Opinion: Will artificial intelligence end my writing career?

Editor’s Note: Peter Bergen is a national security analyst for CNN, vice president of New America, and professor at Arizona State University. Bergen is the author of The Cost of Chaos: The Trump Administration and the World. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more of his opinion on CNN.


It has long been clear that artificial intelligence (AI) will one day replace many of the human workers in areas such as customer service, insurance underwriting, and manufacturing. Still, I’ve been happy with my writing career for a long time. After all, what AI tools can replace the work of the human brain?

We’ve been hearing about AI chatbot ChatGPT for the past few days. Users of this tool claim to be able to write coherent essays and articles in seconds. So I signed up, tried it out, and asked him to do a task that I previously believed required at least some skill. Please write.” I asked.

Within two seconds, the tool spat out the following editorial:

The country is safer, but the war on terrorism is not over yet.

As President Joe Biden hits 100 days in office, he can point to some key achievements in national security. The US is making dramatic progress in ending his two longest wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is safer than Donald Trump was four years ago when he took office.

But the war on terror is not over yet. Al Qaeda remains a threat to the United States and its allies, and Islamic State remains a threat in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

To address these threats, the Biden administration authorized initial military strikes against al-Qaeda and Islamic State targets in Syria and Yemen, and sent special operations forces to Syria to help fight Islamic State. We have taken several steps, such as deploying

But more must be done to protect the United States and its allies from the threat of terrorism. The Biden administration must scale up its efforts to counter violent extremism not only in the Middle East, but also in the United States.

The United States also needs to strengthen partnerships with countries in the region, such as Jordan and Egypt, that are key to regional stability and counterterrorism. Working with these countries to build capacity to counter the threat of terrorism will pay off in the long run.

Finally, the Biden administration should make a concerted effort to reengage Iran, the most powerful country in the region. This could help reduce the risk of future conflicts, while also opening the door for greater cooperation in combating terrorism and other transnational threats.

The War on Terror is not over yet, but the Biden administration is taking the right steps to protect the United States and its allies from the threat of terrorism. With the right strategy and the right partners, America can continue to make progress in combating this global scourge.

The editorial clarifies the overall argument that the “war on terrorism” is not over, and builds that argument in multiple sub-arguments with specific policy suggestions for action by the Biden administration, such as re-engaging with Iran. strengthened.

However, the op-ed made several factual errors, including mentioning a date as to when the Biden administration took office. This is because, according to OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, its “default model training data is 2021, so they may not know about current events.”

An editorial generated by ChatGPT also suggested that the Biden administration was the first to authorize US attacks against Al Qaeda in Yemen and ISIS in Syria. Yemen during the Biden administration was reportedly a “suspected” US attack rather than a confirmed one.

The editorial also argued that the Iraq War lasted from 2003 until the withdrawal of US troops in 2012, while the Vietnam War was one of the two longest arguable US wars since lasting more than a decade. . In 2014 he returned his troops to Iraq to fight ISIS and thousands remain there.)

I also work as a college professor at Arizona State University, and AI tools like ChatGPT raise interesting questions about the role of student papers at the core of American college education.

I asked the tool a simple historical question: What was the role of women in the French Revolution? and immediately replied:

Women played a key role in the French Revolution, both in the political upheaval and the social transformation it brought.

Women took an active part in the storming of the Bastille and the overthrow of the monarchy. Women also participated in the political debates of the time, forming political clubs and producing pamphlets advocating for women’s rights. They also took part in revolutionary festivals and processions and the violence of the Reign of Terror.

The revolution also saw the emergence of a new type of educated and politically active woman, “citizenship”. Although it brought some changes, these gains were short-lived.

This short essay, not quite the work of major historians of the French Revolution such as Richard Cobb and Simon Sharma, exaggerated the role of women in the violence of the “reign of terror,” but suggested a future doing. College students may be able to submit long and complex papers entirely generated by AI. So what does it mean to be educated at a liberal arts college? And why go to all the hassle and expense?

So, I head into 2023 with a sobriety of recognition, and my career as a CNN op-ed writer that began in earnest over a decade ago may not be exactly over yet. Because AI-generated editorials make factual errors just like humans do. .

Still, my writing practice can follow the same path as my grocery checkout job that has been eliminated by automation. As difficult as it gets, distinguishing AI-generated papers from “real” human papers gets harder over time.

As a writer and professor, it becomes a dystopian future. (This emotion he promises is not AI-generated.)

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