Jeff Jarvis is not a fan of Ted Chiang's piece on CgatGPT, although he does admit TC (one of my favourite authors) "makes a clever comparison between lossy compression... and large-language models, which learn from and spit back but do not record the entire web". Indeed, he takes the metaphor further: "what is journalism itself but lossy compression of the world? ... what is a library or a museum or a curriculum but lossy compression — that which fits? What is culture but lossy compression of creativity?"
He reaches for another comparison: the authority of print. " It took time for print to earn its reputation of uniformity, accuracy, and quality and for new institutions — editing and publishing — to imbue the form with authority... it was not until a century and a half after Gutenberg that major innovation occurred with print... the essay... novel... newspaper... It may be too early to use [LLMs] in certain circumstances (e.g., search) but it is also too early to dismiss them."
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