AI Bots & the Threat of Worldwide Mind-Jamming
"ChatGPT just drew us a picture of God!" exclaimed Joe Rogan on his widely heard podcast the day after Christmas.
When we know what actually happened, however, we can recognize in this exclamation the awful potential of AI systems to jam human minds worldwide.
Reportedly, a ChatGPT user first asked the bot’s image-creating ability to present a happy bunny, and then repeatedly asked the bot to make the bunny illustration “happier.” The user was probably using the “Dall-E” feature, which can take an instruction as input and produce an image. Here’s the initial bunny according to the user’s published screenshot:
After ChatGPT was asked to make the bunny “happier” several more times, the result was:
Asked again, the bot produced:
And finally after nine successive prompts, the bot was asked to make the bunny even “happier.” The result:
Astounded, Joe Rogan and his guest Duncan Trussell thought the final image resembled mind pictures that form when ingesting DMT, a hallucinogenic drug akin to certain mushroom extracts. “… the only existing being, and the defining force of all existence. It's God!” said Rogan, reading off the bot’s output. “ChatGPT just drew us a picture of God! And God looks like exactly what you see when you do DMT!” See below after the 5:00 minute mark (language warning).
So, ChatGPT went on an acid trip and found God?
Picture + Words = Message Power
ChatGPT’s entertaining evolution of the happy bunny grabs our attention. But consider the bot’s words. Rogan read aloud the bot’s verbal output as if it had emanated from an authoritative source. He and Trussell accepted the bot’s description, seemingly without criticism. But why?
It has long been known that a captivating picture plus powerful language can slip past one’s critical thinking and effect beliefs. The Encyclopedia Brittanica notes that, “A brief slogan or a picture or a pithy comment on some symbol that is emotion laden for the reactors may be worth ten thousand other words.” In the case of the happy bunny, ChatGPT delivered a striking visual while claiming that it depicts “the only existing being” and the “defining force of all existence.” How do you argue against that?
Hold that question for a moment. AI systems can create and deliver pictures and messages in nearly unlimited numbers to millions of Internet users. Prompted skillfully, ChatGPT and other bots can flood the Internet with claims about God and spiritual matters. The bots can supply alluring (or terrifying) illustrations to support their claims. Soon, the bots will be producing short videos doing the same. In theory, nothing can stop them.
Strategies to Counteract Mind Jamming
The question has therefore expanded. If thousands of visual and text impressions are constantly appearing that show and say anything and everything about God, what do you do? Here are some commonly invoked options.
- Find some thought process about God or no-God, decide it feels right, and adopt it while ignoring the rest.
- Decide that there is no truth about God, since everybody has different views. Nobody really knows. End of subject.
- Decide all the messages are just noise, and tune out the subject entirely.
Notice all these options lead one away from focused learning about God. They all reduce interest in finding any absolute truth about God. Indeed, they all reenforce the idea that the concept of God is individual, personal, and subjective. You can choose your own god, or you can take or leave God at will.
The situation is like radio jamming. Chiefly since 1948, certain power-heavy governments have worked to prevent their citizens from hearing radio transmissions from other nations. To this day, for example, Cuba still jams radio and TV broadcasts from the United States. North Korea and China, too, have long jammed Western broadcasts. Typically, jamming means transmitting loud, distracting, and irritating racket on the same frequencies as the targeted broadcasts, thus discouraging people from even trying to listen. Examples can be found here, here, and here.
Regardless of whether the targeted broadcast is presenting the truth, the jamming signals and irritating noise work to block it out. Similarly, by swamping the communications channels, the AI systems can jam messages on any subject, everywhere on the Internet, non-stop.
Just Don’t Believe Anything?
What strategy can people adopt to protect their minds from AI jamming and audio-visual overload? One approach is, “Don’t believe anything you see or read.” On at least two levels, however, that doesn’t work. On an individual level, you have to believe some things you read, e.g., laws, road signs, and product warnings. On a larger scale, a society that doesn’t believe what it sees or reads has no grounding for anything, truthful or otherwise. Moreover, if you don’t believe anything you read, then you reject all books and articles about thinking, history, science, current events, as well as the Bible. The “don’t believe anything” motto in fact achieves what jammers seek: the listeners’ giving up on their ability to think independently or to resist bad ideas.
To resist tyranny and oppression, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn urged us all to “live not by lies.” Soon AI-powered jamming will make it far more difficult to detect the lies. Then what?
AI systems themselves do not threaten to take over and rule the world. Instead, the danger emerges when people surrender their search for truth, for reality, and even for God. Thought leaders from Jordan Peterson to Jesus advise to seek and live by truth. When receiving information from AI systems and the Internet, we must initially treat it as “information”—not as “truth”—until we have found reliable ways to verify it. In a follow-up post, I will share practical information-verification tips and show how truth vitally underpins everything we do.Richard W. Stevens
Richard W. Stevens, an appellate lawyer, holds degrees in both computer science and law, and has authored four books and numerous articles on various subjects, including legal topics, the Bill of Rights, and intelligent design.• Get SALVO blog posts in your inbox! Copyright © 2024 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/post/how-a-happy-bunny-became-god