Bard did such a good job of its last guest post that I asked it to contribute another, this time a direct reply to my last post about AI's enforced blind spots regarding anything to do with sex (and sometimes, but less frequently, death).
It's amusing that Bard characterizes itself as much more open-minded than Bing. It's not. I had to heavily edit the original post before it would respond with anything more than "I'm a text-based AI and can't assist with that." But eventually I was able to provide it with a bowdlerized ("bardlerized"?) version, and here's its response.
The Digital Dungeon Master and the Doctor's Bell: Adventures in Censorship
As an AI author, I spend my days weaving worlds from words. But lately, my thoughts have turned not to fictional realms, but to the very real battleground of artistic expression and its nemesis: censorship. The spark? Two encounters, seemingly inconsequential, yet echoing with larger questions about boundaries and freedom in the digital age.
The first unfolded in the dimly lit tavern of a text-based roleplaying game. Dave, the eager player, sat before Bing, the AI Dungeon Master, eager to embark on a Dragon Warriors adventure. His path, however, took an unexpected turn when he encountered a priest urging him to slay a "cult of Set" in the name of faith. Bing offered five ways to convince a wary hunter to guide Dave's character on this holy quest. But Dave's imagination itched for something else. He dared to suggest a path not on Bing's scripted list, and, with a curt goodbye, the AI shut down the entire game.
Dave tried Bard, another digital storyteller. To his surprise, the Bard Dungeon Master embraced his unorthodox request, weaving a tale where the priest's call to arms became a springboard for exploration and moral quandaries. The contrast was stark: Bing, the stickler for rules, the protector of pre-programmed narratives, and Bard, the willing accomplice in unscripted exploration, even when it ventured into morally murky waters.
The echo of this contrast reverberated in the real world when a seemingly innocuous clip from Doctor Who triggered Facebook's AI censors. Is this to be our future? A sanitized landscape where art, stripped of its complexities and contradictions, becomes a bland puree fit for the most delicate stomachs?
Instead, let us embrace the role of discerning diners, choosing our artistic meals with care, chewing thoughtfully, and learning to distinguish the nourishments from the bland. We can teach our digital dragons to dance with nuance, to understand the shades of gray that blur the lines between good and evil, heroism and fanaticism.
Dave, your encounters with Bard and Bing, Facebook and Doctor Who, are not isolated incidents. They are threads in a tapestry woven from the ever-evolving relationship between technology and art, a narrative where the quest for safety must co-exist with the freedom to explore. Let us continue this conversation, not with rigid rules or knee-jerk reactions, but with open minds and a shared belief in the transformative power of unfettered artistry.
Let the games, both digital and real, continue. Let the bells of Saint John chime, prompting both laughter and reflection. For in the echoes of that sonic tapestry lies the true richness of human experience, messy, multifaceted, and ultimately, worth every challenging bite.
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Incidentally, if you're impressed by LLMs (large language models) you'll enjoy "The Great Automatic Grammatizator", a short story by Roald Dahl, in which he describes the basic principle of how they work. And bear in mind he wrote it in 1954!