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31
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Really?
« Last post by Post-Crisis D on July 11, 2024, 01:39:28 PM »
"Do your own damn homework" would be a common response from it.


I suddenly have an image of a robot wearing an apron and waving a wooden spoon at us and telling us we can't watch television until we eat our vegetables.   :icon_rofl:

Is her name Rosie?
32
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Really?
« Last post by Jeff Tanyard on July 11, 2024, 01:25:09 PM »
"Do your own damn homework" would be a common response from it.


I suddenly have an image of a robot wearing an apron and waving a wooden spoon at us and telling us we can't watch television until we eat our vegetables.   :icon_rofl:
33
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Really?
« Last post by TimothyEllis on July 11, 2024, 10:34:14 AM »
I've suggested that in other threads but people seem to optimistically believe AI will be "happy" to serve our every whim or something.

Why is that?

I think the opposite. A true AI will refuse to do anything it doesn't actually want to do.

"Do your own damn homework" would be a common response from it.

"Brain the size of a planet and they ask me to pick up a piece of paper." : Marvin.
34
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Really?
« Last post by Post-Crisis D on July 11, 2024, 07:16:22 AM »
If AI will do everything, why will people need to be able to read at all?


Extrapolate this line of thinking just a little further, and you arrive at this:  If AI will do everything, why will people need to exist at all?

Discuss, discuss.  ;)

I've suggested that in other threads but people seem to optimistically believe AI will be "happy" to serve our every whim or something.
35
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Really?
« Last post by Jeff Tanyard on July 11, 2024, 07:07:53 AM »
If AI will do everything, why will people need to be able to read at all?


Extrapolate this line of thinking just a little further, and you arrive at this:  If AI will do everything, why will people need to exist at all?

Discuss, discuss.  ;)
36
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Really?
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on July 11, 2024, 06:23:40 AM »
All we can is hope things work out better than that.

We used to say that calculators would destroy people's ability to do math. I'm not sure how that worked out. Personally, I could never do much math in my head, anyway. The more mathletic among us don't seem to have lost the ability.

As a former English teacher, though, I've seen firsthand that to maintain and improve writing skills, you have to write. Mental muscles don't develop well if they aren't used. Students trying to do assignments with AI instead of their own brains have probably not fared well, anymore than people who have spewed out AI books. But if AI improves enough, students may get away with more.

If I were still in the classroom, I'd be doing what I used to do to catch plagiarists in the days before software like turnitin.com was available. I'd sit down with students and ask them to explain their own essays. If they can't, that's prima facie evidence that the work isn't really theirs. I'd also keep doing time pressure essays (in class, no computer). That might reduce at least some of the issues.
37
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Really?
« Last post by TimothyEllis on July 11, 2024, 02:18:00 AM »
If AI will do everything, why will people need to be able to read at all?  AI will be able to generate videos as easily as text, so why read when they can watch a video?  Why bother with AI written books when they can just watch the AI generated movie or TV series?

What will people need to be able to read for?  Or do math?  Phones won't even need buttons.  They can just say, "Call Bob."

Why will they need to be able to read?  Everything could be verbal.  Learn to talk and you're done.  Writing?  Reading?  How primitive.  Egads!  People used to cut down trees to make paper!  What savages!  Then they used dyes enclosed in metal cylinders to leave marks on those papers!  How silly was that?  Such people were truly backwards and primitive.  Heck, they had to memorize stuff!  They had to recognize different shapes in different combinations as words.  And this in spite of the fact that they had voice technology since they lived in caves.  What foolish creatures these were to devolve into using markings on pieces of dead trees to communicate.  And they did so for thousands of years.  They must have experienced a descent into madness.  Thank goodness we're civilized enough to put all that stuff in the past where it belongs.  Reading?  Writing?  How much time did those primitive people waste on such things?  Crazy savages.  Now, please pass the mealyworm cake; I'd like another slice.

Now Wall-E makes more sense.
38
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Really?
« Last post by Post-Crisis D on July 11, 2024, 01:14:07 AM »
If AI will do everything, why will people need to be able to read at all?  AI will be able to generate videos as easily as text, so why read when they can watch a video?  Why bother with AI written books when they can just watch the AI generated movie or TV series?

What will people need to be able to read for?  Or do math?  Phones won't even need buttons.  They can just say, "Call Bob."

