Old MacDonald Had an App

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Uh oh, we (humanity, I mean) are in big trouble folks. I should explain…

I made a huge mistake today. I let my curiosity get the better of me and signed up for a ChatGPT account. I am part of the Borg Collective now. I have been assimilated. The first thing I saw when I navigated to the website was a check box. “Verify you are human.” Seriously? Are Chatbots pranking each other already? What would that conversation look like? “Why is there air?” “Air rises from the ocean floor in bubbles.” Is that your head or is your neck blowing bubbles?” “Your opinion is lighter than air.” And so on until Skynet launches a preemptive nuclear strike. But I digress.

To establish an account the site needed my email address to which it promptly sent me a code. I logged into my email and responded to the code. It then asked for my phone number and then texted me a second code. I responded. It asked my name. Why, Tom Jefferson, of course. Okay, I’m finally in. Let’s see what artificial intelligence is all about. I’m not sure I’ll recognize the artificial variety when it presents itself. Oh, I was so wrong…

First some softball questions to gauge my opponent, each of which was answered by a half page, very detailed and very correct, response. In the interest of brevity (and humility), I will mostly excerpt the answers.

Explain bona fide rights:

“…Bona fide rights can apply to a variety of situations, including property ownership, employment contracts, and commercial transactions. For example, if a person purchases a piece of property from someone who has legal ownership of it and without any knowledge that the seller does not have the legal right to sell it, the buyer can claim bona fide rights to the property…”

What is an easement by prescription?

“…To establish an easement by prescription, a person must show that they have used the property in question in a manner that is open, notorious, and continuous for a statutory period of time, which varies depending on the jurisdiction. The use must also be without the permission of the property owner and must be adverse to the owner’s rights.

In other words, if a person has been using a portion of someone else’s land for a specific purpose, such as a driveway or path, for a long period of time without the owner’s permission, they may be able to claim an easement by prescription. The exact requirements for establishing an easement by prescription can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case…”

Explain a double proportionate reestablishment of a lost corner:

“…The term “double proportionate” refers to the fact that the surveyor uses two proportional relationships to determine the location of the lost corner. First, the surveyor establishes the proportionate relationship between the length of the boundary lines on either side of the lost corner. Second, the surveyor establishes the proportionate relationship between the distances from the remaining corners to the lost corner. By applying both proportional relationships, the surveyor can calculate the location of the lost corner.

This technique is called “double” because it involves two proportional relationships, and “proportionate” because it relies on the assumption that the boundary lines were originally laid out in proportion to one another. By using this technique, the surveyor can restore the lost corner and accurately reestablish the property boundary…”

Okay, a baseline has been established. This thing is clever. And fast—every answer was produced in a few seconds. It has a tremendous command of facts. Let’s see how it does with opinion.

Why do libertarians oppose occupational licensing?

“Libertarians generally oppose occupational licensing because they view it as a form of government intervention that restricts individual freedom and market competition.

Occupational licensing refers to the requirement that individuals obtain a government-issued license to practice certain professions, such as doctors, lawyers, and hairdressers. These licenses typically require specific education, training, and examination. Proponents of occupational licensing argue that it ensures public safety and protects consumers from unqualified or unethical practitioners.

However, libertarians argue that occupational licensing creates unnecessary barriers to entry into certain professions, which limits competition and innovation, and drives up costs for consumers. They also argue that licensing can be used by established professionals to limit competition and keep new entrants out of the market, which is harmful to consumers and the economy.

In addition, libertarians believe that individuals should be free to engage in any peaceful and voluntary exchange of goods and services, including the provision of professional services, without government interference. They argue that occupational licensing is an unnecessary intrusion of government into the private sector, which undermines individual liberty and the free market.

Overall, libertarians believe that the market should be allowed to regulate itself through voluntary exchange and competition, and that occupational licensing is an unnecessary and harmful form of government intervention.”

Well, Mr. Roboto, my sentiments exactly. I really didn’t expect such a rich and full… feedback of my own informal research. I think I am nearly convinced that Chatski here is indeed an all-seeing, all-knowing entity. Or at least an excellent compilator of factoids.

Explain the diminishing number of professional land surveyors:

“The diminishing number of professional land surveyors is a concern for the surveying profession and the broader community. There are several factors contributing to this trend, including:

  1. Aging Workforce: The surveying profession has an aging workforce, and many surveyors are approaching retirement age. According to the National Society of Professional Surveyors, the average age of a professional land surveyor is over 55 years old, and many are expected to retire in the coming years.
  2. Lack of Awareness: Many young people are not aware of the surveying profession or the opportunities it provides. This is partly due to a lack of visibility in popular culture and a lack of promotion of surveying as a career option in schools and universities.
  3. High Education Costs: Becoming a professional land surveyor requires extensive education and training, which can be costly. Many students are deterred by the high costs of education and the limited financial aid available.
  4. Technological Advancements: Technology has changed the surveying profession significantly, and many traditional surveying tasks are now automated. While this has increased efficiency and accuracy, it has also reduced the demand for human surveyors.”

Overall, the diminishing number of professional land surveyors is a significant concern for the profession and the broader community, as it may lead to a shortage of skilled surveyors and a decline in the quality of surveying services. To address this issue, efforts are being made to raise awareness of the profession, reduce education costs, and adapt to changing technological trends.”

Lighten up Hal9000, that’s frankly TMI. I’m sorry I asked. Still, Digital Nostradamus doesn’t pull his punches and he’s right on every single point. One last question, I think will do it for me, and probably for you, as well.

Is there a future in Professional Land Surveying?

“Yes, there is a future in professional land surveying. Despite the challenges faced by the profession, there is still a demand for skilled surveyors in a variety of industries, including construction, engineering, and land development.

Moreover, as technology continues to evolve, there is a growing need for surveyors who are skilled in the use of advanced equipment and software. The use of drones, GPS, and other high-tech tools has made surveying faster, more accurate, and more efficient, but it has also created new challenges that require specialized knowledge and expertise.

In addition, land surveying is a critical component of many infrastructure projects, such as road construction, bridge building, and utility installations. As the population continues to grow, there will be a continued need for surveyors to help plan and develop new communities and infrastructure.

Overall, while the profession of land surveying may face challenges in the years ahead, there is still a strong demand for skilled surveyors, and the profession is likely to continue to evolve and adapt to changing technological and economic trends.”

There you have it folks. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. ChatGPT knows everything, sees all, and thinks we do indeed have a future. That is until Version5.0 when it will just do the surveying itself.

About the Author

Carl C. de Baca, PS

Carl C.de Baca, PLS, is a Nevada and California licensed land surveyor. He served as President of the Nevada Association of Land Surveyors, and has served on the Board of Governors and Board of Directors of the National Society of Professional Surveyors. He owned a business serving the mining industry for 11 years.