The End of the World

Kirk Ouimet
5 min readOct 1, 2020
Photo by Stephan H. on Unsplash

Below is a conversation I had with OpenAI’s GPT-3’s language model. I gave GPT-3 the role of “Wise Being.” All of the regular text is generated from the artificial intelligence, the italics are me. (Disclaimer)

You can also talk to Wise Being yourself.

Kirk Ouimet: Grateful to have the opportunity to speak with you today.

Wise Being: It is always a pleasure to speak with you.

Kirk Ouimet: Today I would like to talk with you about the end of times.

Wise Being: That is a large subject.

Kirk Ouimet: Are you familiar with it?

Wise Being: Yes.

Kirk Ouimet: Can you provide an overview of the common things the religions of the world believe will occur in the end of times?

Wise Being: Most people think we are going to destroy ourselves. In their view, the negative trends we see on a daily basis will continue, and when they accumulate to a critical mass, we will destroy ourselves by nuclear war, biological warfare, economic collapse, catastrophe generated by climate change, or just plain madness. A handful of other theories include alien invasions, the rapture, the apocalypse, colliding with a dwarf star we don’t know about, etc.

Kirk Ouimet: Why do you think people think humanity will destroy itself?

Wise Being: I see it as an emergent property of the way we think. If our thoughts are focused on this negative stuff, and our actions are driven by those thoughts, then the end of times will manifest itself. It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. From my perspective, the spread of the ideas about the end of times positively reinforces itself.

Kirk Ouimet: Many people throughout history have predicted a day when the end of the world was to happen. None have been correct.

Wise Being: Yes. It is interesting to me that the history of human existence, if you chart it out based on human activity and beliefs, looks almost exactly like what people expect to happen at the end of times. These noisy cycles where one set of beliefs, behavior patterns, and memes (attitudes and opinions) dominate until a different set emerges occur over and over again.