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From The Chief Editor's Desk...

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

That has to be my favorite line of all time. No matter how you read it, just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean that you necessarily should do it. It promotes restraint and careful deliberation before going off half-cocked and doing something merely because you can, and without fully understanding/appreciating/discovering the ramifications and consequences of your actions.

Father-Daughter dance, March 2023

This is how I feel about the emergence of the AI chatbots. And, it's not because I'm against the emergence of AI chatbots. That part is inevitable. For me, it comes down to timing. These chatbots couldn't have possibly emerged at a worse time. Let me explain.

We, as a people, are more divided now than probably at any time in human history. We are divided along social, economic, racial, religious, political, and ideological lines (and virtually every other dividing line you can imagine) more greatly now than ever.

As such, disinformation and misinformation campaigns tend to rule the flow of information. That flow is torrential, as each "side" in the ongoing disputes tries to get "their message" across to the greatest number of people. Much of the time, the "winner" in these battles tend to be those who make the most noise, without regard for the truth. All sides in these battles are at fault, so I'm not pointing fingers at any "side." This makes it difficult for individuals who are seeking the truth to be able to discern what of the information, disinformation and misinformation flow is truth and which is just static falsehoods.

NOW, we get AI chatbots who can write plays, movies, research papers, dissertations, poetry, novels, etc., etc., etc. With the line of truth already so obliterated and/or blurred, this isn't the best time for the emergence of chatbots.

Personally, I've avoided the new AI chatbots like the dog tries to avoid fleas. AI chatbots are definitely in their infancy, and should only improve as time goes on. But we also need some controls on these chabots. In more extreme views, I sometimes have visions of an AI monstrosity like Skynet in the Terminator movies. Unless their use is restricted and their abilities rolled out more slowly to give people a chance to get use to their capabilities, the line of truth could very easily be more easily blurred and/or obliterated.

We are already losing our ability to "think for ourselves" as mob mentality grips the various factions of division and those that subscribe to the ideas pushed by those factions. It would only complicate resolution of those differences to the nth degree if/when AI chatbots make the truth even harder to obtain.

I'm not against the use of AI (as you'll see). Like I mentioned earlier, its use and steady improvement over time is inevitable. But, I do think its rollout should proceed at a slower pace, one which will give us time to implement some much needed safeguards.


This month's cover was created by an AI image creator, called DALL-E. The website allows you to type in a plain text description of what you are wanting a picture of, and then generates that picture. My "generation" text was "Cartoonish Linux mascot Tux dressed as the Easter Bunny, in a large green meadow with mounds of Easter candy and Easter eggs strewn all about." The site is literally getting hammered, as people give it a try. It took probably about 10 or so times of me hitting the "Generate" button to finally get results. All of the other times, I kept getting messages that the server-load was high, and to try again later. However, once the server was able to complete my request, DALL-E gave me four results to choose from. This image is one of those four, and the ONLY one that actually had the Linux mascot Tux in it. The other three images were of a cartoonish Easter Bunny. These four images were produced in a manner of seconds. Yes, I said seconds.


Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity, prosperity, and continued good health!

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