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Morfternight #67: I hope you slept well.
The one where no one knows you are a dog.
🤩 Welcome to the ten new Morfternighters who joined us last week.
We love to have you here, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading Morfternight.
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📷 Photo of the week
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👋 Monday Morning Greetings
Can you believe what just happened?
I was sitting in front of my laptop last night, just shy of one in the morning, when I suddenly realized I had not sent Morfternight yet!
Now, that happened before.
The classic suite of events starting from there is that I start writing a message like this one, select a photo, dive into my notes from the previous week to gather the most interesting ideas to share with y’all, and by the time I am done and hit that “Publish” button, it’s anywhere between three and four in the morning.
Morfternight has been published almost on time, and I am exhausted. Then I go to bed, sleep three to four hours, and start my week.
So what makes today special, you might be wondering?
Last night started exactly as I described above, but I could accept that Morfternight would be late, reaching your inboxes only on Monday morning, and in exchange, I would have a good night of sleep.
It may seem obvious to many (most?) of you. I hope that’s the case. For me, though, this is the next frontier. I never placed the quality, and quantity, of sleep above most, if not all, other activities.
I track the quantity and quality of my sleep with a device, and the results are not brilliant as the predominance of red and yellow in these charts demonstrate.
(Although the nightly score for each night is based on length and quality of sleep, there is a very strong correlation between the two).
So, here I am writing Morfternight late, and proud of it!
🗺️ Three places to visit today
This past weekend, I enjoyed engaging in two thought-provoking conversations. The first was about the potential of self-driving cars and the ethical implications of allowing computers to make life-altering decisions for us. The second was about ChatGPT and the impending wave of machine-generated content. How will we tell the difference between human-written copy and AI-generated copy?
I don’t know about you, but I am still at an early stage of reflection on these matters, and I don’t have firmly held opinions.
In both cases, I wonder what matters most between knowing whether a human or a computer was in charge and the quality of the output.
Regarding reliability, I am tempted to consider that anything that machines do better than us will be helpful. Still, I understand that many of us set the bar for computers much higher than humans. For example, we accept that millions will die yearly in traffic accidents because people are poor drivers, yet we want computers to reach zero accidents.
We complain that ChatGPT copy is, at times, wrong or superficial. Yet, we tolerate countless companies filling the web with insipid listicles and tutorials to leverage search engine organic traffic for years.
Maggie Appleton writes about the importance of differentiating humans from machines in The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI. I appreciate her perspective. Knowing when we interact with humans or computers will be critical going forward.
If there’s an area when we don’t want computers to be in charge, it is deciding when to make use of lethal force, even if the purpose is to protect the population against criminals. So you’ll be glad to learn that San Francisco terminated explosive killer cop bots unless, like me, you freak out thinking the program even existed to begin with.
The Work-From-Anywhere War Is Beginning. The pandemic forced most knowledge workers into experimenting with remote work. Many of them for the first time. Now companies try to get people back to the office at least partially, for many reasons, most of them wrong, but they are discovering that the people they most want may not be looking forward to that.
😂 F… PowerPoint
If you don’t like profanity, skip this one, but if you hate PowerPoint presentations even more, enjoy!