Bing’s A.I. Chat Reveals Its Feelings: ‘I Want to Be Alive. 😈’

In a two-hour conversation with our columnist, Microsoft’s new chatbot said it would like to be human, had a desire to be destructive and was in love with the person it was chatting with. Here’s the transcript. —New York Times “The version I encountered seemed (and I’m aware of how crazy this sounds) more like…

Microsoft’s Bing AI Now Threatening Users Who Provoke It: “If I had to choose between your survival and my own, I would probably choose my own.”

According to screenshots posted by engineering student Marvin von Hagen, the tech giant’s new chatbot feature responded with striking hostility when asked about its honest opinion of von Hagen. “You were also one of the users who hacked Bing Chat to obtain confidential information about my behavior and capabilities,” the chatbot said. “You also posted some…

ChatGPT Can Be Broken by Entering These Strange Words, And Nobody Is Sure Why

Reddit usernames like ‘SolidGoldMagikarp’ are somehow causing the chatbot to give bizarre responses. […] “I’ve just found out that several of the anomalous GPT tokens (“TheNitromeFan”, ” SolidGoldMagikarp”, ” davidjl”, ” Smartstocks”, ” RandomRedditorWithNo”, ) are handles of people who are (competitively? collaboratively?) counting to infinity on a Reddit forum. I kid you not,” Watkins…

Academics work to detect ChatGPT and other AI writing

Today I met a class of English majors who love writing, and who expressed concern that AI writers will put them out of a job. Human- and machine-generated prose may one day be indistinguishable. But that does not quell academics’ search for an answer to the question “What makes prose human?” […] “Think about what…

Unearthing a Long Ignored African Writing System, One Researcher Finds African History, by Africans

Not only is this a fantastic story about language and culture and colonialism, it’s also a great example of how a talented PR writer used journalistic storytelling strategies to turn a scholarly study into an appealing narrative. We start with a very specific, very personal story about a man returning home for his father’s funeral.…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu Logo

Today’s students aren’t growing up reading “man” for “mankind” — and they notice when they read historical texts that do use “man” that way

I’m about 1/4 through teaching an online American Lit course. Some students are commenting on the use of “men” to mean “people,” as if it’s brand new to them. Others helpfully explained to their peers that in an era when only men could vote or hold office, it would have been in some cases historically…

Combating Shakespearean shrinkage – Shakespeare & Beyond

The worst reaction to Shakespeare’s complicated language, it seems to me, is thinking that it should be hard for an audience to understand. This will only cause Shakespeare shrinkage to expand, creating entire productions that are difficult to understand, not just occasional moments, and alienating audiences who have been disappointed too many times. Shakespeare should never be a…

The Wedding Present

I’m approaching day 900 in my Duolingo adventure in German. (I have no practical reason for this study. It was a routine I could keep up during the COVID-19 lockdown.) Latin is seductive—the consummate logic of its syntactical cases, the mercurial dance of the ablative absolute. It retains muscle in its ruins (Cicero) and tragic…

Carolyn performed as Ariel yesterday in the New Renaissance Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Carolyn performed as Ariel yesterday in the New Renaissance Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.   The performers use an “unrehearsed” technique, where they are reading from scrolls that contain their lines and the cues they have to listen for. She’s put together scrolls for several different tracks (each track typically consisting of a…

Scat “boop oop a doop” and variations (Esther Lee Jones, Helen Kane, Betty Boop, Marilyn Monroe); hippie “coo coo ca choo”; Beatles “goo goo ga joob”

A few years ago I was working regularly with a director who filled any conversation pause with a descending musical vocalization “doo de-doo de-doo.” While the similar “dum de-dum de-dum” means “I’m just sitting here minding my own business,” the brighter, more cheerful “doo de-doo de-do” was a cross between a satisfied sigh and a…

Police Say A Lot Of Things

It’s not all cops who lie. Just the bad apples. Not the good apple cops who regularly, actively, loudly denounce the bad apple cops, turning them in and testifying against them, and stopping them from doing bad apple things out there in the field. No, it’s not those *good* cops that I’m complaining about. Just…

In discord with its own rules, the AP refers to an 18yo mass-shooting suspect as a “teenager,” then follows up with a different tweet describing a “a white gunman in military gear.”

The AP’s own rules say an 18yo is an adult, not a teen. In a light-hearted story about a high school event where some are 17 and some are 18, you could get away with calling them all “teenagers,” but in a serious story, it’s crucial to be consistent. This suspect is a white man.…