The A.I. Challenge

CHATGPT AND THE FUTURE OF LITERATURE PART ONE


The sudden emergence of the ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence device has raised a host of questions about what effect it will have on writers, and on literature itself.

To attempt to plot out where we’re headed, one has to look at both extremes of reaction– not just to A.I., but to the contemporary world itself.

TRUE BELIEVERS

Over the past thirty years new technology has become a religion. Its entrepreneurs and advocates see it as a solution to all problems– and are blind to its many downsides. On social media, apologists for A.I. and for everything digital are everywhere. For them, the Internet IS the world.

In the arena of art and letters, the thrust of their arguments is that A.I. allows greater, or at least easier, creativity. Much time is spent defending against accusations of plagiarism and copyright violations– which are not the biggest issues with A.I. technology.

THE REFUSAL-TO-CHANGE CROWD

At the other extreme are writers and literary critics who can’t conceive of any change to the refined literary art they know and love. Their essays overflow bemoaning the dwindling status of “serious reading,” as they look back fondly at past “avant-garde” innovators such as Virginia Woolf, now safely dead.

How will they react to an invasion of ChatGPT novels into an already-saturated publishing market?

One can expect they not only won’t attempt to use the device (well, some of them will if the wind blows strongly in that direction), they also won’t try to change the art to put it more in step with a changing world– as a way to ward off the A.I. threat. Instead they’ll retreat further into their bunker and their canons of the past. In this instance, classical music is the model for what will happen.

THE FUTURE

What are the real pros and cons of A.I. technology applied to writing and literature? What’s the best strategy to follow: to embrace the technology, or find ways to defend against it? I’ll address these questions in a future post.

In the meantime, what do you think?

<<<>>>

-Karl Wenclas for New Pop Lit News

Emma Gonzalez’s Curious Connections

THE MOTHER LODE OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES?

datacenter

EVERYONE KNOWS Parkland student David Hogg is the son of a former FBI agent. One can figure Dad has advised young David each step of the way during the remarkable movement which has sprung from the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

But what about the other face of the student movement, Emma Gonzalez? Does her father have ties, past or present, to the U.S. intelligence community?

He does.

joseg

Emma’s father, Jose E. Gonzalez, is the CEO of Trapezoid Inc., a Miami-based digital security firm. One of Trapezoid’s chief partners is DigitalEra Inc. Mr. Gonzalez was recently named to DigitalEra’s board of directors, along with James Cason. See this:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/digitalera-group-appoints-james-cason-jose-gonzalez-to-its-board-300494494.html

James Cason has an interesting biography:

“Cason spent 38 years as a Foreign Service Officer for the US State Department, serving in 12 countries. He’s been the Ambassador to Paraguay and Chief of Mission in Havana, Cuba.  Cason has received numerous awards from State, Defense, the White House and the intelligence community.”

Before founding Trapezoid, Jose E. Gonzalez worked for DigitalEra, helping them expand into “managed information security services.”

Among its other tasks, DigitalEra tracks “key security events,” including hacker conventions like DEF CON in Las Vegas– an event, according to DigitalEra, regularly attended by Federal law enforcement agents.

Another major investor in Trapezoid is CoVant Management Inc., based in McLean, Virginia. CoVant invests in the federal government technology services industry. Meaning, in firms which do business with the federal government.

TERREMARK

terremark

Jose E. Gonzalez’s most interesting employment was from 2000 to 2007 with the now-defunct Terremark Inc., where he worked as its Chief Legal Officer, then as Senior Vice-President.

Founder, and CEO when Gonzalez worked there, was Manuel D. Medina. Born in Cuba, Medina left that country with his parents in 1965, at age 13, “because of the extensive political changes in the country” per wikipedia.

JAMIE DOS SANTOS

jamiedossantos

In 2001, Medina hired Jamie Dos Santos to oversee the transition of Terremark from a real estate firm to a security firm. She became CEO and President of subsidiary Terremark Federal Group, which was based not in Miami but in Herndon, Virginia. Its objective was to secure government security contracts– which were in abundance following 9-11.

Ms. Dos Santos has been involved in a number of similar corporations, during her time at Terremark and afterward. One example is the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, incorporated in 2003 with Dos Santos as Director. It’s currently inactive.

A noteworthy incorporation which took place after her Terremark time was the curiously-named Isis Defense Corporation in McLean, Virginia (less than a mile away from the Department of Homeland Security), created in 2013 with Jamie Dos Santos as President and CEO, and still active.

In 2014 Jamie Dos Santos was appointed as a Member of President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board. Currently Dos Santos is the CEO of Cybraics Inc., which uses Artificial Intelligence to enhance security– presumably for business and government.

It’s not known how close a business or personal relationship Jose E. Gonzalez has with Jamie Dos Santos– other than they’re both prominent in the government-business security field and both worked in important positions at the same time for the same company.

MORE TERREMARK

Exactly how big and powerful Terremark was in the government-security field is evidenced by this analysis of why Verizon purchased Terremark Worldwide Inc. in 2011.

18028_Verizon-Brooklin

Verizon-Terremark was given the enormous government contract to run the healthcare.gov website, which infamously crashed late 2013. This fiasco led to the end of Terremark, whose data centers were sold to Equinix Inc. for $3.6 billion.

ARTHUR L. MONEY

Another past Terremark employee of note is Arthur L. Money, on its board and a strategic advisor to Terremark on homeland security affairs from 2003 to 2011. Money has played huge roles in the government-business security relationship, including as the Assistant Secretary of Defense under Bill Clinton, and later as first chairman of the FBI‘s Science and Technology Advisory Board under George W. Bush.

Arthur L. Money has been on the board of too many security firms to count. One example is the Paladin Capital Group, set up three months after 9-11 specifically to capitalize on federal investments in security after the terrorist attacks.

CONCLUSIONS

Jose E. Gonzalez, father of Parkland survivor student activist Emma Gonzalez, is an expert on security, and has direct connections to several of the most important players in the government security field. It’s highly ironic that the two most important Parkland activists have fathers who were or are in that field. When the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took place, all their expertise went for naught– despite numerous warnings about the shooter given to police agencies and the FBI.

THIS commentator doesn’t believe there was any advance conspiracy to stage the shooting, or even to allow it to take place. It’d be absurd to think parents would purposely allow their children in the vicinity of that kind of danger. However, it’s logical to believe the parents would do everything they could after the tragedy to transfer focus away from the failure of police agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation to act on the many advance warnings.

What some see as conspiracy, NPL News sees (despite the many observed connections) as simple government incompetence.

-K.W.

(Be sure to read the other interesting posts on this blog– and check out our main site, New Pop Lit.)