Home Money Generative AI is totally shameless. I want to be

Generative AI is totally shameless. I want to be

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 Generative AI is totally shameless. I want to be

AI has a many problems. He helps himself to the work of others, regurgitating what he absorbs into a multidimensional game of Mad Libs and omitting all attribution, resulting in widespread outrage and litigation. When he draws pictures, he makes CEOs white, dresses people in uncomfortable ethnic costumes, and tends to imagine women as elves, with light-colored eyes. Its architects sometimes seem to be part of a death cult that semi-worships a future AI god similar to Cthulu, and they focus great energies on supplicating this immense imaginary demon (exciting! Terrifying!) rather than integrating with the culture in question (boring and they yell at you). Even the most thoughtful AI geniuses seem to accept the idea that artificial general intelligence is just around the corner, despite 75 years of failed precedents: the purest form of getting high on your own supplies.

So you should reject this whole crop of monkeys writing infinite code by generating images, chatting and writing code based on big language models. But damn, I can’t. I love them so much. I return again and again, for hours, to learn and interact with them. I make them make lists, draw pictures for me, summarize things, read to me. Where I work, we have integrated them into our code. I’m in the bag. It’s not my first rodeo of hypocrisy.

There’s a truism that helps me every time the big new technology makes everyone’s brain melt: I repeat to myself, “It’s just software.” Word processing was going to make writing novels too easy, it seemed like Photoshop would let us erase history, Bitcoin was going to replace money, and now AI was going to ruin society, but… it’s just software. And not even so much software: many AI models could fit on a USB stick with enough space for the entire series of game of Thrones (or Microsoft Office). They are interdimensional ZIP files, JPEGs with glitches, but according to all human knowledge. And yet they serve such large portions! (Not always. Sometimes I ask the AI ​​to make a list and it gives up. “You can do it,” I write. “You can make the list longer.” And it does! What a terrible interface!)

What I love, more than anything, is the quality that makes AI a disaster: if it sees a space, it fills it with nonsense, with imaginary facts, with links to fake websites. He has an absolute willingness to talk nonsense, balanced only by his casual attitude toward plagiarism. AI is, quite simply, a totally shameless technology.

As with most People on Earth, shame is a part of my life, I installed it at a young age and updated it frequently with shame service packages. I once read a theory according to which shame is born when a child expects a reaction from his parents (a laugh, an applause) and does not get it. It’s an oversimplification, but considering all the jokes I’ve told that have fallen flat, it sure rings true. In this sense, social networks could be understood as a huge shame-creating machine. We all come out with our funny quotes and our cool photos, and when no one likes them or doesn’t like them, we feel bad about it. A healthy person says, “Oh, well, it didn’t land. I felt strange. Time to move on.”

But when you meet shameless people, they can sometimes seem like miracles. They have a superpower: the ability to be hated, to make mistakes and still move forward. We’re obsessed with them: our divas, our pop stars, our former presidents, our political hustlers, and, of course, our tech industry CEOs. We know them by their names and nicknames, not because they are our friends but because the weight of their personalities and influence has allowed them to claim their own domain names in the collective cognitive record.

Are these shameless people bad, wrong or bad? Sure. Whatever you want. However, they are mostly just big, by their own blatant design. They contain multitudes and we debate those multitudes. Do they deserve their fame, their billions, their Electoral College victory? We want them to leave but they don’t care. Not a bit. They plan to stay forever. They will be dead before they feel remorse.

AI is like having my own shameless pet monster. ChatGPT, my favorite, is the cheekiest of all. He will do whatever you tell him, regardless of the skills involved. He will tell you how to become a nuclear engineer, how to keep a husband, how to invade a country. I love asking him questions I’m embarrassed to ask anyone else: “What is private equity?” “How can I convince my family to let me have a dog?” It helps me understand what is happening with my semaglutide injections. It helps me write code; in fact, it has renewed my relationship with writing code. Create throwaway, meaningless images. He teaches me music theory and helps me write shitty little tunes. He does everything wrong and with confidence. And I want to be. I want to have that confidence, that peace of mind, and that ridiculous self-assurance.

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