What Copilot Knows About You

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



What Copilot Knows About You, A Function Of What Is Asked 


In everyday life, the answers you get depend upon what you ask, and who you ask.  With the burgeoning growth of Artificial Intelligence, we have come to expect quick, accurate, and detailed answers about many, many things.  Some of them are about celebrities because so much is written about singers, movie and sports stars, that we are naturally interested in knowing more. Of course, there is much to begin with and much more to know about.  A Questions & Answers aspect is only one phase of AI and might be considered as only a primer on the ABCs.  The world of AI and graphic design is far and away more complicated.   



 An example of graphic design using AI tools 


For the moment, the AI novice in the persona of the Footloose Forester is just learning those ABCs.  When it comes to finding out things about people we know, the answers that pop up may be disappointingly sparse if there were no robust databases to begin with.  Thus, if there are gaps in background information about a person who is perhaps trying to defend his/her reputation by checking on what is in the record, the realities may alarm some people like political candidates and others in the limelight.  


It may also be a case of policy decisions on the part of AI creators to filter the information in favor of guarding one's dignity.  It is best to assume that not everything has been recorded in public records. Caution should be used to not assume that AI systems like Copilot have indeed searched in all known sources, including fundamental data sources such as educational backgrounds.  For examples, Copilot does not mention the 11 years of college that is part of the bio of the Footloose Forester.  Specifics about their own education and professional qualifications have been offered by the individuals whose memberships on social media and public interest sites are recorded as a requirement of membership.  In a few places that emphasize information sharing and professional linkage communications, such as the public media site LinkedIn, there are extensive work-related and educational biographies. Even a casual inquiry into LinkedIn can be revealing.   Also, another free and public media site named Quora, which is a Question-and-Answer forum, asks its commentators to provide some biographical information to establish a modicum of credibility and professional credentials.  To date, Copilot has not relied on them as sources of information in the creation of their algorithms.  On the contrary, in some AI policy making circles, the goal has been to de-emphasize the technical and professional details in biographical data in favor of developing data coding that flows freely in characterizations.  To the point, when Footloose Forester (You) asked if Copilot searches for educational backgrounds of individuals, this is what came up: 




Does Copilot search for educational backgrounds as part of their algorithms? 



GitHub Copilot, the AI tool developed by GitHub, doesn’t specifically search for educational backgrounds as part of its algorithms.  Instead, it focuses on understanding code and providing contextually relevant suggestions to developers during their coding process1. 


Hence, Copilot has apparently chosen to rely on only a handful of selected sites to establish and refine its algorithms--, if that is what we are seeing as products of word searches.  Paradoxically, the Footloose Forester is using AI to learn about AI. 


Ending on a cautionary note, the voice recognition and subsequent information searches as part of the Copilot experience are quick in providing a lot of useful, if limited searches. The addition of voice transcriptions of the text derived from the algorithmic findings, therefore, will likely satisfy most people.  But it should not be taken as comprehensive. Outright contradictions do occur.  As such, it may not be any more reliable as hearsay evidence.  And we know that hearsay evidence is not admissible in courts and in other places where it matters.      





Taking the Ferry
Pluggers, Like You

Related Posts



Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment