AI Takes Over Because of Human Hype, Not Machine Intelligence

Geoff, in his recent blog post “Damn the AI Torpedos”:

The idea that businesses are already waging an “AI arms race”…that one those very companies, Microsoft, can invest $11 billion into OpenAI while laying off the folks responsible for keeping AI, um, responsible…that real (read: not generated) people are already losing jobs to this tooling…and that all of this is happening in an environment that has little-to-no oversight and regulation…

This struck me as an interesting framing of our current moment — I always love considering the perspective of a traditional narrative flipped on its head.

We fear AI because we think it’ll take over what we’re currently doing.

But maybe the reality is we end up losing our jobs to AI because of our own hype around it.

In other words, “AI” — whatever that means — takes our jobs, not because it’s going to do what we’re already doing, but because organizations feel compelled to shift resources to the AI industrial complex because “everyone’s doing it” and “it’s the future”.

From this perspective, AI is less of a watershed moment in computing history and more of a classic human “Keeping up with the Joneses” moment.

If I was a good novelist, I’d already have my thesis for another book: AI takes over the world and we all become slaves to it, not because it outpaced humanity in intelligence and capabilities, but because we propel it to be our master in an arms race to try and make it smarter than other people can. In essence, AI is “smarter” than us but not because robots are intelligent but because humans are dumb, lol.