You are who the Internet says you are.
You can influence that by showing up and telling your story.
But if you don’t, the Internet will tell your story anyway.
That’s one implication few people are considering amid the enthusiasm for large language models such as GPT-3.
The Internet is awash with excitment over the new AI tools that automatcially generate text.
For me one takeway is that it will be increasingly risky or impossible to opt out of an online presence.
Whether you write your own story or not, AI will do so.
I asked GPT3 to write my biography. It picked up that I recently started a writing agency called Principals Media.
But it missed a word in my former title at Bloomberg that introduced a massive error. I was Global Head of News Product, not Global Head of Bloomberg News.
The gaffes got bigger when the model said I was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and led the firm’s research.
I am also allegedly writing a presidential biography and a biography about Walter Bagehot, an English journalist from the 1800s.
The Bagehot reference seemed totally random.
I’m not here to dunk on GPT3. It’s clearly going to get much better faster.
The issue is that the model writes with such clarity and assertiveness that it’s totally convincing.
And the model doesn’t seem to have a “not sure” mode. You ask. It answers.
GPT3 has brought forward a reckoning: technology that can scour the web for details about people and put them in one place.
Currently, you can find a person’s address and past addresses. You can find their parents and siblings, political contributions and often their wedding gifts.
Imagine if that data were all accessible and combined into a profile.
Here’s my AI biography:
Ted Merz is an experienced financial professional and storyteller who has held a variety of roles in the media and financial services industries. He is currently the Founder of Principals Media, a content strategy and storytelling firm for business leaders. He was formerly the Global Head of News at Bloomberg News, where he was responsible for developing and executing strategies for the global newsroom. He has also served as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, where he led the Global Investment Research division. He is the author of a presidential biography and a forthcoming biography about Walter Bagehot , and he has made numerous appearances on television and radio.