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What’s the deal with everyone’s “A.I.” obsession?

What’s the deal with everyone’s “A.I.” obsession?

Everywhere you look, it’s “A.I.” this, “A.I.” that. Enough. No computer is intelligent — at least not yet. We’re inches away from putting an “A.I.” eraser in a pencil and calling it the next Shakespeare. Who needs actual talent or imagination when you’ve got a little robot fixing all your mistakes for you? Next thing you know, they’ll be selling us an “A.I.” paintbrush that‘ll turn you into Matisse. It’s madness. These software are tools. Useful? Occasionally. Trustworthy? About as much as a politician during an election year. I mean, even Eric Trump can outsmart these things… and let’s face it, that’s not exactly a high bar to clear. So what’s the deal with everyone’s “A.I.” obsession? I think it comes down to three groups: disgruntled engineers, corporate vultures, and an optimistic general public.

The reason for engineers’ religious fanaticism around “A.I.” is clear as day. With 85% to 90% of “A.I.” engineers being men, it’s no wonder the tech giants that dominate the field have become breeding grounds for rampant sexism and sexual harassment. Is it really so shocking that a field rife with vengeful men who can’t get laid is obsessed with the idea of creating “life” unilaterally? It’s the ultimate revenge fantasy. For them, “A.I.” is nothing more than a desperate attempt to fill the void left by their own inadequacy. They’ve lost sight of what it means to be human.

The executives who fund these tools have a more classically sinister motivation: the façade of free labor. Don’t let the tech babble fool you — the engineering behind these so-called “A.I.” programs is astonishingly simple: download the things you put on the internet, find patterns in them with plain-old statistics, and output some extrapolated content as if it were an act of artificially immaculate conception. Consider Google Translate. Every day, Google steals the latest translations from the web, finds the most commonly accepted ones, and presents them to you without crediting those who did the actual work. It’s an impressive feat built on a lie. Disguising theft as “innovation” isn’t just morally wrong; it’s economically idiotic. The Googles and Metas of the world are unnecessarily putting people out of work — people whose work, without which, their algorithms will fail.

Now, let’s talk about you, the general public, who likely enjoys using these so-called “A.I.” tools. I get it. They’re undeniably cool and, in many cases, quite useful. Take GitHub’s Copilot, an “A.I.” algorithm built on top of Open AI’s GPT models and refined for code. I use it daily. It speeds up my coding with its autocomplete engine… and yes, it helped me build this site. I love it. So please don't take my criticism of “A.I.” as a call for boycotts. My plea is only for you to stop calling them “intelligent” — doing so undermines the preciousness of humanity. The only thing smart about these tools is the marketing behind them. They’re pattern synthesis engines, and when used properly, can improve your efficiency, not unlike a good pair of pliers. Let’s not confuse “A.I.” with the “artificially inflated” egos that market them.