Witerati: A year as X-citing as it gets - Hindustan Times
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Witerati: A year as X-citing as it gets

ByChetna Keer
Dec 17, 2023 06:13 AM IST

Season 2023 served its share of surprises and surmises. Thanks to ChatGPT, cyberia’s shocks and cosmetics-coated rocks

That time of the year, again.

Dear 2023, grateful for so many small things. (HT File)
Dear 2023, grateful for so many small things. (HT File)

Thanksgiving. Gratitude. For the year gone by. For the surprises, surmises and survivals. For things good, bad and naqli.

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Gratitude Note One.

Dear 2023, how can one not start with the phenomenon that ruled you no end! From leadership summits to litfests, from social media to social galas.

ChatGPT.

Thankful that you saved us from an invasion by this phenomenon that is lurking over us like the proverbial Orwellian “Big Brother”. Or like the looming ball from the Virat bat, that one isn’t sure whether it will land a sixer or land us losers in the World Cup.

Gratitude, that you egged on many of us Tweeple to plod about the business of living without letting that boon or bane called ChatGPT mind all our business.

Yours was a season that at the macro level saw global top guns, from British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to teach billionaire Elon Musk confabulating at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Safety Summit its pros and cons, and at the micro level, too, spelt some pros and cons.

That many of us were able to churn out our prose or poetry without the prompt-prodded ingenuity of AI proved a triumph for human intelligence.

Gratitude, especially at a personal level, that you steered one to surviving the first real virtual threat from AI. A ChatGPT-manufactured book review for one’s latest “Gulmohar” saga.

AI had seemed set to invade one’s literary space when a revered former senior editor had dished out this prompt: “ChatGPT, write a review for ‘Garnets Under My Gulmohar’.”

That ChatGPT flunked miserably to make the grade, saving the year.

Alas, all said and done, your closing weeks are stoking a sentiment of susceptibility. There is one domain for which one is veering to vulnerability of turning to AI.

The growing grip of memory loss or brain fog, wherein human intelligence has started to terribly totter.

Of late, how one has been wishing to put AI or Alexa to acid tests, riding prompts that may entail household hunting excavations — “Locate misplaced keys or lost phone and paraphernalia.”

The curious case of AI’s prose and kauns.

Season of X-factors

Gratitude Note Two.

Dear 2023, grateful for making one survive the case of that missing Bird.

The year saw one waking one fine morning to a world devoid of one of the famous birds. A frantic search later, the vocal cords caterwauled the ultimate digital-age tragedy.

“OMG, my phone has been hacked!”

A sentiment shared surely by Tweeple the world over.

Only to be enlightened, by fellow addicts, that it was not a case of hacking, but a case of rebranding.

The iconic blue birdie had fallen prey to the X-factor. Twitter had a new face and flavour.

The curious case of as X-asperating as it gets.

Roads to redemption

Gratitude Note Three.

Dear 2023, grateful for the facial you dished out for our Capital’s ageing avenues that had begun to look like faded faces of Bollywood heroines whom nobody wishes to now cast.

Thankful that you invited a cosmetic surgeon disguised as a political showstopper — Group of 20 (G20).

What a botox job you delivered for Dilli’s “dowager” streets that they began to resemble wilted Grande Dames excavating “kanjeevarams” and “kumkums” for a lifetime film award nite.

The curious case of “Rock Aur Rouge Ki Prem Kahani”

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