Unpacking the Insanity of AI and the Internet’s Final Destination
Ben Lazaroff shares an article that explores the role of AI, the metaverse, and deep fakes in our present “reality”.
Amid the 50,000 daily posts on ChatGPT and AI, it’s seemingly been lost that reality manipulation and sensory control are at the very heart of artificial intelligence, the “metaverse”, deepfakes and the rest. Beyond the surface-level likes and shares, these technologies – and the people that run them – are not out to help you. They never were. Facebook was created as a “hot-or-not” app and evolved into a disinformation machine. It was never about “connecting you”. It was about harvesting your information and selling it. The essential functions of deepfakes and audio AI are to manipulate political elections, enable blackmail and distort the truth. Allowing you to make Obama sing a Kanye track or Kanye give a stump speech are intentionally distracting side-shows.
If the start to 2023 has been any indication, “artificial intelligence” isn’t going anywhere. It’s a silly umbrella term like “mortgage-backed-securities” that encapsulates way too many technologies, markets and underlying engineering concepts. If you need more convincing, just listen to investors tossing it around in a self-validating way matched only by covid-era crypto-mania, Enron-fanatacism and dot-com businesses at the dawn of the modern internet. It’s a tier characterized by short-term fame and long-term infamy.
What’s been most troubling lately is the stupid, unbridled hype. Every day, these one-sided, myopic, seemingly intentionally-missing-the-point-styled posts pollute the internet.
“ChatGPT has changed everything. Here are 42 use cases for the greatest technology ever.”
“Look at Meta’s new AI model – the next revolution is here.”
The LinkedIn algo clearly understands what I can’t stand, and now I’m going to reward them with content. Whatever. I know there are people and firms like Deeptrace working on these problems at multiple levels, but I think they’re being drowned out.
The goal here is to unpack this insanity, categorize it meaningfully, and provide a cautionary note that we’re careening straight to the black-mirror, brave-new-world-type future everything ever has warned us against. Why? A combination of decades-lagging regulation (not to mention, basic understanding) of deep tech at every level of government, a beautiful mix of ego-centricity and utterly conscious-less technology leadership at many of our world’s flagship companies, and a passive, accepting fatalism at the individual level.
In this piece, I do my best to talk through multiple types of technologies oriented towards “input manipulation” and “output manipulation”: reality-manipulating visual and audio technology, social (read: anti-social) media, algorithmic designs and more.
Key points include
Input and output manipulation
Deepfakes and Co.