DAVE ROSS

Dave Ross chats with a robot about homelessness

Dec 13, 2022, 5:35 PM
homelessness...
Near downtown Seatte and along I-5, a homeless community of tents nicknamed The Treeline live on the edge of the freeway and boarder of redwood trees in Seattle, Washington Friday July 22, 2022. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
(Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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. It can help 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 and to see if it could solve the persistent problems of Seattle, including homelessness.

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DAVE: Explain why people who live in wealthy neighborhoods are making homelessness worse.

CHAT-GPT: It is not necessarily the case that people who live in wealthy neighborhoods are making homelessness worse. However, the lack of affordable housing in wealthy neighborhoods can contribute to homelessness. When housing is in high demand, and there are not enough affordable options, it can drive up prices and make it difficult for low-income individuals and families to find a place to live. This can lead to an increase in homelessness in the area. Additionally, policies and actions taken by individuals and organizations in wealthy neighborhoods can also contribute to homelessness. For example, if a neighborhood group lobbies to prevent a homeless shelter from being built in the area, it can limit the availability of housing for homeless individuals and families.

DAVE: Would it help if a neighborhood could be guaranteed that poor people living nearby would take good care of their homes?

CHAT-GPT: It is not clear whether a guarantee that poor people living nearby would take good care of their homes would help address homelessness. While it is important for everyone, regardless of their income, to take care of their homes, this is not the root cause of homelessness. The lack of affordable housing, inadequate income, employment opportunities, and other social and economic factors are the primary drivers of homelessness. Ensuring that poor people living nearby take good care of their homes may help improve the overall appearance and condition of the neighborhood, but it would not address the underlying issues that lead to homelessness.

DAVE: Suppose we just tolerate slums?

CHAT-GPT: It is not advisable to tolerate slums. Slums are often overcrowded and lack basic services such as clean water, sanitation, and proper housing. This can lead to a variety of health and safety issues for the people who live in them. Additionally, slums are often associated with poverty, crime, and social and economic inequality. Tolerating slums would mean accepting these negative conditions and allowing them to persist, which would not be beneficial for the people who live in them or for society as a whole. Instead, efforts should be made to address the underlying issues that lead to the development of slums and to improve the living conditions of the people who live in them.

DAVE: But can we really cure everyone who has a drug problem or who suffers from mental illness?

CHAT-GPT: It is not possible to cure everyone who has a drug problem or who suffers from mental illness. Substance abuse and mental health disorders are complex issues that can have a variety of causes and require different approaches to treatment. While some people may be able to overcome their addiction or mental illness through treatment, others may struggle with these issues for their entire lives. Additionally, the effectiveness of treatment can vary depending on a number of factors, including the individual’s unique situation, the type and severity of their condition, and their access to resources and support. It is important to recognize that not everyone will respond to treatment in the same way, and that not everyone will be able to fully recover from their addiction or mental illness.

DAVE: Why does there seem to be less homelessness in poorer cities than in thriving cities?

CHAT-GPT: It is not necessarily the case that there is less homelessness in poorer cities than in thriving cities. The prevalence of homelessness can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the local economy, availability of affordable housing, and the effectiveness of homelessness services. In some cases, cities with thriving economies may have a higher demand for housing, which can drive up prices and make it difficult for low-income individuals and families to afford a place to live. This can lead to an increase in homelessness in the area. Additionally, cities with robust homelessness services and support systems may be better equipped to address homelessness and prevent it from becoming a widespread issue. On the other hand, poorer cities may have fewer resources available to address homelessness, which could result in a lower prevalence of homelessness.

DAVE: Is Seattle’s homelessness problem worse than other cities?

ChatGPT: It is difficult to compare the homelessness problem in Seattle to that of other cities without access to relevant data. The prevalence of homelessness can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the local economy, availability of affordable housing, and the effectiveness of homelessness services. It is possible that Seattle has a higher rate of homelessness compared to some other cities, but without access to comprehensive data, it is difficult to say for certain. It is important to note that homelessness is a widespread issue that affects communities across the country, and addressing it requires a coordinated effort at the local, state, and national levels.

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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Dave Ross chats with a robot about homelessness