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Op-Ed: Here comes the first wave of AI hardware whether anyone likes it or not

OK, now find someone with a clue to make any of this plausible to a broken economy.

Of all the tech giants, Microsoft has pushed the most aggressively to infuse the powers of generative AI into its products
Of all the tech giants, Microsoft has pushed the most aggressively to infuse the powers of generative AI into its products - Copyright AFP/File ROBERTO SCHMIDT
Of all the tech giants, Microsoft has pushed the most aggressively to infuse the powers of generative AI into its products - Copyright AFP/File ROBERTO SCHMIDT

The latest and greatest of those 5 seconds of attention span on functionality will be on new PCs and laptops whether you like it or not or whether it works properly or not.

All the big manufacturers are about to hit you with yet another unspecified cost. You’re not broke enough. The world will be paying for beta testing this unconvincing slopfest of hype and hoopla. This is when people and businesses are still getting their heads around how to use AI.

I’m not anti-AI. I’d like it to evolve, fast. I just don’t need this clunky current iteration of AI. This market move, however, has more than a few glitches built-in with a few extra environmental hazards.  

The headlines are equally full of what’s wrong with AI, but who checks reality anymore? It’s always so two nanoseconds ago.

It’s the usual global sales pitch, arguably more idiotic than usual. The headlines are about brands, personalized AI, and making the PC cool again.

Huh? Some of us have been using custom-built PCs for decades. Some of us couldn’t possibly care less about the market’s idea of cool, either. Some of us are very tired of the pointless upgrades and added costs of doing the same things for decades on end.

You’d think someone in the tech sector might have noticed that people buy stuff that they need for their work, not for the thrill of it. It’s only been 30 years or so of functional needs as buying criteria, but it seems to have caught on.

Let’s clarify for the turgidly sales-obsessed evolutionary novelties:

This is NOT the fashion sector. Some people have attention spans longer than a DSLR single-frame rate.

Anything the market calls cool is uncool by definition.

These new things absolutely MUST be practical working propositions, you pleasantly rendered one-dimensional gynecological outtakes.

Nobody’s got money to spend on “so what” tech that’s already available elsewhere.

Never mind if it fizzes and sparkles and smiles like a used car yard. Can it be trusted with important work?

How secure will these already iffy rustic bovine AIs be?

How secure can you be, attached to the world’s biggest hacking targets?

When will they be replaced by AGI, and what happens when they are?

Who pays if something goes wrong?

There’s one thing that’s genuinely interesting about this frantic sales appeal to people in an economic meltdown. It’s personalized AI. The idea of having your own AI is always going to work on some level.  

It’d be nice to have an AI and have a conversation with it, like:

“Hey Rastus, do we need this new tech?”

“No, Your Imperial Consumer-type Critter, we don’t. I checked out the specs, nothing worth spending money on in it.”

Those who know basic software and other tree-and-cave-dwelling denizens of the mysteries will also know there’s nothing at all difficult about that dialogue. All you need is a critical-thinking AI with useful skills. When’s that happening, by the way?

We’re now talking about useful AI skill sets, not some banal techno-popcorn platform. A skilled-up financial bullet-dodging AI would sell very well. An AI cynic, in effect.

That’s how far market thinking is now from consumer needs. It is perfectly normal for the tech sector to produce some barely-considered sales gimmick and make it unavoidable. It’s just that the novelty of that experience has worn off a bit.  

Now might be the time to introduce the rarely mentioned theory of sales resistance to the market.

Sometimes people don’t want to buy things particularly things which will be obsolete in a few years at most. The next generation of chips hasn’t arrived yet, and so on.

Sometimes they don’t want people forcing them to spend money to keep doing what they’re doing.

Sometimes they don’t even want to be locked into God knows what tech at unknown risks and costs.

I know it’s hard to understand this selfishness on the part of an utterly broke society. Just because they’re trying to eat occasionally shouldn’t be your problem. (Now do you see why sending everyone broke isn’t a good idea?)

On the other hand, if rational thinking was any sort of issue, we wouldn’t have this orgasmic economy. You could simply sign a Vow of Poverty before you’re born.

We wouldn’t even be able to bask in the decades of tantrums of absurd morons. People in meetings might become conscious. You see why we need vague tech to fill in the gaps.

Why not try something equally nice, like a car you have to build piece by piece from scratch while driving on the freeway? Or a plane? Boeing could help. It’s called “destroying your brand for no reason at all.”

OK, now find someone with a clue to make any of this plausible to a broken economy.

____________________________________________________

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

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Editor-at-Large based in Sydney, Australia.

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