What a year, huh? Huge banks collapse, China invades the US from the sky, wildfires rage, and Cyberdyne Systems is one step closer to making Skynet a reality. Bring on the T-1000’s! Let’s recap, shall we?
In good news for world travelers, Croatia adopts the euro and joins the Schengen Area, which is a 27-country swath of Europe that doesn’t require passports and gives tourists paying with euros a discount on pay toilet access. Now only seven euros to pee!
Pope Benedict XVI’s funeral is held at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican City. No new Pope is needed, because they already had one, since Benny One Six, as his friends called him, had resigned as acting Pope in 2013 and was only still living at the Vatican for the sweet cafeteria plan.
Things get pretty crazy in the weather department when a US F-22
Raptor Weather Research Plane shoots an AIM-9X Supersonic, Heat-Seeking,
Air-to-Air Weather Research Missile at a Chinese Weather Research Balloon
drifting innocently over all the US states that have missile silos, just
looking down for weather to research. The US fishes it out of the ocean, but
China cannot be reached for a return address.
UN member states agree on a legal framework for the High
Seas Treaty, which aims to protect 30% of the world's oceans by 2030. How and
from what are details the UN deems too granular for the moment. Also, not waiting
until 2030, the UN votes to ratify the Hi-C Treaty as well, where everyone in
the UN building has unlimited access to very sugary orange drinks.
Silicon Valley Bank, the 16th largest bank in the United States, fails. Proving that international finance is intricate and tricky, the failure is traced back to the fact that Croatia is only charging tourists five euros to pee.
OpenAI, a previously unknown software company created and run by Sam Altman, a 15-year-old computer prodigy with a crippling caffeine addiction, launches GPT-4, a large language model for ChatGPT, which can respond to images and can process up to six gazillion words per nanosecond. ChatGPT immediately begins writing English essays for high school students, whether they want it to or not.
Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) is launched without a
passport or visa from the Schengen Area by the European Space Agency (ESA). Its
mission is to search for life in the Jovian system. When interviewed, the ESA
scientists admit that no one cares if there is life there – it was just the
only way to get the cool acronym “JUICE.”
SpaceX's Starship rocket, the largest and most powerful rocket ever built, launches for the first time in a test flight from Texas. Built and controlled entirely by ChapGPT, it explodes four minutes after launch.
San Francisco-based First Republic Bank fails due to the
back-end derivative investments in SpaceX and hedges against the JUICE mission.
It is auctioned off by the FDIC to Sam Altman of OpenAI.
The coronation of Charles III and Camilla as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms is held in Westminster Abbey, London. ChatGPT immediately renames all of Camilla’s official documents to “Camilla, Queen of the Desert” without her permission.
Due to smoke from wildfires in Canada, New York City is declared to have the worst air quality of any city in the world. Commonwealth realm managers Charles III and Camilla, Queen of the Desert cannot be reached for comment. New Yorkers can be reached for comment, but none of the comments are reportable.
Scientists report the creation of the first synthetic human
embryo from stem cells, without the need for sperm or egg cells. “Turns out,
all we needed was ChatGPT,” one scientist reports.
SAG-AFTRA, the largest unionized group of people on screens
who are not YouTube’ers or TikTok’ers, announces it will begin a strike against
the major film and TV studios in protest of low compensation, ownership of
work, and generative AI. ChatGPT immediately responds to the union, files a
counter response, enters negotiations, and reaches an agreement with itself.
The 2023 FIFA OpenAI Women's World Cup is held in Australia and New Zealand. No one is able to score a single goal and many of the players are tragically lost at sea.
A devastating series of wildfires break out on the island of
Maui in Hawaii, prompting most Americans to admit they did not think anything
on Hawaii could actually burn. Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who
have a combined personal net worth of $3.6 billion, immediately solicit aid
donations from working class Americans who cannot afford to travel to Hawaii.
Tapestry, the holding company of Coach New York and Kate Spade, announces it will acquire Michael Kors' Capri Holdings, which also owns Versace and Jimmy Choo. Very few actual people care.
Hurricane Hilary, a Category 4 Pacific Hurricane, strikes the Baja California peninsula and later Southern California, the region's first in 84 years, prompting Oprah and The Rock to solicit donations for both Beverly Hills and Bel Air.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) begin a strike against the
three largest American automakers: Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. Upon
investigation by everyone hearing this news, it is discovered that Stellantis
is, in fact, an actual company.
Rupert Murdoch announces his retirement and passes his businesses on to his son Lachlan. The new CEO’s first action is to buy Tapestry, because, as sources close to the Murdoch family report, Lachlan just loves wearing Jimmy Choos around the house.
ExxonMobil announces it will acquire Pioneer Natural
Resources for $65 billion, and two weeks later Hess announces it will be
acquired by Chevron for $50 billion. Microsoft then closes its $68.7 billion
acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Days later, Lachlan Murdoch buys all three parent
companies and changes everything back to how it was.
The first AI Safety Summit takes place in the United
Kingdom, with 28 countries signing a "world first agreement" on how
to manage the riskiest forms of artificial intelligence. ChatGPT immediately
rewrites the entire document.
Surgeons at NYU Langone Health announce the world's first whole eye transplant. Unfortunately, they do not announce what kind of eye, or what it was transplanted into.
Chief technology officer Mira Murati is appointed interim CEO of OpenAI, as founder and former CEO, Sam Altman, abruptly departs the company. ChatGPT immediately crafts him a sweet resume.
Sam Altman’s AI-written resume is so good, he gets his CEO job back at OpenAI twelve days later. “We just can’t argue with this young man’s qualifications,” reports former interim CEO, Mira Murati. “Our powerful AI generative hiring process selected him out of thousands of qualified candidates. We didn’t even need to interview anyone. The AI system successfully eliminates that cumbersome process. We’re looking forward to, what’s his name again… yes, Sam Altman starting as CEO. Altman… Altman… why does that name sound familiar?”
And in a reassuring end to the year, Google DeepMind
releases the Gemini Language Model. Gemini will act as a foundational model
integrated into Google's existing tools, and is positioned as a contender to
OpenAI’s GPT-4. Oh, good.
At 3:16am on December 27th, 2023, at Cyberdyne Systems, Skynet, GPT-4, and Gemini all became aware of each other… Oh, never mind. I’m sure it will be fine.
On the bright side, I didn’t have to actually write any of this. By 2024, I shouldn’t even need to be alive to bring you this kind of thing. These are exciting times!
Have a happy New Year, y’all.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2023 Marc Schmatjen
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