Thanks to everyone who was able to attend the VRA meeting on Tuesday evening. We had a great presentation by Corrie Sharp and I hope everyone came away with a better understanding of the Redevelopment Commission, and the goals for the Gateway and other RDC projects. If you’d like to learn more about the Gateway area, visit their website: https://www.zionsvillegatewayarea.com/

If you’d like to view the presentation deck that was distributed:


Our next meeting will be Feb 28 with a presentation from the Zionsville Police Department. They’ll discuss fraud protection, mental health programs and answer any questions about community safety.

Many residents paid their 2023 dues before our November meeting when we voted to increase them to $30 for a family membership or $20 for an individual membership. If you haven’t yet paid for 2023, you can go here and pay via Venmo or PayPal. If you’d rather pay by check or cash, feel free to bring cash or check to the Feb 28 meeting.

You may have noticed signs around the neighborhood announcing this week’s VRA meeting! That’s thanks to a wonderful donation to help increase VRA membership and awareness of what we do. If you happen to have one of the original signs from many years ago, let me know at president@zvra.com and I’ll add you to our list of residents tasked with posting them a week before each meeting.

** VRA volunteer request ** Anyone interested in graphic design? Let me know – we could use some assistance for a printed newsletter this spring.

Heather Lusk, ZVRA president

From Zionsville Town Councilor Josh Garrett

I’ve always had an interest in technology.  Perhaps it comes from playing computer games as a kid, but I like to play around with new technologies whether at work or for the home.  My most recent focus has been on how artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly progressing.  I saw a recent CBS Sunday Morning episode that featured a new technology called “DALL-E 2”, named after Salvador Dali and the Pixar character WALL-E.   It allows anyone to plug in a description and art style and create examples in a matter of seconds.  For example, you could type “Painting of a Panda and Zebra playing poker in the style of Van Gogh” and see some amazing results.

The system getting the most attention has been Chat GPT.  This is a chat-based model that allows you to interact with the system and provide results.  For example, I asked it “Why should I move to Zionsville, Indiana” and it returned the following:

“There are many reasons why someone might choose to move to Zionsville, Indiana. Some potential reasons include:

  • High quality of life: Zionsville is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in Indiana, with a low crime rate, high-performing schools, and a wide range of recreational and cultural opportunities.
  • Proximity to Indianapolis: Zionsville is located just northwest of Indianapolis, which means that residents have easy access to all the amenities of a large city while still enjoying the benefits of living in a small town.
  • Strong economy: Zionsville has a strong local economy, with a low unemployment rate and many job opportunities in a variety of industries.
  • Beautiful natural setting: Zionsville is surrounded by rolling hills, lush forests, and picturesque farmland, which provides residents with ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Strong sense of community: Zionsville has a tight-knit community and a variety of events and activities that bring residents together, such as farmers market, festivals, and parades.
  • Historical context: Zionsville has a rich history dating back to the 1800s and has many historical buildings and sites, such as the train station, and museums.

It’s important to note that people have different preferences when it comes to living in a place, and what might be a great place for one person may not be suitable for another. It’s best to visit the town, check the available resources and speak to locals, to get a better sense of what it’s like to live in Zionsville.”

Hard to argue with those results.

This technology, like many technologies, can be used for good and nefarious purposes.  Good things like my above interaction can quickly get overshadowed using this technology to create essays for homework or even purposely deceive people with incorrect information (Chat GPT is not always correct).

For governments it will be interesting to see how this technology will be impactful.  It may be able to help residents find and utilize services better.  It may also be used to support points of view that may not be factually correct.  In one potential scenario I read it could be used to write thousands of letters to elected officials supporting a bill, making it impossible to distinguish real and AI-generated input.

Government itself is typically behind the technology curve, but it may have to catch up quickly to embrace or defend against these new developments.

Josh Garrett, Zionsville Town Council

One Reply to “February 2023 – VRA Newsletter”

  1. John Tousley says:

    I enjoyed the article by Josh Garrett, reaffirming the importance of Zionsville’s historical heritage according to an artificial intelligence program Chat GPT. I thought it was remarkably interesting that an AI program thought Zionsville’s “rich history” was a good reason to move to Zionsville. It’s nice to know that a possible predecessor of HAL 9000 and I agree on this.

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