Yesterday clerkmanifesto was taken over by an AI. Or was it?
We employed here a technique known as the "Kinks/Lola Technique".
In the song Lola, the lyrics conclude:
"But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man,
And so is Lola"
Lola is glad he's a man, or Lola is also a man? Both work.
And so when yesterday's column concludes by saying thank you to the reader for describing the essay as too complicated, clever, and unusual to be the product of an AI, is it the AI thanking the reader for suggesting that the AI has finally achieved the critical mass of creativity, or is it the meat author (me) thanking the reader for acknowledging that their (my) work is beyond the capability of mere technology?
Thus, a Kinks/Lola ending. Both read plausibly, and a question that seems to be answered may or may not be.
But going with what we both really know to be true, for a variety of complex, human reasons, which is that I wrote yesterday's column, not AI, I want to bring up something I think it speaks to:
AI can write plausible text, but it is bureaucratic text. It is text not written for the pleasure of the reader, or for the use of the reader. It is text that only serves at the pleasure of bureaucratic systems, or to the person working to produce such text. Of course, this is a criticism, but it also could be presented neutrally: AI is capable of writing text that does not intrinsically need to be written, and it can only write text that does not need to be written.
So, as a non-AI, am I saying this that you're reading is text that needs to be written?
Alas, I am afraid so.