By Ernie Williamson
I don’t have any resolutions, but I do have some thoughts as the New Year begins.
AI IN MY FUTURE?
Artificial intelligence is coming whether we like it or not. And it is coming fast.
Even those of us challenged by new technology should pay attention to something called ChatGPT.
Introduced in November, ChatGPT is artificial intelligence that can answer questions and write essays.
You can type countless questions using natural language and the chatbot gives conversational answers. The answers are derived from huge volumes of information on the internet.
Reporter Stephen Shankland asked ChatGPT to explain Newton’s law of motion. It did.
He then asked ChatGPT whether it is easier to get a date by being sensitive or being tough?
GPT responded in part: “In general, being genuine and authentic in your interactions with others is likely to be more effective in getting a date than trying to fit a certain mold or persona.”
The New York Times asked GPT to write essays and asked teachers to compare them with those written by students. The teachers couldn’t tell the difference.
Some experts see GPT as the end for Google. Economist Paul Krugman sees it affecting the demand of knowledge workers.
I see it as a way of having my column written for me.
A GOOD COLD
I thoroughly enjoyed the cold weather during Christmas.
Admittedly, the temperatures plunged into the teens, but the sunshine that bakes us in the summer brought glorious moments of warmth on brisk days. And there wasn’t snow or ice.
It helped, of course, that we weren’t traveling.
Considering all the weather-related disasters in this country in 2022, I think our area was fortunate.
We dodged hurricanes and when the freeze came, we had power this time. I hope we are as fortunate in 2023.
HOW MUCH WOULD
I am a big sports fan and support athletes getting their fair slice of the pie, but the recent off-season baseball signings have me wondering where it will end.
It seems outlandish that, with many people struggling to pay bills, slugger Aaron Judge signed a contract worth $360 million.
Shortstop Trea Turner signed a contract for $300 million and pitcher Jacob deGrom settled for $185 million.
It all brings to mind Babe Ruth’s response when asked whether he thought he deserved to earn $80,000 a year while President Herbert Hoover earned only $75,000.
Ruth’s famous reply: “What the hell has Hoover got to do with it? Besides, I had a better year.”
According to Spotrac, the New York Mets will have baseball’s highest 2023 payroll at $266,758, 333. The Astros payroll is projected to be the eighth highest at $151,833,332.
Any bets on whether ticket prices will go up next season?
The consequences of the pandemic seem never-ending.
Public sentiment against vaccine mandates has grown significantly since the pandemic, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
More than a third of parents with children under 18 - and 28 percent of all adults - now say parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their children for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) to attend public schools, even if remaining unvaccinated creates health risks for others, according to new polling from the foundation.
A recent measles outbreak in Columbus, Ohio is “spreading like wildfire,” according to the city’s public health department. Most of the 81 children infected so far were unvaccinated.
Notoriously under-vaccinated Alaska is now suffering through a chickenpox outbreak.
As if Covid, RSV and the flu aren’t enough to worry about, it now appears this year we will also have to worry about diseases we once had under control.
(Contact Ernie at email@example.com. Or, send letters in care of The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)