The Hype Machine is Breaking Us

I haven’t been a participant in the discussion around AI. I’ve preferred to sit back and watch the commotion and spend time with my thoughts about what's been going on.

What I’ve noticed with every conversation about AI is the hype. The unbridled enthusiasm, constant media coverage and headline-grabbing are simply unavoidable. It is omnipresent in everything day to day, driving conversations, think pieces, reporting and 'thought leadership' to an absolute saturation point.

The hype points to the undeniable financial underpinnings of this technology more than its actual capabilities. What is the groundbreaking evolution? Where is the evidence that this is revolutionary? All we have are parlour games, smoke, and mirrors. Passable text but never exceptional. Useful but never ready. Brilliant but unstable and untrustworthy. And with an increasing amount of terrible side effects - from more intrusive and 'customised' spam through to fake nudes and reality-distorting media, all producible at pennies on the dollar on an unimaginable global scale. To be honest, these aren't the side effects - this is the product. Fakery on a global scale.

Yet the coverage is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. Why?

The thing is, I've seen all this before. Multiple times. This is the hype machine in full force because what is at stake is not the future of mankind - but the price of stock. This is the Silicon Valley hype machine in full swing to drive an investment fever in order to prop up the latest tech Ponzi scheme designed to make VC firms another ungodly sum of money before the hype deflates, and we're left with yet another set of broken promises.

Let's go back to recent history in tech - big data and the blockchain. Remember them? They were going to revolutionise everything too. They were going to change how we operate as humans on the planet and free us from the tedium of work. It was going to be sunshine and rainbows for everyone.

But they didn't deliver any of that. Instead, every government institution went and spent millions on bullshit infrastructure like a 'data lake' to still have no idea about their customers, users and staff. They are still incapable of making an informed decision because data doesn't do that - people do, but we spent all the money on the lake, so now they don't decide. They don't function. This isn't just government. Every organisation has spent the last decade accumulating data to the point where they have normalised surveillance and destroyed any notion of privacy. And for what? The Likes? The Shares? The hits and impressions, the eyeballs and the attention. All of this has rolled into the world's biggest distraction — the planet is burning up.

We became so distracted that we didn't even question the legitimacy and absolute lunacy of the blockchain. The 'trustless' technology that worked out you can Ponzi scheme faster by removing people from the equation. Blockchain birthed the financial institution preferred by criminals and pedophiles the world over, which, as of February 2023, requires the same amount of electricity as Australia to process just 0.11% of the world's economic transactions.

The hype is the game. The game is all just about money.

The product isn't the AI text of videos - it's our ability to hand over money to the already rich to allow them to get richer at ever-increasing speeds.

It even has a price tag now - $US7 trillion.

While this was in my drafts this much richer post Subprime Intelligence from Ed Zitron was published. I recommend reading it as it contains links and depth that support for the opinion I shared.