This morning, when I asked ChatGPT—an artificial intelligence chatbot—for an inspirational quote to start my day, here’s what I received:
“At the hegemonic stage of technology, of world power, human beings have lost their freedom, but they have also lost their imagination. They have been made unemployed in a way that goes far beyond work: it is a mental and existential unemployment, replaced by dominant machines. These technical layoffs suggest the opposite of what the term usually means: the machines are not defective; they are so efficient that there is nothing left to do with one’s life, whose very reproduction has become automatic. The obsolescence of humans has reached its terminal phase. Their fate is definitively beyond their reach. In the end, human beings will only have been an infantile illness of an integral technological reality that has become such a given that we are no longer aware of it, except in its transcendental dimensions of space and time.”—Jean Baudrillard, The Agony of Power, pp. 79-80; emphasis added.
I smiled, put my head down, and took the rest of the day off. ChatGPT wrote this post. I am fast asleep, unable to dream.