bits and bytes

From AI to ouch

But why this pessimism all of a sudden? Mostly because I didn't bother with generative artificial intelligence tools, until the moment they stopped being an option.

Before, I needed to actively go after the tool, activate it and manipulate it to be able to produce something and get some result. Today they are spreading everywhere, in every tool, and I'm not exactly ok with that. Windows itself wants to make AI such a mandatory business that Microsoft created a button on the keyboard dedicated to its artificial intelligence, Copilot, which has become an increasingly mandatory part of the operating system, and began to demand all new computers that, to be certified to run Windows, they'll have to have the darn thing.

This bothers me, as I feel there is a very high chance of being violated by a corporation that only sees you as a number. On the one hand, I always wanted a decent search tool, which would actually find the files I needed just by looking at the context of the question. On the other hand, having all my private data and files - including medical reports, expense sheets, personal projects and even diaries - processed by a computer somewhere in the world, managed by who knows who, is giving away to  to a company enormous power over my life, since it will be able to analyze and draw conclusions (right or wrong) about everything I do or could do. And not only that, this "perfect" profile of my life and personality will be sold to those who pay the most, putting more advertising into my life. It's a Minority Report dystopia, but the precogs are made of chips instead of three humans in a bathtub, being used to sell Amazon's sheets and blenders.

It's bad to know that I've become the old man who shouts at the clouds and to have to say "in my time that didn't happen". It used to be that a computer was a computer, and an MP3 player was just an MP3 player. None of them monitored every click, every interaction, and every file I opened. An advance in technology was received with authentic enthusiasm from those who knew that life would really get easier.

Today, it's over. Every advance and every change is made to make people's lives worse, make things more difficult, and try to take every penny out of your pocket and send it to the companies' pockets. Everything is either a subscription, or changes for the worse with software updates, or simply cannot be repaired because it is cheaper to buy a new device that comes with even more strings attached. And with that, I'm becoming more and more of a Luddite, trying to keep electronics out of my life to have a more analogue life, because I know that I can use, repair and control it the way I want.

Let's see how far I can get.

April 12, 2024