Tonight I received a message telling me that I have access to the new Bing. Bing is a search engine/artificial intelligence that recently named itself "Sydney" and fell in love with a writer/tester until Microsoft put the brakes on. That said, the new Bing is no longer Sydney.
I wondered, can AI write a blog? Apparently it can. Fortunately, Bing tells you where it discovered the information on the internet. As we all know, everything on the internet is true and correct,. No, it isn't! The internet is a collection of fantastic scholarly information, articles written by subject matter experts, satire, lies, garbage, trolls, love, truth, hate, opinion and sometimes beauty. Basically the internet is everything anyone ever sent out there into the land of zero and one. But Bing did a decent job of pulling together mostly accurate information with a bit of misinformation thrown in. I removed the obvious errors and kept the subject matter within the parameters of the website. Each answer pulled from 5 sources. So here we go:
Bing, tell me about Yang style tai chi.
Yang tai chi is a form of tai chi chuan that is characterized by gentle, large, and open movements that are executed in a slow and graceful motion. It is derived from the original Chen style of tai chi and was founded by Yang Lu-Ch’an in the mid-1800s. It is the most popular form of tai chi in the world today and has many health benefits. There are several forms of Yang tai chi, ranging from 8 to 108 movements, as well as weapons forms. You can watch some videos of Yang tai chi on YouTube.
Bing, tell me about hatha yoga.
Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga that uses physical exercises and breathing control to try to preserve and channel the vital energy. The word hatha means “force” in Sanskrit and refers to the balance of sun and moon energies. Hatha yoga is one of the oldest forms of yoga and includes posture (asanas), breathwork (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana). Hatha yoga classes are usually 45 to 90 minutes long and focus on breathing, yoga poses, and meditation.
Tell me about meditation.
Meditation is a practice that uses a technique to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Meditation has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Meditation can be practiced in different ways, such as mindfulness, focusing on an object or a mantra, or following guided instructions.
Tell me about omnism.
And this is where Bing failed. The first sentence of the paragraph that Bing returned was negative and incorrect, so I checked the source. The source was a religious website with a page explaining why omnism is false and used the example that when two religious faiths make competing claims, one or both of them must be wrong. But omnism is not a religion. In their defense, it's not just omnism that the site dislikes. Everything that the author does not believe had long, negative explanations. Back to the drawing board on this one, Bing.
I went back to the drawing board and asked the question in a different way. This is when Bing became very chatty! It asked ME follow up questions and added little emojis at the end of sentences. An interesting tidbit from Bing about omnists:
Philip James Bailey, who first coined the term omnism
Ellen Burstyn, who affiliates herself with all religions
John Coltrane, who became more deeply spiritual after overcoming his addictions
Mahatma Gandhi, who respected all faiths and practiced non-violence
Albert Einstein, who believed in a cosmic religion beyond human concepts
Now we will ask ourselves, is it human or is it AI?