Seeing the Future with Artificial Intelligence

With the new introductions of our future being set in motion, one of my assignments prompted me to write an essay with the assistance of ChatGPT, an uprising member of A.I. that is persistently shaping our lives. Hence, this assignment brought forth intriguing questions and opinions. Being a student surrounded by A.I. tools is simple. Everything can be solved at the click of a button or at the least, additional, trivial steps. However, such tools lack creativity and personality; the downfall of A.I. Although, all ideas have their own pros and cons. For instance, A.I. tools allow finding solutions for subjects like math to be exceedingly simple. Despite providing answers, students are still able to learn by looking at the steps that correlate to the process of finding the solution. Regarding its cons, according to my experience with using ChatGPT to write my essay, it was able to do so optimally, but there wasn’t exactly a ‘voice’ or sentiment in its writing, similar to talking to a wall. Overall, I believe that artificial intelligence allows for easy access to learning and education, but sometimes, it proves to be dull or robotic and is best used merely as an assistant.

Below is the essay I was able to create by tying in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, Fight Club (1999), and the morals and ethics of the philosopher, Fyodor Dostoevsky:

Existential Struggles: All Quiet on the Western Front and Fight Club

The novel, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and the movie, Fight Club directed by David Fincher offer deep insights into the human mind when faced with extreme circumstances. These stories explore desires, coping strategies, and the moral consequences of violence, giving us a profound understanding of human nature. Inspired by the philosophy of Fyodor Dostoevsky and drawing from specific quotes, we will examine the characters’ challenges and assess the ethical impact of their actions, with a primary focus on All Quiet on the Western Front.

Desires as Escapes:

In All Quiet on the Western Front, the soldiers seek normalcy, relief from the horrors of war, and connections with women as ways to cope with the trauma they endure. They turn to smoking as a daily ritual, consuming a significant amount of cigars, cigarettes, and chew, as Paul Baumer reflects, “Ten cigars, twenty cigarettes, and two quids of chew per man” (Remarque 2). Furthermore, they find solace in intimate encounters, as Baumer passionately describes his interaction with a brunette woman, longing to shed the burdens of war and experience youth and happiness again: “But then I feel the lips of the little brunette and press myself against them, my eyes close, and I want it all to fall from me, war and terror and grossness, in order to awaken young and happy” (Remarque 150). Similarly, in Fight Club, the unnamed protagonist seeks an escape from his mundane life by engaging in underground fights, driven by the desire to break free from his monotonous existence.

Coping Mechanisms and Camaraderie:

The soldiers in All Quiet on the Western Front find comfort in camaraderie and everyday activities, such as playing card games, which help them maintain a sense of normalcy amidst the violence. They rely on the support and brotherhood they find within their unit, as Kat suggests, “a game of Skat. It’s easier when a man has something to do” (Remarque 111). These activities become coping mechanisms that allow them to tend to ‘normal’ tasks and momentarily forget the horrors of war. Similarly, the characters in Fight Club discover solace and authenticity through physical combat and the bonds formed within the fight clubs.

The Ethics of Violence:

All Quiet on the Western Front poses thought-provoking ethical questions about the nature of war and the actions of soldiers. The characters, who initially held glorified notions of war and heroism, come to realize the brutality and trauma it entails. They abandon their sentimental beliefs as they face the desperate reality of war: “The war is too desperate to allow us to be sentimental for long” (Remarque 232). In Fight Club, the ethical implications of violence are also explored as the protagonist’s rebellion against consumerism leads to anarchistic acts.

Identity and Existential Crises:

All Quiet on the Western Front delves into the soldiers’ existential struggles as they confront the traumas of war, questioning their purpose and mourning the loss of their former lives. The soldiers are thrust into a war that shatters their preconceived notions of heroism and glory. By the end of their ordeal, the protagonist, Paul Baumer, reflects on his profound isolation and fearlessness: “I am so alone, and so without hope that I can confront them without fear” (Remarque 295). As they witness the brutality and atrocities of battle, their identities are stripped down to their most basic humanity.

In conclusion, All Quiet on the Western Front and Fight Club offers profound explorations of the soldiers’ identities, existential crises, and coping mechanisms in the midst of war. These novels expose the grim realities of conflict and its profound impact on the soldiers’ sense of self. Through their examination of desires, coping mechanisms, ethical dilemmas, and the erosion of identity, both All Quiet on the Western Front and Fight Club provide powerful critiques of war and its moral implications. They remind us of the importance of compassion, empathy, and the preservation of our shared humanity in the face of extreme circumstances. These narratives serve as a reminder of the enduring human spirit and the resilience that can emerge even in the darkest of times.

All in all, almost 99% of this writing was generated using A.I. As a result, I believe that the essay became very shallow and calculated. It continued to repeat the same idea over and over again (text in bold), making it machine-like and mundane. Moreover, A.I. may not be the best tool for all subjects, but it is definitely making a difference in our world.

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