Tag: AI

I made the mistake of adding tech feeds to my RSS reader and now I’m just mad all the time.

There was a time, back in the 00s or so, when I kept up to date on a lot of tech news. I spent the time trying to follow trends in web development and mobile technology and apps. It was important to my work, but part of my overall interest in how the Internet was being integrated into our daily lives.

Once I moved away from tech focused work and into education, I let those news feeds go. I purged myself of latest developments and relied on larger, mainstream news outlets to inform me about the technology that would impact my daily life. Yet, as I started teaching first-year composition, I realized (we all realized) that being up-to-date on the technology our students were using (not always by choice either) would make our discussions surrounding critical thinking that much more relevant. Trust me, when ChatGPT burst on to the scene, I suggested we lean into it, teaching it as a new tool that students can use in their ever increasing arsenal of technological apps that can help them… wait. Help them what exactly? What was I supposed to be teaching them? More on that in a moment.

As I’ve reinstated my tech RSS feeds, I find myself getting more and more suspicious about the proliferation of AI. While I’ve not been totally receptive to the computerization of our automobiles, nor the subscription model of everything, I still want to be able to glean the direction personal technology is headed, and, if Microsoft’s recent announcements are any indication, the future is AI.

If you follow my links of interest at all, you can see where this is going?

Who wants this? Why are we being told that we want this? Every time I read about another AI-enhanced laptop or an app that’s I’ve been using suddenly wants me to incorporate their AI model into my workflow, I get frustrated.

If I’m not building up the critical skills to summarize an article (and most public-facing articles are woefully short and simplistic already), what am I doing with the time AI is saving?

What’s the point of learning discernment and curation if I never skip over Google’s AI-created search summaries at the top of its results page? (Shouldn’t have made Google suck, yeah?)

How am I supposed to teach critical thinking skills if all the little ways in which we think every day are being eaten up by language learning models that have dubious bias built in and don’t have an understanding of a ham sandwich outside the fact that sometimes it’s mentioned next to mustard?

More and more I feel like we’re heading into a direction where we will teach two ways of existing cognitively in our technological future: 1) a way to prompt AI to yield results that save us from doing labor or gaining mastery; and 2) a way to avoid the AI altogether and create bare bones text and art in a way that hides it from the upcoming singular cloud. Both feel exhausting.

Meanwhile, a bunch of narcissistic shitheads are at the controls of the future.

The following is a short post about AI

Who wants this? With the consolidation of media companies over the last three decades perhaps there’s no distance between journalism and tech any more. Companies that produce software that people have to be sold that they want are intertwined with the media companies that will hype up the usefulness and turn a novelty into a necessity.

I assure you a good copy editor could write this summary (and fast, too) but news outlets have pretty much abandoned good editing of most of their content because 1) it will be replaced immediately, and 2) they don’t want the labor costs. If only someone figured out how news media could monetize without being beholden to social media or browser-breaking ads.

Newspaper conglomerate Gannett is adding AI-generated summaries to the top of its articles

Hey Siri. Siri?

Matthew Wong’s overview of OpenAI’s introduction into the voice assistant world is interesting reading, though, I am underwhelmed by what’s described. I honestly don’t know if people—most people, the larger market—actually want or need this. The buzz about generative AI is outpacing its usefulness. It just makes more mental labor and fills the internet with derivative garbage (eclipsing all the human-created garbage we already have).

This Is the Next Smartphone Evolution | The Atlantic

2023.08.13 – media_log

I spent most of today grading papers and prepping for my comp exams, which start tomorrow. I didn’t spend much time online and only posted two humorous things on Facebook. I’m going to need a really good reason to put those social media apps back on my phone.


Courtesy of greeblie via Wikimedia

Nobody ever questioned where that database holding 10,000 hours of Olive Garden commercials was located. Now we have ChatGPT teaching kindergarteners. This is the most important read: AI Causes Real Harm. Let’s Focus on That over the End-of-Humanity Hype “Magic 8 Balls that we can play with by framing the prompts we send them as questions such that we can make sense of their output as answers.”

Barrels of drinking water for migrants walking through Texas have disappeared it’s so easy to automatically suspect someone of spiteful behavior. We’re driven by us vs them in so many more ways that we forget that these are actual people whom we exploit with impunity and perhaps deserve at the very least to not die

The Latest Trend on Yachts? Submersibles Good. Gooooood. Feel the power course through your veins! It took three reporters to write this ass-licking advertorial. The Oceangate disaster doesn’t make an appearance until paragraph 11.


media_log is a collection of media that I’ve consumed throughout the day – not in bite-size, headline-only, hot-take form as per social media, but actually reading the article and having a thought. Since taking the social media apps off my phone, I’m being more intentional with how I spend my attention.

