At a recent writers' group meeting we discussed the use of AI in creative writing with an initial attempt at poetry giving sentences that did rhyme but lacked soul.
Rather than writing new material I asked different AI programs to improve some existing material. With Wordworth's "Daffodils" ChatGPT and Bard rewrote the poem whereas Bing gave some suggestions on how to improve it.
With Hamlet's "soliloquy" ChatGPT and Bard again rewrote the speech, but Bing recognised the piece and said that it was "not easy to improve such a masterpiece" and only gave suggestions on delivering the speech.
Should we be concerned that AI tried to improve these classic pieces or that it couldn't? The real worry however is that if we were to unleash more possibilities and control it might rewrite computer code such as the missile control systems to make them faster to respond and easier to use which might not be a step forward.
AI is the modern Pandora's Box except that the box is well and truly open and there might not be a "Hope" note at the bottom.
The rewrites were not an improvement.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic
Be kind and give Zed a break
For those of you criticising Zed Seselja's attempted change of employment, have you never left one job to go to another? Or have you, on losing one job, spent the rest of your life in isolation? And don't forget, he didn't quit - his job was taken from him. Why shouldn't he find another job?
Are you so nasty that you don't wish him well, regardless of whether you agree with him or not? I don't support his views, but I do support his right to get on with his life, just like the rest of us.
Are you so nasty that you don't wish [Zed Seselja] well, regardless of whether you agree with him or not?- Helen Ferguson, O'Connor
Helen Ferguson, O'Connor
Radio service was important
Rohan Goyne (Letters, November 27), reminds us of our World War II overseas radio service. When I joined the ABC in 1961, "Radio Australia" was no longer a wartime "propaganda" outlet. It was, however, the most popular and trusted short-wave information and entertainment service in the world. Broadcasting 20 hours a day from the ABC studios in Melbourne (the transmitters were in central Victoria), my colleagues and I provided programs and news in English and more than 20 other languages.
Before conservative governments later slashed its funding, Radio Australia was regarded as a vital component of our "soft" diplomacy in the region, especially Indonesia. Radio Australia's ABC sourced independent and impartial news service was much more highly regarded than the big players of the period, the Voice of America and Radio Peking.
Eric Hunter, Cook
Do our bit but no more
When will climate change warriors like Dr Amy Hiller (Letters, November 24) and others like her ever start to recognise some basic facts about Australia's misguided push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I am still waiting for proponents like her to explain how Australia can make any difference to global warming, let alone climate change, when Australia contributes but 1.1 per cent of world emissions and produces only 7 per cent of world coal said to be causing most emissions.
These agitators need to answer this question and why an estimated spend of $1.5 trillion on emissions reduction for zero effect on global warming is a good idea. Given that global warming is occurring (even critics of the panic merchants agree that warming is slowly occurring), Australia's climate policies should be on drought and flood protection for the country, not on excessive, ideological emissions policies for zero effect. That said, Australia, as a good world citizen, needs to do its bit but not shoot itself in both feet economically, as it is at present.
M. Flint, Canberra
Jesus doesn't neatly pick sides
Keith Hill (Letters, November 22), caution might be advised before co-opting Jesus into the "woke" brigade. Whilst Jesus certainly spoke into justice issues of his time, notably elevating the status of women and the poor, he also set moral standards that many - woke or otherwise - find challenging today.
Not only did he condemn murder and adultery, but also the causal passions of rage and lust (Matthew 5). Jesus doesn't neatly take sides - we can't cherry-pick his teachings.
Cathy Douglas, Jerrabomberra
DAs comments meaningless
We have been invited by the ACT government to comment on a number of DAs in relation to intended housing along Curran Drive, Nicholls. However these DAs are all interrelated and cumulative in their effects, so commenting on an individual DA is quite meaningless without knowing the surrounding milieu.
Furthermore the final stages of the proposed developments are not intended to take place for many years. How can we make a judgement about those at this time?
As currently proposed the whole DA process is inherently illogical and should be revamped. How about moving ahead with an assessment of a combination of the first two DAs and then reevaluating the situation if/when that work is completed?
Ken Menz, Nicholls
Bring back the Doctor
The ABC losing the broadcast rights to Disney for Doctor Who is a crime against Australian society. Section 129: That the ABC maintain the broadcast rights to Doctor Who and spin offs ad infinitum, is a referendum question most Australians and Peter Dutton would support.
Peter Buchanan, Ainslie
No fan of Vanstone piece
I forced my way through Amanda Vanstone's article on the Voice (Opinion, November 23) trying unsuccessfully to be impartial. Pure IPA. Did she select the right newspaper?
I'm wondering if the next article will claim volcanoes are the source of excess carbon dioxide.
Jenny Clarke, Karabar
Time is perilously short
The recent letters and editorial on our climate change predicament all miss a fundamental truth. Our way of life is dependent on fossil fuels.
