22.00.0041: How I feel about AI

The phone rings.
Hello, this is John Noble from the late 1980s.

Hi John, it’s you in 2024. They call us Johnny now. What are you up to?

Oh hi. I’m just messing about with ELIZA on my Amiga 500. It’s an AI, you can ask it questions and stuff!

Cool. Honestly I thought you’d be a bit more surprised that I called you.

Anyway, I remember ELIZA. Hey I’ve got news. We have actual AI now!

No way! Real AI?

Well, kinda. They call it ‘AI’ but there’s nothing intelligent about it. Setting that technicality aside, it’s pretty amazing.

You can talk to it and it’s basically indistinguishable from a human. You can ask it almost anything and it’ll give you a pretty good answer. It can translate language essentially flawlessly, instantaneously, and you can speak that text out loud and have the translation read back to you. Some studies have shown that it’s as good as your GP in diagnosing medical issues. It’s being used to design new antibacterials, which we really need. It can make therapy more accessible. It can enhance education by personalizing learning experiences for students. It’s revolutionizing customer service with chatbots that offer instant assistance. In fields like agriculture, AI-driven solutions optimize crop yields and reduce resource usage. It’s also contributing to environmental conservation through predictive analytics to combat climate change. Additionally, AI-driven robotics are advancing manufacturing efficiency and safety standards.

It’s so good, I wrote the first half of that paragraph myself and I asked ChatGPT to finish it off with ‘more very positive things that AI can do’ and it did that, instantly, for free.

Wow! That is amazing. So how does everybody feel about it?

We all hate it.

Oh. That doesn’t make sense. The technology sounds extraordinary.

Yeah the technology is. But it’s been rammed down our throats and we’re all sick of it already.

I use this platform called Thinkific to host my course videos. I spend hours and hours thinking about how to teach people these skills that I have; meticulously crafting these lessons so that each flows cohesively from the next; so that the message is clear, so that the viewer is taken on a journey from concept to concept.

But now there’s this massive button that you can’t turn off that wants to create your course for you ‘with AI’. As if you, the cretin, have signed up for this teaching platform but actually you’ve no idea how or what to teach. It’s demeaning. And so the internet is being filled with this dreck, this tedious, banal slop, to the point where real human content is becoming hard to find.

Right. That seems like a sha— And then you’ve got these companies that basically steal all of your data to make these new AIs. Because they need to be trained on actual human data.

The problem is that we’ve structured society so that in order to make anything, you eventually need it to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. So rather than having normal companies that pay normal prices for things and treat people like humans, you’ve got these absurd structures whose only purpose is to pay back their investors, at all costs. So they’ll just shaft their users in service of these billions of dollars.

I can sense your frust— So the whole world has been taken over by these assholes and what should have been an amazing, transformational technology — I haven’t even mentioned the internet yet have I? that’s a whole other thing — anyway so it feels like what should have been transformational is just being ruined because a bunch of dudes have to be absurdly, offensively rich at everyone else’s expense. It’s not like they can even spend the money, they just want it so they can say that they have it. And so everything’s screwed and it’s only getting worse.

Sorry. Are you still there?

Yeah. Look, is there anything I can do from the late 1980s?

Yeah. There are these thing called emoji. In October 2010 with the release of Unicode 6.0 there’s a new one: it’s called ‘sparkles’.

I need you to find whoever designed that emoji and cut their hands off…


Me: This seems like a long paragraph and I feel like I already get the point it’s trying to make. TL;DR, skip to the next one

Me: :rofl:

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