So, I asked an AI chat function to tell me a humorous story about the benefits and challenges of “monogamy versus polygamy.”
On most subjects the AI reads like an essay by a community College teacher trying to impress his tenure committee, proper citations in appropriate footnote/endnote styles, links, informative, safe, reasonable and vanilla.
But for this assignment the AI pulled out the below:
Boy, that’s a real knee-slapper isn’t it?!
I wasn’t exactly expecting a Pornhub 3-way, full of body parts and money shots, nor old episodes of Sister Wives. But neither was I expecting to hear a worst-case scenario for Bob—a nuclear annihilation of his entire existence, and his full-hearted acceptance of his plight with a giant “boy did I ever make a big mistake, I wish I’d stayed in my cub scout sensibilities and just been a better good boy.”
I wasn’t expecting a preachy, standard provincial and pedestrian tale about a happy guy named Bob who ended up in ruins because of his polygamous ways. A story not really so much about being punished for having multiple wives as about being secretive and deceitful about it. A story in which every wife had been deceived and Bob would lose everything, most of all “his reputation, his career, his money, his freedom.”
But really, let’s break that down a little. Just what might have been Bob’s reputation prior to this disclosure of his multiple wives and lives? How much time did Bob have for reputation-building in any of the communities and states where he housed wives? Is it very realistic that Bob had a terrific reputation as a stand-up community leader spending about one quarter of his life in each life?
His career? What did Bob do? Was he a Christian pastor in each community and if so, how did he divide up his Sundays? In fact, what kind of career was even possible for someone so divided in his way of living?
His money? One new bachelor apartment instead of three mortgages?
His freedom? Gimme a break, with all the money he’d now be saving from all his travels and expenses he’d hire the best lawyer he could find and absent any major previous history of criminality, how much time would he get, if any and would his wives, each wanting the best settlement and ongoing support they could get, want Bob to spend much time not working or earning a paycheck any longer?
I ask these questions not out of any great sympathy for the Bill Paxton (RIP) character in his TV program about polygamy where, in his situation he lived under the same roof with ALL his wives in a kind of Mormon, old school arrangement, but simply to challenge the AI to tell me why it decided to go all sinner-gets-his-comeuppance on Bob?
Bob’s story could have just as well been produced by your standard Methodist Minister or Catholic Preist, by your 7th grade Health or Home Economics teacher. Any member of most any congregation of a modern Abrahamic faith belief might well have told you Bob fucked-up. Excepting a few Muslim and, again, break away Mormon practitioners. But why did AI give me such a one-sided smack down of Bob, such a massive, black night of all hope version of his consequences? AI is a machine and as such its (not “his” or “her”) moral sensibilities should not intrude upon its consideration of a topic.
Why didn’t one or two of the wives say, you know, maybe now we can spend a bit more time as a family unit, maybe have a few kids who are never mentioned so they likely don’t exist. It must have been tough for Bob to juggle all the details and keep this thing afloat. Maybe now he’ll be a bit calmer and not in such a big hurry to get out of town four days out of every seven, or three weeks out of every four, or eight months out of every twelve, come to think of it, we really didn’t have much of a life together anyway.
I’m not suggesting that all these perspectives would necessarily prevail in the unfolding of normal human relationships. I’m just saying that Hal (the computer in the movie 2001 a Space Odyssey) probably had a better chance of talking Dave into taking a chill pill and not disconnecting all Hal’s brain functions after Hal had murdered Dave’s wingman. And I think I’d have a more enjoyable result in getting Alexa, who sits across the room from me right now waiting to hear me call her name and then asking her to talk nasty to me even though so far she pretends not to understand when I ask her anything sexually provocative.
Finally, I’ve been married four times and divorced three. I loved each of the women to whom I was wed. They were, all of them, smart, loving, kind, gorgeous and devoted to me. In every relationship except my present marriage, my unwillingness and inability to accept being sexual with just one person ultimately wrecked our happy homes.
Like my AI, the scenario I imagined happening every time I slept with someone I wasn’t married to while lying about it before and after to the wife I was married to, always terrified me and each act of sin and pleasure, led to disaster, sooner or later and usually sooner.
While I often wished I could be accepted and loved for who I really was, I had to instead live with the knowledge that this was some kind of deeply settled reality that could never be altered even though many non-western societies (and in earlier Old Testament times, even western ones) had or have polygamous options.
Still, I think Bob’s AI generated consequences and the complete destruction of his life, while no doubt seeming much deserved in many people’s eyes, clearly was the AI’s choice for him. Nuke the cheatin’ motherfucker, the AI had to have decided in its quickly generated “humorous” story about monogamy vs polygamy.
Come to think of it, I think I won’t ask Alexa what she’s wearing. How long will it take her to tell wife four, my beloved Patti that I’m a filthy horndog who deserves to have all my shit set out on the porch in big black garbage bags, a threat Patti has used even without AI assistance for close to thirty years now.
When I tried to challenge my AI to explain why it went so negative with its humorous story, it went back to the community college teacher and his tenure committee:
- Polyamory and Consensual Non-monogamy in the US: This article from the Kinsey Institute discusses the prevalence and diversity of polyamorous relationships in the US.
- Everything You Need to Know About Monogamy Vs. Polygamy: This article from BetterLyf compares the pros and cons of monogamy and polygamy.
- The Rise and Fall of Monogamy: This article from Psychology Today traces the historical and cultural changes of monogamy.
But wait a second there AI, what’s this “with their consent” stuff in the first paragraph above? Consent? In your hilarious ruination of Bob’s life, none of the wives agreed, or consented to a polygamous arrangement. I’d even argue that it was Bob’s history of lying and deception that sank him more than his secrets.
Ah fuck it. Never mind.
“Hey Alexa, what are you wea...”
Nah, forget that too.