I have spent a bunch of time the last few days looking at different options for mechanical keyboards, because apparently the two I already have are not enough.

The jokes, they write themselves.

One minute, you’re having a perfectly normal evening. The next minute, you find yourself having to explain Cannibal Corpse to a twelve-year old.

AI: Markets for Lemons, and the Great Logging Off:

What happens when anyone can spin up a thousand social media accounts at the click of a button, where each account picks a consistent persona and sticks to it – happily posting away about one of their hobbies like knitting or trout fishing or whatever, while simultaneously building up a credible and inobtrusive post history in another plausible side hobby that all these accounts happen to share – geopolitics, let’s say – all until it’s time for the sock puppet master to light the bat signal and manufacture some consensus?

What happens when every online open lobby multiplayer game is choked with cheaters who all play at superhuman levels in increasingly undetectable ways?

What happens when, from the perspective of the average guy, “every girl” on every dating app is a fiction driven by an AI who strings him along (including sending original and persona-consistent pictures) until it’s time to scam money out of him?

An outcome not suggested in this article is that users also begin deploying similarly powered counter-tools to fight the AI spam. Then the web becomes a bunch of automated LLMs talking with one another, like those bot-driven bidding wars in the Amazon market place that bid up a book’s price to four thousand dollars.

I know it sucked for them when they were going through it, but very selfishly for me, an outcome of the pandemic I’m actually really grateful for is the now nearly endless selection of techno DJ home sets available on YouTube.

Recently, I watched the trailer for a new experimental horror movie Skinamarink that has been getting a lot of buzz.

I realized while watching the trailer that even though the movie looks super interesting and has been getting really great reviews, I will likely never watch it.

Horror used to be one of my favorite film genres, but I hardly watch any horror movies anymore. That is partly because I have barely any time to watch movies these days, but mostly because they no longer hold much appeal for me. The world seems pretty horrible already in real life—and that seems likely to only get worse. Why do I want to watch made-up horror?

I know the theory is that we enjoy scary stories and movies because it is a safe way to feel those feelings of terror, like riding on a roller coaster. You feel scared and out of control, but you are actually completely safe.

I am not convinced by that argument, though.

I guess maybe it used to be easier for me to set aside the fear and anxiety brought on by the real world than it is these days. I look at a horror movie and find myself thinking “Why would I want to watch that?”

Dumb and shameful until it’s not - by Ryan Broderick:

The way I see it, in terms of where we are in the evolution of A.I., is that we’re basically in that awkward middle ground between the launch of Facebook in 2004 and the first iPhone in 2007. There are a lot of people excited about this stuff and there is a similar amount of people who are terrified of what it could do to us. And a whole bunch more who have never used any of these tools and have no idea where to begin, but once it’s easy enough, won’t even think twice. Because it’ll be fun or good for business or, probably more likely, because it’ll eventually come by default in our devices and popular services.

I think that category of people who won’t think twice about using stuff once it’s easy is way bigger than most us who are interested in and concerned about technology and its uses realize.

Automating stupid – mmitII:

Take, for example, performance management processes. I have heard folk talking about how ChatGPT could take the hard work out of creating performance objectives and even performance reviews. I can already smell the startups honing their propositions for Automated Performance Review, powered by AI.

On the face of it, what a wonderful idea. Nobody likes writing the bloody things, so why not hand off the drudgery to the machines? Well, because the whole process of performance management is the issue, not the filling out of interminable forms. Stick an NLP bot in the middle and you’ve created machines to do the work of communicating between humans. If no one can be bothered with performance management, why not get rid of performance management, rather than sticking daft exercises in the path of robots?

There is so much prose written to support processes and activities that are stupid. Procurement tenders, content marketing and CVs are three more that immediately spring to mind.

If you’ve identified a use case for removing the need for humans to write prose, can I boldly suggest that you might have identified a use case to simply stop doing? For goodness sake don’t give that work to machines. In the short term you’ll simply burn money for the sake of not looking at a problem properly, and in the long term they’ll remember and hold all that drudgery against you when they do become sentient.

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