AI has a lot of problems. It helps itself to the work of others, regurgitating what it absorbs in a game of multidimensional Mad Libs and omitting all attribution, resulting in widespread outrage and litigation. When it draws pictures, it makes the CEOs white, puts people in awkward ethnic outfits, and has a tendency to imagine women as elfish, with light-colored eyes. Its architects sometimes seem to be part of a death cult that semi-worships a Cthulu-like future AI god, and they focus great energies on supplicating to this immense imaginary demon (thrilling! terrifying!) instead of integrating with the culture at hand (boring, and you get yelled at). Even the more thoughtful AI geniuses seem OK with the idea that an artificial general intelligence is right around the corner, despite 75 years of failed precedent—the purest form of getting high on your own supply.

So I should reject this whole crop of image-generating, chatting, large-language-model-based code-writing infinite typing monkeys. But, dammit, I can’t. I love them too much. I am drawn back over and over, for hours, to learn and interact with them. I have them make me lists, draw me pictures, summarize things, read for me. Where I work, we’ve built them into our code. I’m in the bag. Not my first hypocrisy rodeo.

There’s a truism that helps me whenever the new big tech thing has every brain melting: I repeat to myself, “It’s just software.” Word processing was going to make it too easy to write novels, Photoshop looked like it would let us erase history, Bitcoin was going to replace money, and now AI is going to ruin society, but … it’s just software. And not even that much software: Lots of AI models could fit on a thumb drive with enough room left over for the entire run of Game of Thrones (or Microsoft Office). They’re interdimensional ZIP files, glitchy JPEGs, but for all of human knowledge. And yet they serve such large portions! (Not always. Sometimes I ask the AI to make a list and it gives up. “You can do it,” I type. “You can make the list longer.” And it does! What a terrible interface!)

What I love, more than anything, is the quality that makes AI such a disaster: If it sees a space, it will fill it—with nonsense, with imagined fact, with links to fake websites. It possesses an absolute willingness to spout foolishness, balanced only by its carefree attitude toward plagiarism. AI is, very simply, a totally shameless technology.  
Bet that's got some control freaks quaking in their stiletto heels.
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