Clippy's back, y'all — and more powerful than ever.
The former Microsoft Office mascot — technically named Clippit, though pretty much everyone calls him Clippy — has had a rough go of it. First introduced back in 1997, the anthropomorphic paperclip was first retired from its hate-it-or-love-it "office assistant" role back in 2001. Then, years later in 2019, Microsoft momentarily resurrected Clippy — only to murder him once again on that very same day.
Now, per PC World, Clippy has once again been resurrected, albeit not by Microsoft. A developer called FireCube has brought the Groucho-eyebrowed paperclip back, and this time it's powered by OpenAI's red-hot GPT-3.5 large language model (LLM).
"Clippy by FireCube (Not by Microsoft) brings back the infamous Clippit into your desktop powered by the OpenAI GPT 3.5 model," reads the product description for the newly-undead mascot. "Clippy can be pinned to the screen for quick access to chat or just be left for nostalgia."
There you have it, folks. It's not just Clippy. It's SuperClippy, powered by the same technology that its original maker-slash-unaliver paid gazillions of dollars for a major stake in. The "brand police" — as a Microsoft insider characterized Clippy's killers to The Verge back in 2019 — can suck it.
Well, maybe. There's always the chance that this ClippyGPT could grow so popular — and thus so powerful, at least in its financial prospects — that Microsoft could be moved to kill the digital assistant for the third time on copyright grounds. Although, if that happens, Microsoft might face another wave of Cliphead furor, just as the firm did the last time that Clippy was shut down, as the Verge reported at the time.
Of course, the copyright thing would be somewhat understandable, if a wildly dark new turn in Clippy's character arc. Seriously, right now we're at: inception, murder, resurrection and same-day murder, and now super-charged resurrection featuring an AI integration. That's starting to sound like the plot of "The Mummy," and with that in mind, perhaps we should refrain from killing off the newly AI-embedded version of the iconic office helper. Call it AI threat mitigation, if you will.
Anyway. We don't really think that AI Clippy would or could seek revenge on its maker, should it be sent back to the digital underworld once more. All we're saying is that maybe, just maybe, there's a different Paperclip Problem that we should all be worried about.
More on Clippy's former employer: OpenAI Warned Microsoft That Its AI Is Absolutely Terrible at Telling the Truth
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