The dramatic growth of the global human enterprise and population since the industrial revolution has been enabled by fossil fuels and particularly oil.
Everything we do involves energy or a product of energy use.
The result is we have overshot the natural carrying capacity of the planet as is evident in the global degradation of the environment, the loss of biodiversity, depletion of natural resources and of course climate change.
Nature created fossil fuels for free. They are phenomenally dense carriers of chemical energy and all we have to do is dig them up and use them when and how we wish, but even these are showing signs of depletion.
We now have to try and create our energy sources from nature's diffuse energy flows such as sunlight, wind, radioactivity or by creating storages for water to generate hydroelectricity.
If we choose not to do it Mother Nature will do it for us chaotically through climate change impacts and other feedbacks.
Time is perilously short. I hope for the best, but fear the worst.
Trevor Powell, Bruce
Choose our allies carefully
The Sunday Canberra Times article on the Montevideo sinking gives Australia several lessons and things to consider.
Firstly, Australia's defence capacity was woeful in December 1941 when Japan attacked in our region. Our Rabaul defence was rapidly overwhelmed.
The Lombok plantation massacre of Aust POWs followed. Then the Montevideo was loaded up with POWs (including some civilians) and set off for Japan. Tragedy struck.
Japan released records in 2012. For 71 years it kept its dirty secrets. From mid-1942 Japan had all but lost the war, fighting to delay inevitable defeat.
A few weeks ago it was reported on radio news that a retired head of Japan's Self Defence Force wants Australia to allow the SDF to train here.
So, does Australia want Japan as a military ally? A nation that brutalised tens of millions of people during WWII, incompetently fought on when WWII was lost to it, and cruelly hides records of its past?
Christopher Ryan, Watson
We are among worst offenders
Australians are among the top 1 per cent of the world's greenhouse emitters.
That 1 per cent of the world's population causes more than three times their share of greenhouse emissions. In 2019 the average Australian caused 24 tonnes of greenhouse emissions.
That was almost four times the world average of 6.4 tonnes. Only the Solomon Islands, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates caused more emissions per capita than Australia.
If climate changes proceed as expected, one in six species could face extinction.
Australians are putting one and a half million species at risk of extinction - including 100,000 Australian species and 1000 species in the ACT - while we each continue to add more than six tonnes of greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere each year.
Leon Arundell, Downer
TO THE POINT
Given Zed's pre-selection loss, I wonder if he had delayed exchanging contracts on both the Canberra and Queanbeyan properties until the results were known?
Byam Wight, Kingston
Does Zed's failure to win the casual NSW senate vacancy mean he's not moving to Queanbeyan?
Graeme Rankin, Holder
Now that Zed Seselja has been rejected for the NSW Liberals Senate seat, I sincerely hope he turns his attention back to the ACT. I implore the ACT Liberals to select him as their lead candidate for the next election.
Rob Ey, Weston
When a departmental secretary or CIT chief executive is under investigation for not really earning their obscenely high salary, they are stood down on full pay, for ages, because of "procedural fairness". Does the same apply to Centrelink clients? Engineer robodebt, your huge salary continues, be a victim of robodebt, suicide or beg, borrow or steal just to survive. Seems fair.
Maria Greene, Curtin
With the overwhelming resources devoted to maintaining suffocating surveillance and repression of Palestinians, it should be questioned why there was such abject failure by Israel on October 7 and if Hamas tunnels are Israel's WMD chimera ("Tunnel vision on a central claim", November 25).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan
MUSIC AS INTENDED
It would be worth noting that those who attend concerts of classical music do not require drugs to assist their listening. Were music taught in more schools perhaps this would have already become apparent. Wishing all who find drug-taking necessary a welcome change.
Renée Goossens, Turner
PROTEST ON OWN TIME
If students want to protest about climate change or Palestine, fine, do so. But do it at the weekend when you don't have school. School is the place to learn so you can change the future. You need it. Don't abuse it. Shout your voice at the weekend.
Ian Jannaway, Monash
The government's response and the reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Israel's butchering of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza is markedly different. The government was quick to publicly denounce Putin but very reticent to call out Netanyahu. "Why?", asks this Christian Ukrainian.
Lubomira Thompson, Yarralumla
NICE JOB IF YOU CAN GET IT
So the chief executive of Canberra TAFE is paid $373,000 for doing I am not sure what even when at work, but hasn't been at work for 18 months. Where do I apply?
John Coochey, Chisholm
JOYCE CAN'T BE TRUSTED
Barnaby Joyce seemingly can't look beyond "a US survey" for a few relevant facts and figures ("Joyce believes JKF conspiracy theory", November 23). This MP's latest attempt to gain some public attention can be added to a growing list that demonstrates quite clearly why he should never be trusted with any executive position in his party or in any future LNP government.