Sunday, February 26, 2023

On Robot Recipes and Baby Storytimes

This week some writers I know were quietly freaking out about the new AI Chapgpt.

Apparently, you can ask it to write books. Oh my God, my writer friends say. What if the robots put us all out of business? As I am not presently in the business, I have been watching this conversation with some amusement. Okay, sure, someone's going to ask AI to write a book, and some publishing company is going to publish it, and some people will fork over the twenty-something bucks for it, 

but some people buy pet rocks.  

Meanwhile, my computer-programmer son asked AI to write him a recipe for a stir fry that featured "local vegetables and ground lamb." The AI generated all of the ingredients and the steps. At the end of the recipe, it added: "Enjoy!" The meal was delicious, my son said. We live in a strange new world. 

But I forgot all of that the other day. I was busy. The library's weekly Baby Storytime needed a sub, and I’d volunteered. Another co-worker partnered up with me and it was a good thing too. I really had no idea what I was doing. Read a story? Sing a song? I wasn't exactly sure what Baby Storytime entailed.

Turned out it was a Whole Big Thing. Props. Bins of toys. An iPad loaded with music we were meant to play. A PowerPoint so parents could sing along. But these parents were pros. Many of them come every week. They know the rhyme tunes and the fingerplay gestures. We all had a blast, and I didn't think it could get any more fun, but then, my co-worker brought out the bubble machine. 

The library has a bubble machine? How did I not know this? In only a few seconds bubbles shot out all over the room. 

I'd been sitting on the floor throughout the story-time, and I stayed there, watching the toddlers dance after the bubbles, the babies crawling around or still plunked on their parents' laps. I was having weird flashbacks to library story-times when my own kids were little. The weird part is that many of the parents in the room are the age of my kids now.

But here's a fun fact: no matter how much time has passed, you never forget the words to the "Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round" and "If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands." 

For a moment, this strange new world is familiar again. I clap my hands.   

AI chatgpt-created Stir Fry with Lamb and Vegetables

Bubbles at Baby Storytime

No comments:

Post a Comment