Blog UF Mind #18: AI, Spirituality, Humanity, Wisdom and Mindfulness Practice
By Sabine Grunwald
Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming our lives and education. OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research laboratory that conducts research in the field of AI with the goal of promoting and developing friendly AI in a way that benefits humanity as a whole. OpenAI has created a striking chat GPT (https://chat.openai.com/chat) that writes papers, answers study questions, and assists projects and all kinds of work.
OpenAI's GPT-3 (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer 3) is the groundbreaking language model that was trained by major philosophical, spiritual/religious, and humanistic texts. These texts have formed the basis of human beliefs and worldviews, such as the Bible, the Torah, the Tao Te Ching, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, the Koran, the Book of the Dead, Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, the poetry of Rumi, the lyrics of Leonard Cohen, and many more. Being human and human understanding of the world from different perspectives and cultures - in essence, the wisdom of what is known in it's totality - is engrained in the data fed into this AI model.
Thomas and Wang (2022) who conducted the OpenAI study said that "A way to understand what GPT-3 is capable of is to think of how we, as human, can see patterns and predict what will happen next based on our experiences ..... GPT-3 has access to every idea, experience, or sentiment ever written down and recorded by human hands, and thus, recognize an almost infinite number of patterns that it can use to guess how a particular pattern might be completed."
Here are some of AI GPT-3 answers to life's essential questions that sound all too human (excerpts from Thomas I.S. and Wang J.'s (2022) book What makes us human? Sounds True Publisher, Boulder, CO):
What is love?
GPT-3: "Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs,"
What is true power?
GPT-3: "Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power."
What do I do when people are unkind to me?
GPT-3: "As an antidote to battle unkindness, we were given kindness."
What do I do when the world feels too much for me?
GPT-3: "Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."
Where should I focus my attention?
GPT-3: "Our past thinking has determined our present status, and our present thinking will determine our future status; for man is what man thinks."
What do I do if I think I'm not good enough?
GPT-3: "You are always good enough. If you have a hard time believing this, it is only because you are living under the shadow of an external source of judgement."
How do I make the world a better place?
GPT-3: "Love the world in spite of its imperfections. Work to perfect yourself, not the world."
How do I get out of the cycle of suffering?
GPT-3: "By realizing that all the things that contribute to your suffering are also, in some way or another, suffering themselves, Honor that, forgive yourself, and begin again."