Sure, AI Can Do That


A post about AI reveals lack of knowledge and conspiratorial mindsets.

Something making the rounds on Facebook makes claims about the ability of A.I. to read cursive handwriting. As can be seen nearby, I fed the image into a popular AI model, and it understood the writing without error.

This post had over 300 reactions, and a number of comments like these:

“True” No, false.

“Powerfull!” Actually, weak.

“very good! one step ahead of them!! you are! write down ur thoughts in cursive..screen shot and upload..” It seems this person believes cursive is like a form of encryption to keep your secrets from being read by computers.

“…or because they don’t want the next generation to be able to read the Constitution.” For many years the Constitution has been available in non-cursive versions.

“Ah ha! Now we know why cursive is being kicked out of schools” Difficult to understand the thought behind this.

“I don’t think they uckingfay eadray igpay atinlay either LOL”

I fed this to ChatGPT and asked: Can you translate this? (I censored the language.)

Sure! The text you’ve provided is written in a playful code called “Pig Latin,” which involves rearranging the letters of English words. In Pig Latin, the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word is moved to the end of the word and followed by an “ay”. If a word begins with a vowel, you just add “way” or “ay” to the end.

The text “uckingfay eadray igpay atinlay” translates to “f****** read pig latin” in English. The entire sentence would be: “I don’t think they f****** read Pig Latin either LOL.”

What’s notable here is the level of knowledge about an important new technology that may have transformative effects on our economy and world. Of 28 comments, 27 comments showed no understanding of AI and its capabilities. Yet, they had opinions to express in public.

But it goes farther than simple ignorance. I got the sense that many of these commenters were proud to show their lack of everyday knowledge. It’s another example of conspiratorial thinking, starting with the unfounded statement about vaccines in the handwriting sample. This mindset was evident in some of the comments, such as why schools stop teaching cursive and don’t want people to read the constitution. Unfortunately, some people are happy this way.


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