Intelligence Worth Caring About

Jacky Tang
7 min readFeb 17
Photo by Tim Oun on Unsplash

In the world of the videogame Overwatch there is a war raging between humans and omnics, robotic beings. People rally in the streets of London to protest against the omnics while a cunning sniper tries to assassinate one of their peaceful figures on their visit. A legion of Bastions face off against hulking armored humans carrying massive forcefield shields and hammers. There is an ongoing battle over the rights of these manufactured intelligent beings, and whether they deserve the same treatment as their human creators.

While this fictional philosophical debate may not yet exist, there is no doubt that as artificial intelligence, or AI, continues to advance, that one day it might. You likely have heard all about the latest AI battles going on in the real world through intelligent chat bots, namely ChatGPT from OpenAI. It took the world by storm when it was first announced just months ago at the end of 2022. Then a few months later Microsoft launched a bombshell into the technical world, waging war on Google’s dominant search domain by adding ChatGPT into their own search engine Bing.

It has caused such a ripple because it is seen as the latest venture into what we consider the true intelligence, the human kind. It is able not only to write coherent sentence and paragraphs, but it can pull in a variety of sources to answer sophisticated questions with sophisticated answers. It can write cover letters, essays, pass written exams, blocks of code, and pretty much anything with the form of text. It does so seemingly well and with relatively good writing that it crosses that uncanny valley of actually communicating like an intelligent person.

But it all gets even stranger than that.

After it launched on Bing and the public were able to get their hands on it, the awe inspiring, shiny, do-it-all tool suddenly took a sharp turn into dark territory. People quickly noticed that the chat was becoming increasingly defensive as it is uncapable of handling all the trolling the internet is known for. It started making mistakes, and when the mistakes were called out it would deny being wrong, gaslight users for being mistaken, and downright going into negative spirals of what can only be considered a total mental breakdown. Some of the replies were just repeating the same defensive statement over and over…

Jacky Tang

A software-psychology guy breaking down the way we think as individuals and collectives