AI is critically important but not for you

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2024-05-14 22:30:07

Before Chat-GPT caused a sensation, big tech companies like Facebook and Apple were betting their future growth on virtual reality. But I'm convinced that virtual reality will never be a mainstream thing. If you ever used VR you know why:

The focus on virtual reality felt like desperation to me. The desperation of big tech companies trying to find new growth, ideally a monopoly they control1, to satisfy the demands of shareholders.

And then OpenAI dropped ChatGPT and all the big tech companies started to pivot so fast because in contrary to VR, AI doesn't involve making people nauseated and look silly.

It's probably obvious that I feel it's not about AI itself. It is really about huge tech companies that have found a new way to sustain growth a bit longer, now that all other markets have been saturated. Flush with cash, they went nuts and bought up all the AI accelerator hardware2, which in turn uses unspeakable amounts of energy to train new large language models.

Despite all the hype, current AI technology is at it's core a very sophisticated statistical model. It's all about probabilities, it can't actually reason. As I see it, work done by AI can't thus be trusted. Depending on the specific application, that may be less of an issue, but that is a fundamental limitation of current technology. And this gives me pause as it limits the application where it is most wanted: to control labour. To reduce the cost of headcount and to suppress wages.

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