It’s been fascinating to finally arrive at the end of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains amidst the AI leap we’re witnessing with ChatGPT.
I’ve been reading The Shallows off and on for around two years, after learning of it via John Eldredge’s excellent (and immensely applicable) Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad.
In chapter 10, Carr recounts Joseph Weizenbaum’s creation of ELIZA in the mid 1960s, one of the world’s first natural language processors and a primitive chat bot of sorts.
Its success surprised and somewhat troubled Weizenbaum. A decade later he wrote a book titled Computer Power and Human Reason within which he cautioned readers of the inevitable consequences of intertwining our lives with computers.