Staring into the Uncanny Valley of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, better known as AI, is making its way into our lives, whether we're ready for it or not.

In the late Spring, an article published in USAToday blared the headline:

AI poses risk of extinction; tech leaders warn in open letter. Here's why alarm is spreading

Those Tech Leaders sounding the alarm include experts from Microsoft, ChatGPT and Google. I guess they should know. They are simultaneously creating AI, while begging us to pause and consider the implications.

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Oh, and these same folks admonishing us of the potential pitfalls? They're helping AI advance at a blistering pace.

Hearing the Uncanny Radio DJ

Not long ago, I read an article about a radio station using an AI version of their regular Midday DJ.

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DJ "AI Ashley" sounded eerily like "Real DJ Ashley". There were some strange and awkward pauses in "her" conversation with a caller, but overall, it was impressive.

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Impressive, if you're rooting for AI to win, that is. If you're a human Radio DJ...well...it was eerie.

The Increasing Risks of Artificial Intelligence

The worries about AI are growing. Elon Musk and his Band of 1,000 Tech Execs and Public Figures say the technology can “pose profound risks to society and humanity.”

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This is similar to an image AI returns when I ask for a "typical Arizona couple". They're always in front of the Grand Canyon or something similar. Image: Canva
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The risks of Artificial Intelligence are already becoming apparent:

  • Automation-spurred job loss may already be taking shape
  • Deepfakes are spreading disinformation in the wars against Israel and Ukraine
  • We don't yet understand the implications of uncontrollable, self-aware AI

Creating AI Photos of Arizona Couples

Just when I think AI doesn't understand us, I begin to wonder if I'm wrong. Afterall, the Internet is feeding the Artificial Intelligence behind AI. Using the internet, AI combs data for concepts and ideas, theories and biases, then tries to deliver what the user has requested

This is kind of like the images AI Created of Arizona couples. Canva
This is kind of like the images AI Created of Arizona couples. Canva
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I asked Bing Chat to create: a photo of an Arizona couple in their 20s who live in Phoenix. I got an interesting array of pictures.

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Not created with AI - but it could have been. Couple in front of the Grand Canyon. Credit: Canva
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I can't include them here in this article because AI often uses stock images to curate their answers, and we don't want to step on any copyrights. But the images I have included are very similar to images I get when I just ask AI for a couple in Arizona.

This is what AI seems to think Arizona is all about. Image: Canva
This is what AI seems to think Arizona is all about. Image: Canva
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I found the results interesting, though. Bing gave me three images. I'm not sure if any of them are indicative of a "typical 20-year-old couple in Arizona". They look more like I asked Bing for a couple in their 20s shooting a perfume ad, then getting ready to head to Coachella.

Offbeat adventures: Travel to the coolest hidden wonders in every U.S. state

Fuel your offbeat travel dreams. Stacker found the coolest hidden wonders in all 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) using data from Atlas Obscura.

[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

Gallery Credit: Sandi Hemmerlein

LOOK: Route 66’s quirkiest and most wonderful attractions state by state

Stacker compiled a list of 50 attractions--state by state--to see along the drive, drawing on information from historic sites, news stories, Roadside America, and the National Park Service. Keep reading to discover where travelers can get their kicks on Route 66.

Gallery Credit: Kery Wiginton

LOOK: Must-do activities at every national park

Stacker lists the must-do activities at every national park ranked by the annual number of visitors. 

Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

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