My name is Jerry Chacon. This is my personal blog. If you have been around for a while, you will note that this blog is a reboot. The old blog can be found at the Wayback Machine. I won’t spend any time talking about why I ditched the old one and replaced it with this one other than to say: (i) I am too old to remember (and too lazy to re-learn) how to import old posts from an old database, and (ii) those old posts are likely only interesting to me. So, to quote Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that“.

So why am I here? What am I doing?

But most importantly, why?

My answer: Stochastic Parrots. Fire, Electricity and Stochastic Parrots.

I will begin by stating…for the record…that I will end a three-decade legal career in [40] days. Specifically, I am retiring from my day job at the end of April 2023.

After all that time, I wanted to goof off. Really I did.

And then I read about Sydney.

She is the current poster child for the “Stochastic Parrot.” She is terrifying and I need to stop anthropomorphizing her.

GPT4 was released just a few days ago. It is even more amazing…and just as flawed as what came before.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Terminator-type scaredy-cat. Instead, my concerns go to the alignment problem of the 1940s Disney Cartoon, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice where Mickey Mouse enchants a broom and then can’t control it. A more recent version of my concern is in a scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron where the AI villain (Ultron) helps Thor and the other Avengers realize that the heroes’ values are not as clear as they believe.

I think you confuse “peace” with “quiet”.

Ultron, in The Avengers: Age of Ultron

I can completely relate. I remain naive to this day. I want life to be simple. Nuance is not my strong suit as it relates to how I want to live…or how I want to train an AI to live. Like the Avengers, I don’t even fully understand my own values. And as a lawyer, I got *really* good at nuance.

But, of course, the alignment problem is not my only concern.

In fact, my concerns are coming faster than I can write them down.

And of course, as I scratch the surface of each concern, I am shown (in stark contrast) the breadth of my ignorance. In fact, I don’t currently believe that I can add a verse to the debate that rages today, or to healing the cultural and societal divisions that complicate that debate.

Moreover, there are many brilliant people who are more knowledgeable than me and who are working hard on the problem.

And yet I am drawn ever closer. Why?

Just because I don’t believe that I can add a verse today, doesn’t mean that I can’t add a verse tomorrow.

This world is very different than it was 20 years ago. I am very different than I was 20 years ago. What hope have I to predict what the world needs in the next 20 years or even what capacities I will have over the course of that time span?

Add to this my firm belief that this current moment in time is akin to the invention of the combustion engine. Others describe it as akin to the invention of fire or electricity. It matters. It is important. I can’t just walk on by.

So here I am. And this blog is to help me get all of these thoughts out of my head…for all of you to poke at and help me contemplate. This is what I am doing. This is why I am here.

And so it begins.