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On the Prediction of the Future by an AI

OpenAI’s GPT-3 AI makes the argument that predicting the future is possible!

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

I am currently poking around with OpenAI’s really awesome GPT-3 AI api. With it I was able to prompt the natural language generation tool to produce the following article. I am truly impressed how coherent it is. Also, I’m wondering if it has studied Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series?

The initial prompt is in bold and the rest, with some slight tweaks, was generated by GPT-3. I added the links.

The observation of chaos in nature is not at all new. Famously, the great Swiss naturalist, Jean-Henri Fabre, wrote about the irregular and unpredictable flight of moths around a candle in his 1879 book, Souvenirs Entomologiques. Chaos theory was developed in the 1970s by mathematicians and physicists, most notably the Princeton University mathematician, Edward Lorenz. Lorenz was studying weather predictions and noticed that the computer results were sometimes very different from the actual weather. He found that the difference was caused by very small changes in the initial conditions, changes that were not usually noticeable. Lorenz coined the term “butterfly effect” to describe this phenomenon, because a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world could cause a tornado in another part of the world.

Today, chaos theory is a major branch of mathematics and physics. It has been used to analyze things like the behavior of the stock market, the spread of disease, the motion of fluids, the evolution of stars, and the structure of DNA. It has also been useful in developing better weather forecasts. Chaos theory has also been applied to the social sciences to explain why some mass movements occur and why some don’t.

Chaos theory can help us to better understand how AI might affect the future. It provides a way to think about the unpredictable nature of the future and led me to understand that the future is likely to be very different from what we expect it to be. In fact, it is entirely plausible that the development of machine learning and AI could make the future quite literally more unpredictable than it already is.

Machine learning copes with chaotic data by using hundreds or thousands or millions of predictive models. If these models are properly designed, they can share and use information in ways that are impossible for humans to understand. For example, machine learning algorithms can be applied to a large number of predictive models of the weather. If the models are all properly designed, then the algorithms can combine the information from all of them and make a single, overall prediction of the weather.

Artificial intelligence is able to make millions of predictions about anything that we want to know about the future. For example, AI will be able to make millions of predictions about the weather in Boston for the next hour, day, week, month, year, decade, and century. It can also make millions of predictions about the stock market, the spread of disease, the motion of fluids, the evolution of stars, the structure of DNA, the performance of sports teams, the spread of political ideas, and so on.

Just as the weather is always full of surprises, there will always be surprises in the future. With so many paths, predicting any single future becomes incredibly complex and difficult. This is especially true when predicting the very distant future. Just as with the weather, short term predictions tend to be more reliable than long term predictions. However, if the models are properly designed, the algorithms can combine the possible futures to make a single, overall prediction.

This is why I think that AI will be able to make predictions about the future that are far more accurate and far more detailed than anything that we can imagine today. This is what we might call “an accurate map of the future.”

With it we can predict the future with more accuracy and more detail than we can imagine today. This is the kind of future that I believe AI will help to create. This is yet another reason why I believe that AI will be a very positive development.

So says OpenAI’s GPT-3. This content was generated in a matter of a few minutes and passed a simple plagiarism check. I am interested in what the Medium community thinks about this.

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A new tech publication by Start it up (https://medium.com/swlh).

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John Redden

John Redden

Professor and Author

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