ChatBot Helps Crack the Case of the Missing 45GB

The other day I got a last-minute request to video a show. I usually like to watch a dress rehearsal first, which gives me the chance to check out my equipment and get a sense of where the important action will take place. But yesterday I had to go in cold, and I felt a little rusty with my videography skills.

I set up a secondary camera to capture a static wide-angle shot, and I used my better camera to pan and zoom to capture the action.

Somehow I managed to corrupt or misplace or otherwise lose about 45GB of video from the “good” camera, though I found unplayable ghost files that were about the size of the missing files I was tracking.

Google is almost unusable as a troubleshooting guide these days, owing to the huge number of hard-to-spot ads that clutter up the screen before you actually get to the first non-paid, “real” results. And even those hits are often spammy bot-drivel that link to a helpful tool that is “free to download” but in order to save your work you have to pay.

After a few frustrating hours I turned to Bing’s ChatGPT feature, which actually did a pretty good job of filtering out the junk. When I specified that I wanted free, open-source alternatives, it suggested some actually helpful tools.

At any rate, it looks like all 45GB of video has been recovered.

But I do worry that, now that it seems so much of the World Wide Web is dominated by bot-produced commercial links, and it’s so hard to find genuine advice from real people, we’ll lose even more control and we’ll have no idea whether the chatbots are just directing traffic to the highest bidders.

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