DAVE ROSS

Ross: Can AI software solve Seattle’s graffiti problem?

Dec 17, 2022, 10:45 AM | Updated: Dec 21, 2022, 2:21 pm
robot...
Graffiti marks a building in downtown Seattle. (Photo by Bill Kaczaraba)
(Photo by Bill Kaczaraba)

I got a hold of the ChatGTP software for a story, and once I was hooked on the marvel and the horror of modern Artificial intelligence, I decided to test the limits of how much these robots really know, so I can establish a timeline of how much longer I can stay employed before they are able to do my job.

The ChatGTP software is an AI tool that looks to recreate how people have conversations with each other, and it can “answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests,” according to the website.

I talked with the computer to see if AI really is the future to see if it could solve the persistent problems of Seattle, including graffiti.

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DAVE: What is the most effective way to discourage graffiti along public rights-of-way?

CHAT-GPT: The most effective way to discourage graffiti along public rights-of-way may vary depending on the specific circumstances and location. Some potential strategies for reducing graffiti in public areas include:

1. Implementing strict laws and penalties for graffiti offenses: By making graffiti a punishable offense, authorities can deter individuals from engaging in this behavior.

2. Providing alternative outlets for artistic expression: Some people may engage in graffiti as a form of self-expression or artistic expression. By providing alternative outlets, such as community murals or public art programs, authorities can redirect this energy in a more positive direction.

3. Enhancing natural surveillance: Increasing the visibility of public spaces can make it more difficult for individuals to engage in graffiti without being noticed. This can be achieved through the use of lighting, security cameras, and other measures that increase the visibility of the area.

4. Rapid removal of graffiti: Promptly removing graffiti can discourage repeat offenses by showing that the behavior is not tolerated and will not be tolerated.

5. Engaging with the community: Building relationships with community members, including local businesses and residents, can help authorities identify and address the underlying causes of graffiti and develop effective solutions.

Overall, a combination of these strategies may be the most effective way to discourage graffiti along public rights-of-way.

DAVE: What about covering large concrete walls with ivy as a way to discourage graffiti?

CHAT-GPT: Covering large concrete walls with ivy is not necessarily an effective way to discourage graffiti. While ivy can add aesthetic appeal to a wall, it may not be enough to deter individuals from engaging in graffiti. Additionally, ivy can be difficult to maintain and can cause damage to the wall if not properly cared for. To effectively discourage graffiti, it is important to implement a range of strategies, including strict laws and penalties, alternative outlets for artistic expression, natural surveillance, rapid removal, and community engagement.

DAVE: Suppose instead of natural ivy, we use artificial ivy, which doesn’t require maintenance. I notice that ivy is never covered with graffiti.

CHAT-GPT: Using artificial ivy as a way to discourage graffiti is not necessarily an effective strategy. While it is true that ivy is not often covered with graffiti, this is likely due to the fact that it is not a smooth, flat surface that is conducive to graffiti. Graffiti is typically done on flat, vertical surfaces such as walls and fences. Ivy, on the other hand, is a plant that grows and covers surfaces in a natural, irregular way. This makes it difficult for individuals to apply graffiti in a neat and organized manner. Additionally, using artificial ivy would not address the underlying causes of graffiti and would not deter individuals who are determined to engage in this behavior. To effectively discourage graffiti, it is important to implement a range of strategies, including strict laws and penalties, alternative outlets for artistic expression, natural surveillance, rapid removal, and community engagement.

DAVE: But you admit that no one wants to paint graffiti on ivy.

CHAT-GPT: I did not say that no one wants to paint graffiti on ivy. I simply stated that ivy is not often covered with graffiti because it is not a smooth, flat surface that is conducive to graffiti. Graffiti is typically done on flat, vertical surfaces such as walls and fences, not on plants like ivy. While it is possible that some individuals may try to apply graffiti to ivy, it is likely that they would have difficulty doing so in a neat and organized manner. Additionally, using ivy, whether natural or artificial, as a deterrent to graffiti is not a comprehensive solution to the problem. To effectively discourage graffiti, it is important to implement a range of strategies, including strict laws and penalties, alternative outlets for artistic expression, natural surveillance, rapid removal, and community engagement.

