Ready Or Not

Despite considerable evidence that artificial intelligence is far from ready for prime time, just about every technology you can think of is being outfitted with the feature. From search engines to automobiles, we’re putting our lives into the “hands” of A.I. that advises us, literally, to eat rocks.

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  • alex_the_tired
    July 3, 2024 4:46 AM

    Old hat.

    Quite a few years back, we got a content management system at work. It crashed regularly. “Oh, just report any glitches and we’ll have the updates and patches to you in a flash.” After several months, it became obvious: The company in question had shipped us a product that wasn’t ready for market and gotten us to do the beta testing for them for free.

    Does anyone really think the Elon Musks or Mark Zuckerbergs tear up at the thought of people’s lives being ruined by their products and practices?

    The IT types aren’t the sweet lovable goofs from “The Big Bang Theory.” The more successful ones tend to be the ones who learned to code and melded that skill set with the rapacious shark-like qualities of business types. Think of them more like the people selling cigarettes. “Yeah. We all know this’ll hook 12-year-olds on the product, but, hey, who cares? I’d give a million kids cancer if it means I’m SUCCEEDING in my career. Why should I care if someone’s mother coughs blood and dies in agony? I’ve got quarterly sales figures to meet.”

    We’ve always been at the Overlook. … Only now, it’s with bad search engines and cars that drive us over cliffs.

    • Certainly too many of the publicly loud IT types fit that description, but my experience is that that is not anywhere near universal. There are plenty who are working jobs in domains like climate change, and taking a lower salary because of it. They’re not all as cute as Jim Parsons, but they are good people.

  • The joke is all on all of you. Ted Rall actually perished in a freak accident involving barracuda and malfunctioning Vitamix blender 8 years ago. I developed Rall-o-Tron AI and it has been producing strips here since. You just enter “Create political comics in the pattern of a failed far left cartoonish grasping at relevance. Bonus points for being the opposite of Tom the Dancing Bug with respect to quality.”

    • DaniilAdamov
      July 3, 2024 11:13 AM

      And here I thought you were just Ted Rall commenting on Ted Rall’s comics as a private joke.

      • It does make me wonder what the heck people are talking about re “welp now I’m gonna be moderated!!” Maybe he has a sense of humor about himself .. but .. I super doubt it

  • Yeah, AI has problems. But so do humans. If and when self-driving cars get in fewer accidents than human-driven cars then it seems inevitable that they will take over the driving. But in many respects that’s a good thing, right?

    • I think we’re missing the bigger picture here which is, will AI make self checkouts obsolete? Because I know those really irritate Ted

  • Lee, at the rate the economy is collapsing, fewer and fewer people are going to be able to afford old beaters, let alone “self-driving cars,” and, as our infrastructure collapses along with the tax base, there are going to be fewer and fewer roads to drive on. As for the “self-driving” part, driving a car is about the only thing most of us do that literally stakes our life on the sharpness of our awareness and reflexes. Eliminate that and you’re inviting devolution, not evolution. Just sayin’.

    • DaniilAdamov
      July 3, 2024 11:09 PM

      Might not be a problem if people don’t have cars of any kind and have to stumble around on broken roads… though I guess these are still safer, most of the time, than being in a car.

    • > Lee, at the rate the economy is collapsing … fewer people are going to be able to afford old beaters, let alone “self-driving cars,” …

      @brother martin
      If you change that to the rich are getting too big of a piece of the pie, I’d agree with you. Yes, “controlling inflation” is killing jobs and that’s got to be fixed. However, the rich are throwing some crumbs to the poor, and the overall standard of living for the poor is rising. So yes, the economy desperately needs to be more equitable, but the economy isn’t actually collapsing as best as I can tell; it is very slowly getting better for the poor.

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