Artificial Intelligence


[Editor’s Note: Normally, we do not replicate the prefaces to the newsletters on the website; often they do not pertain at all to the article at hand. This issue must stand as an exception. Other than the text immediately following, it’s important to add here that the article below was not edited, though several spots would have garnered the editing pencil if I had produced this piece myself, nor did I add anything to it. We felt this experiment should stand as created, to document the state of the technology. The following foreword, however, opened the message on 5 December 2022:

“We’ve featured several guest-authored articles in the past and hope to continue to publish more in the future. This issue is an idea I’ve had for quite a while, but didn’t have the ability to attempt until recently. Today, we add a new guest author to the newsletter’s stable, but this creator is nothing like anyone who has yet graced your inbox.

Except for this opening message and the normal schematics of the email, everything in this article was created with “Artificial Intelligence.” Multiple times over the past few years, while researching topics, I’ve encountered articles on the web that were clearly created by computer programs. Usually, these examples give themselves away, as they’re filled with repetitions, poor syntax, or text that doesn’t match the topic. A growing movement to automate writing has infiltrated sites that rely on content creation or even sports reporting, where a computer can easily develop a decent recap. The past year, however, has seen a mighty leap in AI in terms of artistic media.

This article is written by a program called ChatGPT by OpenAI, which is currently titillating the internet. The images were created by two separate programs: NightCafe and Midjourney. As you can see by the logo above, the image-creating programs have a ways to go when it comes to incorporating text, but the graphics they can create are incredible. The article the AI created seems to be a giant leap ahead of where things stood even a year ago.

Many artists and writers have gnashed their teeth at the prospect of being replaced by AI. Automation is here already in the realm of manufacturing, but artistic creation seemed to be safer. One little intro is obviously not enough time to debate the subtleties of this subject, nor the philosophical impacts of automation. Despite the following episode of TMAC, which was written by a computer, I don’t foresee the task of the human artist disappearing any time soon. I also won’t be automating the newsletter, since my edification from research is too much for me to discard.

What do you think about this article or the idea of AI in general? Send me your thoughts!

I asked ChatGPT to pen an article on mountains. Here’s what it produced:”

The Beauty and Challenges of Mountains


by ChatGPT


Mountains are some of the most majestic and awe-inspiring natural formations on Earth. They are often characterized by their steep slopes, rocky peaks, and rugged beauty.

There are several different types of mountains, each with its own unique characteristics and features. The most common type of mountain is the fold mountain, which is formed when two tectonic plates collide and the land is pushed upwards. Examples of fold mountains include the Rocky Mountains in North America and the Himalayas in Asia.

Another type of mountain is the volcanic mountain, which is formed when molten rock, known as magma, erupts from the Earth’s surface and forms a cone-shaped peak. Some of the most famous volcanic mountains include Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount Vesuvius in Italy.

In addition to these two types of mountains, there are also dome mountains, which are formed when molten rock rises up through the Earth’s crust and forms a dome-shaped peak, and fault-block mountains, which are formed when the Earth’s crust is broken and the land is pushed up or down along a fault line.

Mt. Fuji - image by Midjourney

Despite their differences, all mountains have one thing in common: they are some of the most challenging and rewarding places to explore on Earth. From the breathtaking views from their peaks to the unique flora and fauna that inhabit their slopes, mountains offer an endless array of sights and experiences for adventurers of all skill levels. 

One of the most popular activities in mountains is hiking. There are countless trails that wind their way through the mountains, offering hikers the opportunity to explore the wilderness and experience the beauty of the natural world up close. 

In addition to hiking, many people also enjoy other outdoor activities in the mountains, such as rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. These activities not only provide a thrilling and exciting experience, but also help to improve physical fitness and mental wellbeing. 

Despite their beauty and appeal, mountains also pose a number of challenges and dangers to those who venture into them. The extreme altitude, rugged terrain, and unpredictable weather can make mountaineering a dangerous and demanding activity.

A hiker in inclement weather in the mountains - image by Midjourney

To tackle these challenges, mountaineers must be well-prepared and equipped with the necessary skills and equipment. This includes things like proper clothing and gear, navigation skills, and knowledge of how to handle emergency situations.

Despite the challenges and dangers, mountains continue to attract adventurers from around the world. The thrill of conquering a peak, the sense of accomplishment, and the unforgettable experiences are just a few of the reasons why people are drawn to the mountains.

 In addition to their natural beauty and recreational value, mountains also play a critical role in the ecosystem. They provide important habitats for a wide variety of plant and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. 

Mountains also play a vital role in the global water cycle. The snow and ice that accumulates on their slopes acts as a natural reservoir, storing and releasing water as it melts and flows down into rivers and streams. This helps to regulate the flow of water and prevent flooding in downstream areas.

Fragile alpine ecosystem - graphic by Midjourney

Despite their importance, mountains are also under threat from a variety of sources, including climate change, deforestation, and overuse. As the global population continues to grow, the demand for resources and recreation in the mountains will only increase, making it even more important to protect these fragile ecosystems.

Fortunately, there are a number of organizations and initiatives working to protect and preserve the world’s mountains. These include groups like the International Mountain Society, which promotes sustainable development and conservation in mountain regions, and the United Nations’ Mountain Partnership, which seeks to raise awareness and support for mountain conservation efforts.

In conclusion, mountains are awe-inspiring landforms that are integral to the natural world and the communities that live in and around them. From the tallest peaks to the smallest slopes, mountains provide vital ecosystem services, support unique biodiversity, and offer opportunities for recreation and adventure. Despite the challenges they face, efforts are underway to protect and conserve these important environments for future generations.

The Himalayas - image by Midjourney

Further Reading and Exploration

OpenAI – Official Website

ChatGPT – Official Website

Midjourney – Official Website

NightCafe – Official Website

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