I usually write about light-hearted, food related topics and easy recipes that delight the body and the soul. But this week I’m offering up food for contemplation, which is still nourishment, just of a different kind.
Last week, I wrote about a recipe that the artificial intelligence, ChatGPT, gave me for barbeque sauce. The sauce was so delicious that I kept going to the fridge with a spoon and ate it right then and there (yes, I know, that is not very lady like.) Then I learned that AI can now generate images. For example, I can ask the AI to make me a picture of a jar of barbeque sauce held by an angel with a halo and it will create a work of art that is beautiful and thought provoking (check it out at beta.dreamstudio.ai).
All this news caused me to deeply reflect. I was rattled with a mix of terror, amazement, and overwhelm. Then just as I was finished contemplating all that, I learned that the ChatGPT had evolved to the next level. Until now, ChatGPT could only spit out answers that drew on data prior to 2022. But now, ChatGPT has access to the internet in real time. Uh oh, nefarious rabbit hole, here we come. AI can also spread misinformation. Scary.
Author Thomas Friedman, a famed New York Times columnist and three times Pulitzer Prize winner, has written books on globalization, technology, and international affairs. In his book “Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations”, Friedman reflects on the lightning speed of technological change and its impact on society. He speculates that one of the reasons there is so much anxiety and depression in the world is because technology moves faster than our biological ability to keep up with it.
Ray Kurzweil is a futurist with a track record of predicting the future with great accuracy. In his provocative book “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology”, he refers to a hypothetical future in which artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence. As AI evolves, it will improve itself and cause an exponential increase in technological progress. Super scary!
My favorite book of all time is “Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World”, written by Prince Charles. He argues that the modern world has become too disconnected from our roots and advocates for human well-being through nature, community, culture, and spirituality.
Words that cross my mind: inconceivable, epic, mind blowing, awesome, thrilling, terrifying, challenging, and weird. What is AI going to do next? The dishes, maybe the laundry, cook dinner? This all points to our urgent need to have more face-to-face social connection. Food has, and always will, bring people together.