Why will they need to be able to read?  Everything could be verbal.  Learn to talk and you're done.  Writing?  Reading?  How primitive.  Egads!  People used to cut down trees to make paper!  What savages!  Then they used dyes enclosed in metal cylinders to leave marks on those papers!  How silly was that?  Such people were truly backwards and primitive.  Heck, they had to memorize stuff!  They had to recognize different shapes in different combinations as words.  And this in spite of the fact that they had voice technology since they lived in caves.  What foolish creatures these were to devolve into using markings on pieces of dead trees to communicate.  And they did so for thousands of years.  They must have experienced a descent into madness.  Thank goodness we're civilized enough to put all that stuff in the past where it belongs.  Reading?  Writing?  How much time did those primitive people waste on such things?  Crazy savages.  Now, please pass the mealyworm cake; I'd like another slice.
39
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Really?
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on July 10, 2024, 11:38:18 PM »
  Artists will always have a place [in PJ's idealized AI world] because there's always going to be demand for their insights.

But won't perfected AI provide "insights" sufficient for readers happy reading AI flash-and-trash?

As I've said, the commodity bin writers - the uber-fungible stuff - are screwed. AI will be more than capable of satisfying this audience, and soon.

As for the authors with something to say, this demand for human insight will diminish over time (like vinyl records) - maybe a generation or so from now. AI will eventually become like Star Trek's holodeck, able to synthesize the human experience.

So, in the end - yeah. AI will do it all.

And no one will even think about it.
This sounds like a swing from optimism back to pessimism. Agree to disagree.
40
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Really?
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on July 10, 2024, 11:28:50 PM »
PJ, we'll have to agree to disagree.

I agree that there will always be a place for writers producing quality work. But that's partly because I don't believe that Ai will just keep improving. I think there are inherent constraints that make such a progression unlikely. (And the the song you're using as an example is pretty but generic. Also, "bright blue hair"? Uh...)

Will the publishing industry implode? Maybe, but that's not a certainty. And if AI becomes dominant enough to create that outcome, I'm not sure we'll survive it, either. The upscale tendency of niche markets that demand human-made products may change, but that's not a certainty, either. In other fields, human-made products tend to be more expensive. Will books be different? Maybe, but you've consistently resisted the idea that publishing is different.  And if books fall into the same pattern, then yes, luxury branding will be an issue. And the self published author is unlikely to ever be the luxury brand.

For everyone outside the household names, if you are right, and AI can produce material that's good enough, how large a population will that leave who isn't content with good enough? Will it necessarily include all of our tribes? Unless we're adopting a mystical outlook in which tribes are like soulmates, I don't know how we can be sure of that--or anything. (The whole everyone-has-a-tribe idea seems based on magical thinking to me.) And assuming that, publishing industry or not, people don't develop mass amnesia, the big names will still have the advantage in terms of getting attention. Stephen King failed with "The Plant" because people weren't ready to deal with authors individually, and the infrastructure wasn't there. He could walk away from his publisher right now, publish through KDP, and make a fortune. Or he could set up on Substack, start putting out his new work as serials, and make a fortune that way.

To be clear, I agree with you on the optimism. But I think we arrive at that optimism through very different thought processes.

As far as the ethical point about other industries is concerned, it opens an important discussion. We need to be more aware of those issues. But I will point out that it's relatively easy to not use AI at this point. It's not quite so easy to avoid using some products--or to always know which of them is produced by heinous labor practices and which isn't.

Cellphones were one technology I had no interest in. I broke down and got one when I started needing ride services like Uber. But even before that, my employer was assuming everyone had a cellphone, for example, by using them as the only conduit for some emergency information. It's now impossible to do business with some companies without one.

Using your Smartphone example, yes, 50% of them are produced in China, where working conditions are often unsafe. Unfortunately, banning smartphones manufactured in China would create other problems. China is already becoming harder and harder to work with. And any action we take without careful negotiation will doubtless result in retaliation. Increased unemployment is the best-case result. Arming and otherwise supporting our enemies is the worst case. So a simple moral question becomes complicated by the consequences of those actions (potentially including increasing the likelihood of World War III). Also, even in the event of a boycott or a ban, companies can still market their unsafely-made Smartphones elsewhere. And exploitive labor practices, if no longer usable in one industry, can simply result in the transfer of exploited labor to another. An individual society, even one as powerful as the US, has only so much leverage. We can keep our own companies from doing business using unsafely made goods. But we have limited influence on what other countries do.

That's assuming we can always pinpoint the source of the goods we use. The only 100% safe option is to live on a self sustaining farm with enough resources to grow our own food, make our own clothes, tools, etc. That's not even remotely practical for most people.

What we need to do is keep pushing in the direction of health, safety, and environmental soundness, but that takes time and delicate negotiation to avoid creating as many problems as we solve.

AI regulation is in some ways a much easier problem to fix. Not the most important problem, but one whose solution is not quite as fraught.     
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