves in a computer-generated “environment.” Legally, “immerse” has to have quotation marks surrounding it. So does “environment.” The technical definition for VR technology is “computer binoculars.” By strapping an ophthalmoscope to your thick skull, anyone can experience the claustrophobic comeback of the glorified 3D glasses that are VR headsets.
It can be used for entertainment, education, and training, among other things. “Other things” is a very nice way of saying porn. Too nice. This paragraph is really understating the pornographic usage of the headsets. Seriously, go to any VR game website right now and search “girl simulation.” There will be literally thousands. Actually, don’t do that.
One of the key features of VR is its ability to create highly realistic simulations of real-world environments and experiences. Unfortunately, it can’t provide that yet. If anyone figures out a way to do that, please email email@example.com.
As VR technology advances, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Some people believe that VR has the potential to change the way we think about and interact with the world, while others (normal people) are concerned that they’ve invested far too much money in technology that won’t be functional until the year 3000.
There are a variety of VR games available, ranging from fantasy games like ethical capitalism to more real-life simulators, like paying your landlord or choosing between insulin and cable.
VR technology has also opened up new possibilities for traditional gaming genres, such as first-person shooters that actually kill people, puzzles where the solution is to kill people, and sports games where people die. VR gaming has seen rapid growth in recent years, driven by “advancements” in VR technology and increased consumer interest. This consumer interest is completely organic and not at all a product of industry-created hype over an underwhelming piece of technology.
Well folks, we’ve come to a crossroads. As a writer, I recognize the threat ChatGPT poses to my very existence. Yet, I’ve used the technology for its intended purpose as a means to an end. And I hate to admit it, but it helped me.
I am neurodivergent, and sometimes I struggle to get my ideas out clearly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a perfectly capable writer, but my brain doesn’t always put ideas in order quickly and coherently. I found it much easier to get my thoughts out when given a sample essay to work from. I was able to easily formulate my ideas around a few simple paragraphs, and I must admit, it saved me time and stress.
My point is, AI threatens the livelihood of creatives in every field. Or maybe my point is that AI has a real utility, and can assist anyone in writing effectively. Maybe it’s both.
In the coming years, we’re going to have to start asking ourselves tough questions about how we integrate technology into our reality — and if we even want to. Dear readers, if you take anything from this article, let it be this: I will always be funnier than a robot.
Edited by Sam Ellefson, Camila Pedrosa, Alexis Moulton and Greta Forslund.
This story is part of The Automation Issue, which was released on March 15, 2023. See the entire publication here.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @notevilclaire on Twitter.
Editor's note: The opinions presented in this column are the author's and do not imply any endorsement from State Press Magazine or its editors.
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