artificial intelligence

[Edgewise] Wayward AI-generated predictions for 2024

Rene Ciria Cruz

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[Edgewise] Wayward AI-generated predictions for 2024

Guia Abogado/Rappler

'The 96% of Filipinos who told an SWS survey they were hopeful for 2024 will be sorely disappointed by the end of the year. But they will be hopeful again for 2025.'

The following piece is satire.

My techie friend Calvin Q. Leitor is trying to ride the artificial intelligence wave by creating his own AI chatbot ala ChatGPT. It’s a work in progress I must say.

Cal’s app, MaritesWTF, is programmed to respond exclusively to text or voice messaging prompts from Filipinos about Philippine matters. But the app’s neural network algorithm often goes haywire, confusing its inference pattern recognition capability to interface with data sources – or something like that, what do I know?

It apparently tends to miss nuancescan’t differentiate fact, gossip, and rumor, and even makes up things or “hallucinates,” in AI parlance. This messes up responses to Filipino users’ queries about what will happen in 2024. 

Year-end predictions are usually patchwork abstractions of people’s inarticulate but real hopes, longings, and fears. That’s why the prophecies of our Madam Aurings always seem probable. But something’s really way off with chatbot MaritesWTF’s forecasts. 

Here are some of its auguries for 2024. Read at your own peril:

• Ex-President Duterte will seek political asylum in China. CPC boss Xi Jinping will order his chef to create a dish like General Tso’s Chicken in honor of his glorious great friend. It will be called President Digong’s Filipino Stir Fry in Own Oil. It will be Number 8 on most menus. 

• Vice President Sara Duterte will break her long silence on China’s continued aggression in the West Philippine Sea. She will deliver her televised address to the Filipino people in Mandarin.

• One euro will equal 63 pesos, so Sen. Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa will fall on his knees and cry, admitting he’s afraid of ICC incarceration while on trial in Holland because payment for detention expenses there might be “Dutch treat.” 

• To correct VP Sara’s thuggish personality, geneticists will advise an 11-day, P125-million chromosomal inversion therapy to reverse a sequence in her DNA. However, her Dep. Sec. will explain to the Senate that a confidential refresher course in grade school Good Manners and Right Conduct might suffice. 

• Critics will call Sen. Robin Padilla the poster boy of artificial intelligence. He won’t understand why. He will also keep quoting Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Che Guevara while dreamily combing his moustache during Senate sessions. 

• Sen. Imee Marcos will ask the Dutertes to adopt her. In a survey, 10% of respondents will say “Yes,” they would give Sen. Marcos the benefit of the doubt in the misuse of the Tobacco Excise Tax Fund scandal, but that she never had major cosmetic surgeries 80% will say, “Really?”

• First Lady Liza Marcos will be called the “National Marisol,” but she will keep denying she has a hand in presidential appointments while repeating her previous warning, “And if I find out that somebody is using my name, I shall tell my husband not to appoint you, okay?” 

• DDS bloggers will petition Webster’s to define “polvoron” as “a drug-related political scandal in the Philippines.” But Malacanang officials will snort at this, saying it’s just a snack that’s high on the list of presidential favorites.

• President Bongbong Marcos’ unli trips abroad will finally bring in one, actual, honest-to-goodness foreign investment, but as usual lousy broadband, tangled red tape, high power bills, corrupt bureaucrats, poor project completion track records, etc. will botch it at the last minute. Lawmakers will again furiously argue that the Constitution must be changed to encourage foreign investors. 

• Ex-Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile will still be alive and kicking at age 100, but his portrait will be in an advanced state of decomposition. He still will not let his conscience stand in the way of shameless historical revisionism.

• Evidentiary hearings in the sex trafficking and cash smuggling case in the US against Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who says he’s the “Owner of the Universe,” will reveal that it’s heavily mortgaged.

• SMNI red-taggers Lorraine Badoy and “Ka” Eric Celiz will militantly protest their network’s suspension as an assault on press freedom by going on another hunger strike, this time from 8 am to 12 noon. Ex-human rights defender Harry Roque will vlog an exciting play-by-play of their heroic sacrifice. 

• In the spirit of the successful historical film Gomburza, on the martyrdom of Fathers Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora, terrible infant Darryl Yap will direct a hysterical film Badcelsa to depict Badoy, Celiz, and DDS troll Sass Sasot’s martyr complex. 

• The 96% of Filipinos who told an SWS survey they were hopeful for 2024 will be sorely disappointed by the end of the year. But they will be hopeful again for 2025. 

These are awfully dubious artificial intelligence predictions, I told my friend Cal. More like superficial intelligence. 

He was defensive at first, threatening not to teach me how to use PowerPoint. But he eventually saw the light and calmed down.

“Sorry, but those are the patterns my chatbot currently identifies in domestic online sites, podcasts, vlog posts, tweets, TikTok reels, and the like,” he explained.

Okay, but shouldn’t they be more logically credible, the information less of a mishmash?

“I don’t understand why it’s not working smoothly,” he rued. “I had absolutely no problem programming video games.” – Rappler.com

Rene Ciria Cruz is an editor at PositivelyFilipino.com. He edited the book A Time to Rise: Collective Memoirs of the Union of Democratic Filipinos (KDP), (UP Press), and was Inquirer.net’s US Bureau Chief 2013-2023. He has written for the San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, Pacific News Service, and California Lawyer Magazine.

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  1. ET

    Very amusing satire. How about adding an incident? The Marcos-Romualdez Political Dynasty will create its own AI chatbot named “National Marisol” or NM Version 1.0. The Duterte Political Dynasty will have its DDS Version 1.0. Cal’s app, MaritesWTF will be the referee in this year’s bout: NM vs. DDS on the World Wide Web. Each contender will have its trolls as cheerers. Will Filipinos watch it?

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