Tag: AI (page 1 of 12)

Second-order effects of widespread AI

Sometimes ‘Ask HN’ threads on Hacker News are inane or full of people just wanting to show off their technical knowledge. Occasionally, though, there’s a thread that’s just fascinating, such as this one about what might happen once artificial intelligence is widespread.

Other than the usual ones about deepfakes, porn, and advertising (all which should concern us) I thought this comment by user ‘htlion’ was insightful:

AI will become the first publisher of contents on any platform that exists. Will it be texts, images, videos or any other interactions. No banning mechanisms will really help because any user will be able to copy-paste generated content. On top of that, the content will be generated specifically for you based on “what you like”. I expect a backlash effect where people will feel like becoming cattle which is fed AI-generated content to which you can’t relate. It will be even worse in the professional life where any admin related interaction will be handled by an AI, unless you are a VIP member for this particular situation. This will strengthen the split between non-VIP and VIP customers. As a consequence, I expect people to come back to localilty, be it associations, sports clubs or neighborhood related, because that will be the only place where they will be able to experience humanity.

Source: What will be the second order effects widespread AI? | Hacker News

AI is coming for middle management

It’s hard not to agree with this. Things may play out a little different in the EU, but in the USA and UK I can foresee the middle classes despairing.

Legacy businesses will have to rely on retail and hourly support staff to be able to reduce management head count as a means of freeing up money for implementing automation. In order to do that, they will need to implement AI management tools; chat bots, scheduling, negotiating, training, data collection, diagnostic analysis, etc., before hand.

Otherwise, they will be left to rely on an overly bureaucratic and entrenched middle management layer to do so and that solution is likely to come from outsourcing or consultants. All the while, the retail environment deteriorates as workers are tasked to replace themselves without any additional benefits; service declines, implementation falters, costs go up, more consulting required.

Union formation across the retail landscape will force corporations to reduce management head count and implement AI management solutions which focus on labor relations. The once fungible and disposable retail worker will be transformed into a highly sought after professional who will be relied upon specifically for automation implementation.

Source: AI will replace middle management before robots replace hourly workers | Chatterhead Says

Image: DeepMind

AI everywhere in education

Jon Dron makes a good point here that we need to put the humanity back into education, otherwise we’re going to have AI everywhere and a completely broken system.

I thought it would be fun, in an ironic kind of way, to use an AI art generator to illustrate this post…

To a significant extent, we already have artificial students, and artificial teachers teaching them. How ridiculous is that? How broken is the system that not only allows it but actively promotes it?


This is a wake-up call. Soon, if not already, most of the training data for the AIs will be generated by AIs. Unchecked, the result is going to be a set of ever-worse copies of copies, that become what the next generation consumes and learns from, in a vicious spiral that leaves us at best stagnant, at worst something akin to the Eloi in H.G. Wells’s Time Machine. If we don’t want this to happen then it is time for educators to reclaim, to celebrate, and (perhaps a little) to reinvent our humanity. We need, more and more, to think of education as a process of learning to be, not of learning to do, except insofar as the doing contributes to our being. It’s about people, learning to be people, in the presence of and through interaction with other people. It’s about creativity, compassion, and meaning, not the achievement of outcomes a machine could replicate with ease. I think it should always have been this way.

Source: So, this is a thing… | Jon Dron

Image: DALL-E 2 (“robot painting a picture of a robot painting a picture of a robot, in the style of Rene Magritte”)