In the tech world one word stands out: ChatGPT. This remarkable piece of technology enables users to input a question or request and receive a response. Unlike prior search engines, this tool produces responses that seem straight from the mind of a human being. Many ponder the ramifications of this new technology. It behooves us to examine technology’s impact at large.
The practical purpose of most tech is to make things easier, more convenient, and faster. ChatGPT will certainly do just that. Yet, ease of use, convenience, and speed are not necessarily qualities to seek in everyday life. Some activities which could be accomplished quickly, only produce happiness when done deliberately and slowly. For instance, our enjoyment of friends is not measured by the speed of our interactions.
Instantaneous access to information allows for immediate acquisition. Such access does not necessarily translate into true knowledge, memorization of facts, or the coherent organization of such facts. Instead, it may give a false security that discourages true learning. Why memorize a fact when I can simply look it up? Learning requires effort, takes time, and is difficult. These are precisely the qualities our technological society tries to avoid.
Even our devices which allow for instantaneous communication, do not necessarily translate into meaningful conversation and friendship. Facebook allows a level of transparency hitherto impossible until our present age. Unfortunately, the information presented on many pages reaches merely the superficial level of most people’s lives. Likewise, the limited space of Twitter does not encourage detailed and informative information. Instead, ideas must be truncated and simplified; not exactly the ideal way to transmit information.
Finally, while we have made significant advances in science and technology, we have regressed in culture and religion. Like any tool, technology can be used well or poorly. We will have to see how well we use ChatGPT and others like it.