Knowledge Workers, AI Software Is Cheaper and Does Not Take Vacations. Worried Yet?

November 2, 2023

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

I believe the 21st century is the era of good enough or close enough for horseshoes products and services. Excellence is a surprise, not a goal. At a talk I gave at CeBIT years ago, I explained that certain information centric technologies had reached the “let’s give up” stage of development. Fresh in my mind were the lessons I learned writing a compendium of information access systems published as “The Enterprise Search Report” by a company lost to me in the mists of time.

11 1 replaced by ai

“I just learned that our department will be replaced by smart software,” says the MBA from Harvard. The female MBA from Stanford emits a scream just like the one she let loose after scuffing her new Manuel Blahnik (Rodríguez) shoes. Thanks, MidJourney, you delivered an image with a bit of perspective. Good enough work.

I identified the flaws in implementations of knowledge management, information governance, and enterprise search products. The “good enough” comment was made to me during the Q-and-A session. The younger person pointed out that systems for finding information — regardless of the words I used to describe what most knowledge workers did — was “good enough.” I recall the simile the intense young person offered as I was leaving the lecture hall. Vivid now years later was the comment that improving information access was like making catalytic converters deliver zero emissions. Thus, information access can’t get where it should be. The technology is good enough.

I wonder if that person has read “AI Anxiety As Computers Get Super Smart.” Probably not. I believe that young person knew more than I did. As a dinobaby, I just smiled and listened. I am a smart dinobaby in some situations. I noted this passage in the cited article:

Generative AI, however, can take aim at white-collar jobs such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, journalists, and even computer programmers. A report from the McKinsey consulting firm estimates that by the end of this decade, as much as 30 percent of the hours worked in the United States could be automated in a trend accelerated by generative AI.

Executive orders and government proclamations are unlikely to have much effect on some people. The write up points out:

Generative AI makes it easier for scammers to create convincing phishing emails, perhaps even learning enough about targets to personalize approaches. Technology lets them copy a face or a voice, and thus trick people into falling for deceptions such as claims a loved one is in danger, for example.

What’s the fix? One that is good enough probably won’t have much effect.

Stephen E Arnold, November 2, 2023


Microsoft at Davos: Is Your Hair on Fire, Google?

November 2, 2023

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

Microsoft said at the January 2023 Davos, AI is the next big thing. The result? Google shifted into Code Red and delivered a wild and crazy demonstration of a deeply flawed AI system in February 2023. I think the phrase “Code Red” became associated to the state of panic within the comfy confines of Googzilla’s executive suites, real and virtual.

Sam AI-man made appearances speaking to anyone who would listen words like “billion dollar investment,” efficiency, and work processes. The result? Googzilla itself  found out that whether Microsoft’s brilliant marketing of AI worked or not, the Softies had just demonstrated that it — not the Google — was a “leader”. The new Microsoft could create revenue  and credibility problems for the Versailles of technology companies.

Therefore, the Google tried to try and be nimble and make the myth of engineering prowess into reality, not a CGI version of Camelot. The PR Camelot featured Google as the Big Dog in the AI world. After all, Google had done the protein thing, an achievement which made absolutely no sense to 99 percent of the earth’s population. Some asked, “What the heck is a protein folder?” I want a Google Waze service that shows me where traffic cameras are.

The Google executives apparently went to meetings with their hair on fire.

11 2 code red at google

A group of Google executives in a meeting with their hair on fire after Microsoft’s Davos AI announcement. Google wanted teams to manifest AI prowess everywhere, lickity split. Google reorganized. Google probed Anthropic and one Googler invested in the company. Dr. Prabhakar Raghavan demonstrated peculiar communication skills.

I had these thoughts after I read “Google Didn’t Rush Bard Chatbot to Beat Microsoft, Executive Says.” So what was this Code Red thing? Why has Google — the quantum supremacy and global leader in online advertising and protein folding — be lagging behind Microsoft? What is it now? Oh, yeah. Almost a year, a reorganization of the Google’s smart software group, and one of Google’s own employees explaining that AI could have a negative impact on the world. Oh, yeah, that guy is one of the founders of Google’s DeepMind AI group. I won’t mention the Googler who thought his chatbot was alive and ended up with an opportunity to find his future elsewhere. Right. Code Red. I want to note Timnit Gebru and the stochastic parrot, the Jeff Dean lateral arabesque, and the significant investment in a competitor’s AI technology. Right. Standard operating procedure for an online advertising company with a fairly healthy self concept about its excellence and droit du seigneur.

The Bloomberg article reports which I am assuming is “real”, actual factual information:

A senior Google executive disputed suggestions that the company rushed to release its artificial intelligence-based chatbot Bard earlier this year to beat a similar offering from rival Microsoft Corp. Testifying in Google’s defense at the Justice Department’s antitrust trial against the search giant, Elizabeth Reid, a vice president of search, acknowledged that Bard gave “a wrong answer” during its public unveiling in February. But she rejected the contention by government lawyer David Dahlquist that Bard was “rushed” out after Microsoft announced it was integrating generative AI into its own Bing search engine.

