On the Uselessness of AI Assistants

I’m going to use the Humane AI pin and Rabbit R1 as primary examples to emphasise a failure of imagination leading to innovation starvation in Big Tech™. My discussion extends to the failure of larger companies and their preference for safer, incremental upgrades. This scenario applies even to AI, where the potential for AI to dynamically enhance daily life remains largely untapped despite existing capabilities. Technology might integrate and expand human-like functionalities if it could blend daily observations with generative models. Read More …

AI Tech Bros: Please Stop Attacking Creatives

AI innovations are expanding into creative areas without addressing urgent societal needs, sometimes creating solutions for non-existent problems with quality not yet matching human capability. A shift in tech financing questions the sustainability of free AI business models. There’s a critique of AI’s high energy consumption and inefficiency compared to the human brain, as well as concerns over misuse and regulation, particularly in the corporate sector where decision-making based on AI can lead to significant errors, exemplified by Air Canada’s blunder. Ultimately, the piece emphasises the need for AI to focus on solving challenging and painful tasks, providing real value, not trivialising creativity, and avoiding becoming a low-level tax on humanity. Read More …

The State of Social Media Engagement: 2024 Edition

After testing engagement on social media platforms through an experiment involving a post on Dragon’s Dogma 2, the author found Threads and Bluesky had minimal interaction while Reddit generated significant discussion. The results suggest that success on Threads and Bluesky is contingent on follower counts, which necessitates a substantial time investment, while Reddit rewards active engagement. The author plans to reduce efforts on the former platforms due to the lower engagement received. Read More …

It’s Time to Talk About that Pile of Shame

Without wanting to be a Debbie Downer on your recent-and-hopefully-delightful vacation, many of you are facing a cost of living crisis. I had a reader email me and say (I paraphrase), “I’m not going to start reading your Tyche series because it’s just so many books and I can’t afford that.” Ignoring the inherent logical pitfall here (where, if you’re going to pay for something, there’s no pro or con to standalone vs. series – i.e., the price is the same for either a) a trilogy or b) three standalones), it does shine a light on where people are at emotionally. People are feeling fairly fucked by the economy. There may be a way to survive 2024 with more of your dollars intact, though. Ownership can create an emotional attachment and increase the perceived value of something (the endowment effect). Read More …

Agency and The Creator’s Better AI Vision

A friend of mine said, “Richard, tech companies just want to be a low-level tax on humanity.” Let’s hold that in mind. We watched The Creator recently. This is Gareth Edwards’ latest sci-fi megahit, where our hero Joshua (in a stand-out performance by John David Washington) shepherds little girl Alphie on a quest to save the world. What’s important is that Joshua is on the side of the good guys, fighting against AI, and Alphie is a Simulant, an AI chassis with the face of a human girl, and on the side of the bad guys. In Edwards’ near-future world, AI are the villains that nuked Los Angeles, and all right-minded people should be upset about them. AI aren’t people, they’re just programming, and we should bury the machines. Except. The Creator does some spectacular things with storytelling, and Edwards Read More …

Things we’ll laugh about in five years

Our cat Harry went missing. It’s fine, he’s back now, but it’s the how that really shows how awesome people are. Harry is adventurous … to a fault. He’s a black tom, entirely too sure of himself, and doesn’t understand the difference between mine and also mine (formerly: yours). Because the cat loves sleeping on his head and eating, in that order, without more than a three-hour break between each cycle, when he was gone for a day and a night we knew something was up. I printed out around 200 flyers and dropped them to all our neighbours. I encouraged neighbours to look in their sheds, garages, and under house areas, because we’d had hellacious wind and a curious cat could easily have wandered somewhere to get accidentally shut in. This was the right thing to do. Within a Read More …