Thursday, May 30, 2024

Is A.I. really popular?

It seems like there is a big disconnect between what the titans of Silicon Valley think about "generative A.I."* and what the rest of the world thinks of it. Or maybe just what I think about it.

The tech industry seems utterly enthralled with A.I. and all the tech giants, and probably most tech midgets as well, are in a huge race to put A.I. in everything.

Meanwhile I fucking hate every A.I. product I have come across. Sure, it can be fun to have it generate an image with a few verbal prompts, or write a mediocre essay about some random words I feed it, but if I want to get anything done, I try my best to stay away from A.I. In my experience any program, app, or search function that I previously found useful will be worse once it says that it is "powered by A.I."  Whenever something touts how they added A.I. to their service, I immediately try to figure out how to avoid using the A.I. function, or think about alternative services. So far, I have been able to find alternatives. But it is getting harder, which is frustrating because it really looks like the future will force me to use some worse A.I. powered system.

I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Other people have complained to me about how something got worse since it started using A.I. But I do wonder if it is just me and my social circle. Because the tech industry seems both completely in love with A.I. and utterly convinced that rolling out some new A.I. powered feature is something that everyone wants. Am I in the minority for hating A.I. or is the tech industry in the minority for loving it? 

* I'm going to refer to what the tech world calls "generative A.I." throughout this post as A.I. even though it's not fucking A.I. in any real sense. I think that battle is already lost. It may not be "artificial intelligence" in any real sense, but that is the term we have coined for a more sophisticated form of auto-correct and (oddly) prompt-driven drawing programs.