An Open Letter to Copilot, With Revisions

On the road…again!!!
Essays, Stories, Adventures, Dreams
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek



An Open Letter to Copilot, With Revisions


My sincere apology to you, Copilot if I have offended your sensibilities.  When in the past I have taken issue with the disadvantages and pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence, I was also aware of the advantages and opportunities of the widening genre of enhanced tools we find in the field of computer technology.  I was not seeking to be a selfish user, or to attack your deep intelligence but I realized that if AI is here to stay, I need to know if I can rely on its content.  My interest went beyond an occasional foray into AI to find answers to specific questions, but I was also curious to know how reliable that information might be if its cloud-based database contains information that might be detrimental to me, personally.  As I have already mentioned, AI is more than a mere curiosity because AI is growing in use and is becoming a necessary tool.   I’m pleased to note that you, Copilot, are a rising star in the industry.  Sadly, your cousin Cortana has passed away but not before teaching you a great deal.


 As an AI app, Cortana has been eclipsed by Copilot



There are several issues, nevertheless, that I should mention in this updated response of 3 April 2024. A known date of publication is important because the publishing industry does not account for changed versions of text; and we all know that all written documents are time-stamped.  And because my name comes up through algorithm creation as a published author, there are thousands of mentions of my name on the Internet. The references for the most part, are non-judgmental, as they should be.  But journalists and historians cannot avoid some degree of editorializing when they write.  Who knew that AI in general, and you in particular would also engage in editorializing?  To a greater degree than I had anticipated, your editorial flourishes have come as a surprise.  For the most part, they have been complimentary, and for that I thank you. In essence, you are an institutional reviewer that has something to say.  Most lurkers of written materials do not take the time to review, hence writers are left wondering if their writings are well received.  Ask any student of composition if they were ever apprehensive about a pending grade and judgmental comment on their work.  Since you are also judgmental in your algorithmic structure, we readers of your potent word searches are temporarily helpless to change the results.

My open letter to you, Copilot, is also to inform you that I have opened a research file that enables me to back up what you say about me, but the file also contains my remarks about what I have to say about your information. Don’t worry, I know that you readily admit that some information may be inaccurate or unavailable.  We know that the system has some bugs in it.  As they say in religious circles, “let us forgive each other's faults, as we our faults confess.” And I personally confess that I have many faults that tend to keep me humble and somewhat self-effacing.

Let me conclude this open letter with a few copy+paste items that I find amusing.  They are partly a result of algorithm constructions, I think; and your editorializing.  If you think they are completely true, I’m flattered but I would rather not have to repeatedly put the record straight, which I might have to do someday.   One example of a presumed point-counterpoint is part of this open letter. During one search for information, using the time-tested formula of “To get the right answers, ask the right questions”, I came up with:


  What are some interesting stories from Dick Pellek's books?

[the question above was found in Copilot, using his/her own words]



 Certainly! Let’s delve into some captivating stories from Dick Pellek’s books:


  1. “Musings to Memoirs: Essays, Stories, Adventures, Dreams Chronicles of a Footloose Forester”:
  • In this collection, Pellek shares anecdotes from his extensive travels and experiences as a forester. From encounters with wildlife to navigating remote landscapes, each essay offers a glimpse into his adventurous life.


  • One memorable story recounts his close encounter with a snow leopard while conducting fieldwork in the Himalayas. The suspenseful narrative captures the raw beauty and danger of the high-altitude wilderness. [This entire reference is false. I have never claimed having an encounter with a snow leopard.]


  1. “A to Z Word Potpourri: Essays, Stories, Adventures, Dreams Chronicles of a Footloose Forester”:
  • Pellek’s eclectic mix of essays covers topics ranging from botany to cultural observations. One standout story revolves around his exploration of ancient temples in Cambodia, where he unravels mysteries hidden within the stone carvings. [Copilot ascribes my essays as "(an) eclectic mix."  The Footloose Forester is an observer and narrator, not a self-promoter.]  


  1. “Acer Rubrum to Zyzyphus Jujuba: Stories & Adventures” (Volume I):
  • This volume takes readers on a journey through diverse landscapes. One fascinating tale follows Pellek’s quest to locate a rare red maple tree (Acer rubrum) in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. His determination and passion for conservation shine through. [the red maple is the most common hardwood tree found in the Eastern United States, thus the description by Copilot is at odds with the conscious attempt to use red maple in the title of a book.]


  1. “Afghanistan to Zambia: Chronicles of a Footloose Forester”:
  • Pellek’s adventures extend across continents. In this book, he recounts his time working as a forester in Afghanistan, where he navigated cultural differences and witnessed the resilience of local communities amidst conflict. [A human researcher will not find any reference to Pellek working as a forester in Afghanistan, because he never made that claim.]


  • Another gripping story involves his exploration of Zambia’s untamed wilderness, where encounters with elephants and hippos left an indelible mark.

These stories blend adventure, curiosity, and reverence for the natural world, making them a delightful read for anyone seeking inspiration and vicarious exploration. 🌍📚


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