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Will A.I. Hike Our Hikes?

The technology of Artificial Intelligence or A.I. is permeating our lives. But is it taking over? Will it write our words, read our texts, and speak our minds? Well, yes, it already is. We hear the drone and oddly flat speech of A.I. generated voiceovers daily now — it was a lot more uncommon until recently. There’s been a surge. We also see A.I. generated imagery pretty frequently as well nowadays. And this, unlike A.I.’s weird speech, is harder to detect and quantify. Have we handed over 5% of reality yet? We have no idea. So will A.I. take over and start hiking our hikes for us? That’s unlikely, but do expect to witness a possibly undetectable blending or melding as A.I. finds its place in this arena.

In an effort to analyze this threat — assuming we will think of it as a “threat” — we decided to put today’s current tech to the test. Will A.I. affect our job security as guides or outfitters? Will A.I. hike our hikes or lead our guests? No, not yet, and there’s nothing to be gained by it at this time so we’re safe… right? How about our words? Will A.I. take charge in that realm? As of right now, we think not as this would spark Humanity’s Great Dumbing Down, but it’s getting closer. How close? Well, check out the A.I. generated content that follows and decide for yourself. To begin, using ChatGPT4 by OpenAI, we created a story (and images by Midjourney) based on the following prompt:

Write a short story about a hiker having a really tough time on his hike in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. — The Humans Asked Nicely

To which ChatGPT-4 offered this content which was written entirely by A.I. in shockingly less than ten seconds:

AI-generated by Midjourney.

Once upon a time, in the majestic White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire, a hiker named Ethan embarked on a daring adventure. With his backpack filled with essentials, a heart full of determination, and a map guiding his way, he set off to conquer the rugged trails that wound through the pristine wilderness.
Ethan was an experienced hiker, having tackled numerous challenges before, but little did he know that this particular hike would push him to his limits. As he ventured deeper into the forest, the weather took an unexpected turn. Dark clouds loomed overhead, and a gentle drizzle transformed into a relentless downpour.
Undeterred by the rain, Ethan continued, his footsteps growing heavier with each step. The once clear trail became a muddy path, making progress slow and treacherous. The dense fog rolled in, obscuring his vision and transforming the familiar surroundings into an unfamiliar maze.
As he trudged on, a deep sense of isolation crept over him. The normally bustling forest seemed eerily quiet, with only the sound of raindrops and his own breath breaking the silence. Ethan’s confidence wavered, and doubt began to gnaw at his resolve.
Fatigue started to settle in, and his muscles screamed in protest. His boots, soaked through and heavy, made each step feel like a herculean effort. Slipping and sliding on the treacherous terrain, he battled against exhaustion and the relentless elements.
Hours turned into what felt like an eternity, and Ethan wondered if he had lost his way. With the daylight fading, panic began to take hold. But just when despair threatened to consume him, a faint glimmer of hope emerged. Through the mist, he caught sight of a flickering light in the distance.
Summoning his last reserves of energy, Ethan pushed forward, guided by the flickering beacon. As he drew closer, the light revealed itself to be a warm, welcoming cabin nestled amidst the trees. Exhausted but relieved, he stumbled toward the shelter.
Inside the cabin, Ethan found solace. A crackling fire danced in the hearth, casting a comforting glow on the worn wooden walls. The cabin’s owner, a kind-hearted ranger, greeted him with a hot cup of tea and a sympathetic smile.
As Ethan recounted his arduous journey, the ranger listened intently. He reassured the weary hiker that the White Mountain National Forest could be an unforgiving place, even for the most experienced adventurers. He reminded Ethan that it was not a sign of weakness to seek refuge and assistance when needed.
With his body nourished, his spirit renewed, and a newfound respect for the power of nature, Ethan spent the night in the cabin. When morning arrived, the storm had passed, leaving behind a fresh blanket of glistening snow.
With gratitude in his heart, Ethan bid farewell to the cabin and resumed his hike. This time, he carried with him not only the memories of his challenging experience but also the lessons learned along the way. As he ventured deeper into the forest, he embraced the unpredictable nature of the wilderness, ready to face whatever obstacles lay ahead, knowing that his resilience would guide him through. —Replied The Robot


AI-generated image created by Midjourney. Note the right boot oddity. We’re safe for now.

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