Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

Hardly Any AI

Matt Birchler, writing about the technology used in wristbands at concerts:

Whenever a company says, “We’re using AI to enhance our product,” ask them for specifics. Often, it’s either complete nonsense or something so minor that it’s essentially doing nothing. It’s not always the case, but I think you’d be surprised how much “AI” is mentioned in product marketing as nothing more than a marketing tool to look modern.

The piece linked by Matt is incredibly interesting, but this is the part that resonated with me and confirmed what I’ve suspected for a while. Now that everything is marketed as having AI, I am more convinced than ever that hardly anything actually utilises any type of AI. I’ve seen companies make claims about their products that amount to nothing more than a bunch of IF statements in their code.

I mean, sure, that’s essentially what generative AI is if you zoom out enough and reduce it to its simplest structure, but a significant portion of these products marketed as using AI absolutely do not use AI in the generally accepted sense.

There’s also a deeper, more fascinating shift in our collective psychology occurring. The assumption that even fairly simple gadgets are advanced electronics is a downstream result of all the marketing hype. I am often amazed by what people attribute to the extraordinary, which could be explained quite simply. The wizardry and witchcraft that once filled the gaps in our understanding are now labeled as AI, when in reality, hardly any intelligence is involved at all.

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