Welcome to the AI ​​dystopia no one asked for, courtesy of Silicon Valley

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A few weeks ago, I looked again Jurassic Park Probably the 10th time since the movie came out 30 years ago. (As an aside, it really holds up – 10/10, no notes.)

Early in the plot, while the guests are discussing their impressions of the park, Jeff Goldblum's character (also 10/10, absolutely perfect) launches into a speech to let you know all the dinosaur stuff below. can take and map it onto the surrounding modern debate. Artificial intelligence

“Don't you see the danger, John, what are you doing here? Genetic power is the most terrifying force the planet has ever seen, but you wield it like a child who finds his father's gun. Gone… you were standing on the shoulders of genius to make something as fast as you could, and before you knew what you had, you had patented it, and packaged it, and made it plastic. slapped on K's lunchbox, and now you're selling it.”

And then comes the line that later spawned a thousand memes: “Your scientists were too busy to can do that they did not stop to think that if they should

Naturally, the group's skepticism is dismissed as luddite and the film continues. (Spoiler alert: Luddite was right!)

AI skeptics — who are legion, and not necessarily part of the fringe tin foil hat crowd — are begging Silicon Valley to take a beating before AI is unleashed on the world.

But tech companies, faced with the most powerful computing innovation in a generation, are running around like kids who just got their daddy's gun.

See here: Apple and Google — who, of course, deserve a lot of credit for the innovations they've brought to the world — have recently embraced AI-powered features to help sell their latest tablets and smartphones. . After all, throwing AI into your pitch deck is a surefire way to signal to shareholders that you're on the cutting edge, which helps distract from the fact that your company hasn't developed any significant proprietary technology in years. Not prepared.

In marketing these new devices, though, Apple and Google have lost the plot.

Apple's new iPad ad made headlines this week for all the wrong reasons. The space depicts a large industrial hydraulic press slowly crushing a collection of objects that represent the human creative experience: there's a piano, a record player that plays Sonny & Cher's 1972 hit ” All I Ever Need is You,” paint cans, books, a Space Invaders arcade console, a trumpet. Music bounces as the machine switches on and breaks it. Then, the big reveal: It's all in Apple's new iPad, its thinnest and most powerful yet, thanks to its all-new AI chip.

The online fury came fast and furious.

It's the most honest metaphor for what tech companies do to artists, musicians, creatives, writers, filmmakers: squeeze them, use them, don't pay well, take everything and then say it's all theirs. Created by,” filmmaker Asif Kapadia Written on x.

“If you thought this iPad ad was weird, you should have seen the first cut where they lined up all your favorite characters and shot them,” What a joke Actor and producer Luke Barnett.

Apple issued an unusual apology for the ad on Thursday, telling AdAge that “our goal has always been to celebrate the myriad ways users can express themselves and bring their ideas to life through iPad. We with this video Missed the mark, and we apologize.

Earlier in the week, CEO Tim Cook said that Apple's “extremely powerful” M4 chip will power the company's new AI tools. In other words: Check it out, Wall Street! the people Not buying our stuff as much. More but just wait until we add bots!

Meanwhile, is anyone else drowning in Google's Pixel ads, which show people using a smartphone's AI photo-editing software to trick their online followers?

In these commercials, a boy who can't dunk a basketball by himself uses a trampoline to reach the rim, and then modifies the trampoline. An imperfect group selfie captures the perfect angle for everyone and creates a composite image of a moment that never happened. A father playfully tosses his child in the air, and then edits the photo to make it look like I still don't understand, like the child has gone several inches up in the air.

It's Google going, “Look what we can do!” Without any reflection on how pointless it all is. It is, at best, distortion for distortion's sake. At worst, it's distorted for the sake of conditioning regular people with the idea of ​​visual misinformation.

Smartphones and tablets were invented to enhance our lived experience, to make it easier to get out of the house and go to the beach and meet up with friends — just a nice camera-computer combo that fits in your pocket.

In theory, our phones and tablets will become even more useful with AI, acting as virtual assistants that can do all the boring stuff we don't want, like summarizing all your new emails. and filtering out the junk. According to AI proponents, there is a world in the near future where you can simply tell Siri or Google, “Order my usual breakfast from the coffee shop near the office, I'll be there in 10 minutes to pick it up.” Will go,” and the bot will do just that.

However, we are not there yet. And so far, consumer applications for AI have been simultaneously tenuous and dystopian.

Distorted images can be harmless social media fodder until they become propaganda spread by bad actors.

Apple is expected to announce tools like its ChatGPT that could be a game changer for your Internet browsing. But generative AI bots are also prone to giving wrong answers and experiencing hallucinations, and no one knows what happens when bots run out of human-generated data to learn from and use their synthetic text to They start hovering like a snake eating itself. tail

The Jeff Goldblums of the AI ​​debate — including the industry's own pioneers — aren't necessarily saying we have to suppress AI and pretend it never existed. Most of them are just your friendly neighborhood skeptics, going around, “Hey, should we really be doing this?”

To be clear, we weren't invited to Apple or Google's marketing meetings.

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