2023.08.11 – media_log

Why Does This Racist Keep Getting Silicon Valley Money?
Required reading if you keep hearing the name “Richard Hanania” bandied around and want to learn about the next high-profile “totally not a racist anymore” bro is. I would hate watch the white nationalist and eugenics-loving billionaire fight for conch as they grunt their IQs at each other while the ashes of civilization dust their sweaty, Botoxed brows.

Zoom’s Changing Stances on AI and User Data has Faculty Alarmed
Why is only “faculty alarmed?” Oh because it’s a good business decision to outsource all of the intellectual work your scholars do. Zoom’s new TOS probably has a broad view of consent. Remember the CAN-SPAM Act that put that “Unsubscribe” in all those emails? Whatever happened to opt-in as the default? Fun fact: I had a meeting this morning and the “Accept the new TOS” note came up and I could either be late for my meeting and read it, or click “Accept” because that’s what we always do.

How should we remember Trinity Site, where the first nuclear bomb was tested?
An interesting look at the physical Trinity Site (not the conceptual idea we have collectively in our heads.) This led me to the FAQ on the Trinity Site Open House website, where the question on the dangers of residual radiation is second to last at number 25, right above whether or not marijuana was allowed on the site (it is not.) Incidentally, the question of whether or not you can bring your firearm is number 8 on the list. (No. “Leave them at home.”).

Seeing a new David Brooks column the same day I listened to the If Books Could Kill podcast on “On Bullshit” is … chef’s kiss!

Vivek Ramaswamy Has a Gimmick That Republicans Are Sure to Love
“Ramaswamy’s call to raise the voting age is a novelty policy for a novelty candidate. And yet it tells us something about the Republican electorate, and thus the Republican Party, that the eye-catching gimmick of an ambitious politician is a plan to disenfranchise millions of American voters.” Republican voters will never love you.

Biden’s risky Persian Gulf bet
“‘We’re talking about using the lives of US service-members as a deterrent,’ Emma Ashford, a researcher at the Stimson Center, told Vox.” Isn’t that what we always do?

There’s No Shame in Flaking
I had a friend that used to call me “Croissant” I flaked so much.

media_log is a collection of media that I’ve consumed throughout the day – not in bite-size, headline-only, hot-take form as per social media, but actually reading the article and having a thought. Since taking the social media apps off my phone, I’m being more intentional with how I spend my attention.

2023.08.08 – media_log

Ridley Scott Regrets Not Directing Blade Runner Sequel
I love the Blade Runner 2049 we have and realize I’ve not watched Alien: Covenant yet. Also, AV Club saying 2049 is better than the original is just plain stupid. Different eras, subgenres, everything. Comparing apples and batteries.

The Prosecraft Controversy
Dunno, fren. If you want to know how many words are in a memoir, then look at memoirs, not 25,000 different books. I happened to be on “Twitter the X” when this started and it’s down to directly benefiting (lo its tilt or not) off of someone else’s work without their consent and compensation. Also, I don’t know why you would want to sound like another author outside of marketing purposes, I guess.

Conspiracy theories: how social media can help them spread and even spark violence introduces us to the author’s research in how conspiracy theories are spread. What I’m interested in is how I can work this idea into my class discussion of discourse communities. I think this is a good way to connect it to our later technology conversation.

America Already Has An AI Underclass
“In the coming era of AI, can the people doing the tech industry’s grunt work ever be seen and treated not as tireless machines but simply as what they are—human?”
The program might write multiple recipes for chocolate cake, which a rater ranks and edits.” Does anyone make the cake?
“the machine-learning company Hugging Face” the fuck?
“there’s nothing flexible about precarity”
There’s nothing more I can say that these quotes don’t already convey.

I did not know they made a film based on this chapter from Dracula, but I’m going to try to get to see The Last Voyage of the Demeter before my exams start.

Zoom Returns to the Office
I think there’s a way to make an adjustment without requiring people to be in the office and that’s Zoom Communal spaces- like Zoom sessions with four to five people online working together occasionally chatting and helping each other stay on task. I don’t know why employees don’t do this or maybe they do co-working all the time and companies just need to justify the high rental rates they’re paying for office space.

Seven Books That Will Make You Put Down Your Phone
I will check some of these out now that I took social media off my phone.

The Loneliness Epidemic
A generation of kids who stayed home alone because their parents didn’t make enough money for child care is part of this. Also, Reagan, it’s always Reagan.

This is a bad move by DeviantArt and they should feel bad and you should opt out and maybe move your art if you can…

Scientific American: One of the Biggest Problems in Biology Has Finally Been Solved

Really interesting read on the connection between game theory and AI-assisted biology.

“Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis explains how its AlphaFold AI program predicted the 3-D structure of every known protein”

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/one-of-the-biggest-problems-in-biology-has-finally-been-solved/