Two figures for generative AI: the calculator and the mad scientist’s assistant

Bryan Alexander
5 min readFeb 23

As people grapple with ChatGPT 3 and other instances of generative artificial intelligence, we sometimes turn to imagination in order to describe and understand the technology.

I’ve seen folks raise the Terminator movies, HAL-9000, and generic scary robots to express their fears, for example. Others use history, bring up comparisons from prior technological revolutions, to think through possibilities: AI like the European printing press. One of my young students told me AI feels to him like the…

Bryan Alexander

Futurist, speaker, writer, educator. Author of the FTTE report, UNIVERSITIES ON FIRE, and ACADEMIA NEXT. Creator of The Future Trends Forum.