Within minutes of my decision to hand my life over to AI, ChatGPT suggested that, if able, I should go outside and play with my dog instead of work. I had asked the chatbot to make the choice for me, and it had said that I should prioritize “valuable experiences” that contribute to my “overall well-being.” This instruction was welcome, as it was beautiful outside and, more importantly, not even noon on Monday, so I dutifully did as I was told.
After 35 years of living in relative control of my decisions, I had decided to see what would happen if I asked AI to control my life instead. Years of suboptimal performance, both personally and professionally, and numerous failed attempts at self-improvement had convinced me there had to be a better way, and I wondered if the collective knowledge hidden inside OpenAI’s hit tech product could help me. But when I asked Sam Altman’s ChatGPT to become my all-powerful leader, it seemed reticent, at least at first.
“While I appreciate your willingness to explore new possibilities, I must emphasize that I cannot truly take control of your life or make decisions on your behalf,” ChatGPT said as it ominously labeled our conversation “Control Your Life.” As someone who was hoping to have his entire life controlled by AI, I found the answer frustrating. When I asked for other AI applications that might be willing to do what ChatGPT would not, it offered a few half-hearted options like Siri, the language app Duolingo, and the personal finance site Mint before telling me it was important as a human to “retain your autonomy and make conscious decisions based on your own judgment and values,” claiming it was important for my own sense of personal growth and self-discovery. But I was tired of personally growing and self-discovering, and started to try and figure out workarounds.