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When virtual reality surpasses real reality, little remains of the real reality

Recent scientific reports are interesting and at the same time truly alarming because, although they seem to be taken from a science fiction movie, they are real situations that blur the boundaries between reality and illusion or fantasy

For example, the wildly successful artificial intelligence known as ChatGPT passed the entrance exam to the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania a few days ago. Although ChatGPT did not get top marks (it answered 80% of the questions correctly), it provided “excellent explanations” for its answers.

At the same time, in another experiment, ChatGPT answered enough questions correctly to pass the Multi-State Bar Exam, a multiple-choice test that law graduates must pass before officially beginning to practice law.

As if that weren't enough, ChatGPT also passed (albeit with minimal marks) all three parts of the US Medical Licensure Exam thanks to demonstrating "high levels of consistency and creative ideas in their explanations."

Some time ago, a profile created on LinkedIn using only images and text generated by artificial intelligence was so attractive that (unaware that "Katie Jones" was an artificial intelligence and not a real person) US government officials and people with high level of business and social influence connected with that profile.

"Katie Jones" posed as a representative of a group of experts in Washington DC. That give “her” the opportunity to connect with a ranking official of the United States Secretary of State, with the office of an influential senator, and with a renowned economist.

It is worth mentioning that since that incident the creative capacity of artificial intelligence has progressed so much that currently “images created by AI now look more real than genuine photos", warned in a recent article (January 23, 2023) Dr. Manos Tsakiris, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for the Politics of Sentiments at Royal Holloway University in London.

And there are more examples. On January 25, Congressman Jake Auchincloss (D-Massachusetts) gave a speech on bipartisan legislation written entirely by artificial intelligence.

For his part, Rabbi Joshua Franklin, of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons (New York) gave a complete sermon a few weeks ago, created by ChatGPT, on the story of Joseph in Egypt. The sermon was very well received and if Franklin had not revealed that he was not the author of the sermon, his congregation would never have known about it.

In another development showing science fiction has become science fact, scientists from China and the United States invented a melting liquid robot that can escape from a cage.

So, what does this new situation mean for us? According to Dr. Tsakiris, “The transition to a world where what’s real is indistinguishable from what’s not could also shift the cultural landscape from being primarily truthful to being primarily artificial and deceptive.”

From another perspective, the philosopher Markus Gabriel affirms that "we do not evade reality by deceiving ourselves or being deceived with respect to it, since the reality is that from which we cannot distance ourselves."


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