Prove you’re not a robot. It’s (fairly) easy if you try. You could scroll down or click the little x in the corner of the screen to get rid of me. If you are reading the print edition you could just turn the page.

One of the indignities of the digital age is being asked, constantly, to confirm we are who we say we are, that we are indeed a human being. Something feels slightly amiss when the (non-human) technology demands that we convince it that we are not the same as them. Big (and sometimes overexcited) claims are being made for artificial intelligence, the most recent being the claim from Wharton business school in Philadelphia that ChatGPT is more creative than human beings (well, more creative than MBA students, anyway).

Students and AI were challenged to come up with ideas for new, cheap products. When potential customers were surveyed online, the products suggested by AI seemed to be more popular. They had certainly been dreamed up much more quickly and in larger numbers than the ideas put forward by mere humans.

Digging into the research, however, caused this particular human being to experience a jolt of scepticism. In a footnote, the researchers concede there are concerns that AI is being used to provide answers for these online consumer panels. Are robots passing judgment on robots? “We believe that we were indeed surveying humans,” the researchers say.

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