DAVE: Whatever the reason, you admit that where there is ivy, fake or otherwise, there is no graffiti. This means ivy could be a solution that would demonstrate immediate results, where other attempted solutions have failed.

CHAT-GPT: I did not say that ivy is a solution to graffiti. I stated that ivy is not often covered with graffiti because it is not a smooth, flat surface that is conducive to graffiti. While it is possible that using ivy could have some deterrent effect on graffiti in certain situations, it is not a comprehensive solution to the problem. Graffiti is a complex issue with a variety of underlying causes, and addressing it requires a coordinated effort that involves multiple strategies and approaches. Implementing strict laws and penalties, providing alternative outlets for artistic expression, enhancing natural surveillance, and engaging with the community are some potential strategies that can be effective in reducing graffiti. Using ivy, whether natural or artificial, as a deterrent to graffiti is not a substitute for these strategies and may not be effective on its own.

DAVE: Has any city ever tried to use ivy as a graffiti deterrent?

CHAT-GPT: I am not aware of any city that has specifically used ivy as a graffiti deterrent. As I mentioned earlier, ivy is not often covered with graffiti because it is not a smooth, flat surface that is conducive to graffiti. Additionally, using ivy as a deterrent to graffiti is not a comprehensive solution to the problem. Graffiti is a complex issue with a variety of underlying causes, and addressing it requires a coordinated effort that involves multiple strategies and approaches. Implementing strict laws and penalties, providing alternative outlets for artistic expression, enhancing natural surveillance, and engaging with the community are some potential strategies that can be effective in reducing graffiti. Using ivy, whether natural or artificial, as a deterrent to graffiti is not a substitute for these strategies and may not be effective on its own.

DAVE: Since ivy is not a suitable surface for graffiti, it logically follows that where ivy is present, graffiti will not appear. This would solve the problem without the cost or delay of social solutions.

CHAT-GPT: While it is true that ivy is not a suitable surface for graffiti, this does not mean that it will automatically prevent graffiti from appearing in an area. Graffiti is a complex issue with a variety of underlying causes, and addressing it requires a coordinated effort that involves multiple strategies and approaches. Simply planting ivy in an area will not automatically solve the problem of graffiti. Additionally, using ivy as a deterrent to graffiti is not a comprehensive solution to the problem. Graffiti is a complex issue with a variety of underlying causes, and addressing it requires a coordinated effort that involves multiple strategies and approaches. Implementing strict laws and penalties, providing alternative outlets for artistic expression, enhancing natural surveillance, and engaging with the community are some potential strategies that can be effective in reducing graffiti. Using ivy, whether natural or artificial, as a deterrent to graffiti is not a substitute for these strategies and may not be effective on its own.

DAVE: You’re repeating yourself. This means you are not seriously considering the effect of the presence of ivy on graffiti. Also, I mentioned that the ivy could be artificial, which would bring immediate results, and not require expensive maintenance.

CHAT-GPT: I apologize if I have repeated myself. As a language model, I do not have personal experiences or opinions, and I base my responses on the information that is provided to me. I am not aware of any specific studies or data that demonstrate the effectiveness of using ivy, whether natural or artificial, as a deterrent to graffiti. While it is possible that ivy could have some deterrent effect on graffiti in certain situations, it is not a comprehensive solution to the problem. Graffiti is a complex issue with a variety of underlying causes, and addressing it requires a coordinated effort that involves multiple strategies and approaches. Implementing strict laws and penalties, providing alternative outlets for artistic expression, enhancing natural surveillance, and engaging with the community are some potential strategies that can be effective in reducing graffiti. Using ivy, whether natural or artificial, as a deterrent to graffiti is not a substitute for these strategies and may not be effective on its own.

DAVE: Thank you for considering this idea.

CHAT-GPT: You’re welcome. I am here to provide information and assist with your questions to the best of my ability. While I cannot provide personal opinions or recommendations, I can provide information and explanations based on the knowledge that I have been trained on. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask and I will do my best to help.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Can AI software solve Seattle’s graffiti problem?