AI Greed and Apathy: A Winning Combo

November 9, 2023

green-dino_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb humanoid. No smart software required.

Grinding through the seemingly endless strings of articles and news releases about smart software or AI as the 50-year-old “next big thing” is labeled, I spotted this headline: “Poll: AI Regulation Is Not a Priority for Americans.”

The main point of the write is that ennui captures the attitude of Americans in the survey sample. But ennui toward what? The rising price of streaming? The bulk fentanyl shipped to certain nation states not too far from the US? The oddball weapons some firearm experts show their students? Nope.


The impact of smart software is unlikely to drive over the toes of Mr. and Mrs. Average Family (a mythical average family). Some software developers are likely to become roadkill on the Information Highway. Thanks, Bing. Nice cartoon. I like the red noses. Apparently MBAs drink a lot maybe?

The answer is artificial intelligence, smart software, or everyone’s friends Bard, Bing, GPT, Llama, et al. Let me highlight three factoids from the write up. No, I won’t complain about sample size, methodology, and skipping Stats 201 class to get the fresh-from-the-oven in the student union. (Hey, doesn’t every data wrangler have that hidden factoid?)

Let’s look at the three items I selected. Please, navigate to the cited write up for more ennui outputs:

  • 53% of women would not let their kids use AI at all, compared to 26% of men. (Good call, moms.)
  • Regulating tech companies came in 14th (just above federally legalizing marijuana), with 22% calling it a top priority and 35% saying it’s "important, but a lower priority."
  • Since our last survey in August, the percentage of people who say "misinformation spread by artificial intelligence" will have an impact on the 2024 presidential election saw an uptick from 53% to 58%. (Gee, that seems significant.)

I have enough information to offer a few observations about the push to create AI rules for the Information Highway. Here we go:

  1. Ignore the rules. Go fast. Have fun. Make money in unsanctioned races. (Look out pedestrians.)
  2. Consultants and lawyers are looking at islands to buy and exotic cars to lease. Why? Bonanza explaining the threats and opportunities when more people manifest concern about AI.
  3. Government regulators will have meetings and attend international conferences. Some will be in places where personal safety is not a concern and the weather is great. (Hooray!)

Net net: Indifference has some upsides. Plus, it allows US AI giants time to become more magnetic and pull money, users, and attention. Great days.

Stephen E Arnold, November 9, 2023






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