The real news story pointed out:

Google’s public demonstration of Bard underwhelmed investors. In one instance, Bard was asked about new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope. The chatbot incorrectly stated the telescope was used to take the first pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system. While the Webb telescope was the first to photograph one particular planet outside the Earth’s solar system, NASA first photographed a so-called exoplanet in 2004. The mistake led to a sharp fall in Alphabet’s stock. “It’s a very subtle language difference,” Reid said in explaining the error in her testimony Wednesday. “The amount of effort to ensure that a paragraph is correct is quite a lot of work.” “The challenges of fact-checking are hard,” she added.

Yes, facts are hard in Hallucinationville? I think the concept I take away from this statement is that PR is easier than making technology work. But today Google and similar firms are caught in what I call a “close enough for horseshoes” mind set. Smart software, in my experience, is like my dear, departed mother’s  not-quite-done pineapple upside down cakes. Yikes, those were a mess. I could eat the maraschino cherries but nothing else. The rest was deposited in the trash bin.

And where are the “experts” in smart search? Prabhakar? Danny? I wonder if they are embarrassed by their loss of their thick lustrous hair. I think some of it may have been singed after the outstanding Paris demonstration and subsequent Mountain View baloney festivals. Was Google behaving like a child frantically searching for his mom at the AI carnival? I suppose when one is swathed in entitlements, cashing huge paychecks, and obfuscating exactly how the money is extracted from advertisers, reality is distorted.

Net net: Microsoft at Davos caused Google’s February 2023 Paris presentation. That mad scramble has caused to conclude that talking about AI is a heck of a lot easier than delivering reliable, functional, and thought out products. Is it possible to deliver such products when one’s hair is on fire? Some data say, “Nope.”

Stephen E Arnold, November 2, 2023

Google Pays Apple to Be More Secure? Petulant, Parental, or Indifferent?

October 31, 2023

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

I am fascinated by the allegedly “real” information in this Fortune Magazine write up: “Google CEO Sundar Pichai Swears Under Oath That $26 Billion Payment to Device Makers Was Partly to Nudge Them to Make Security Upgrades and Other Improvements.”

As I read the article, this passage pokes me in the nose:

Pichai, the star witness in Google’s defense, testified Monday that Google’s payments to phone manufacturers and wireless phone companies were partly meant to nudge them into making costly security upgrades and other improvements to their devices, not just to ensure Google was the first search engine users encounter when they open their smartphones or computers. Google makes money when users click on advertisements that pop up in its searches and shares the revenue with Apple and other companies that make Google their default search engine.

First, I like the “star witness” characterization. It is good to know where the buck stops at the Alphabet Google YouTube et al enterprise fruit basket.

10 31 buy wisely

The driver and passengers shout to the kids, “Use this money to improve your security. If you need more, just call 1 800 P A Y O F F S. Thanks, MidJourney, you do money reasonably well. By the way, where did the cash come from?

Second, I like the notion of paying billions to nudge someone to do something. I know that getting action from DC lobbyists, hiring people from competitors, pushing out people who disagree with Google management, and buying clicks costs less than billions. In some cases, the fees are considerably lower. Some non US law enforcement entities collection several thousand dollars from wives who want to have their husbands killed by an Albanian or Mexican hit man. Billions does more than nudge. Billions means business.

Third, I liked the reminder that no ruling will result in 2023. Then once a ruling is revealed, “another trial will determine how to rein in its [the Google construct’s] market power.”

Several questions popped into my mind:

  1. Is the “nudge” thing serious? My dinobaby mind interprets the statement as either a bit of insider humor, a disconnect between the Googley world and most people’s everyday reality, or a bit dismissive. I can hear one of my high school science club member’s saying to a teacher perceived as dull normal, “You would not understand the real reason so I am pointing the finger at Plato’s philosophy.”
  2. The “billions” is the giveaway. That is more than the average pay-to-play shyster of charges. Why such a premium For billions, I can think of several lobbying outfits who would do some pretty wild and crazy things for a couple of hundred million in cash.
  3. Why is the already glacier-like legal process moving slowly with the prospect of yet another trial to come? With a substantial footprint in search and online advertising, are some billions being used to create the world’s most effective brake on a legal process?
  4. Why is so much of the information redacted and otherwise difficult or almost impossible to review? I thought the idea of a public trial involving a publicly traded company in a democratic society was supposed to be done in the sunshine?

Fortune Magazine sees nothing amiss. I wonder if I am the only dinobaby wondering what’s beneath the surface of what seems to be a trial which is showing some indications of being quite Googley. I am not sure if that is a positive thing.

I also wonder why a large outfit like Apple needs to be nudged with Google billions? That strikes me as something worth thinking about. The fake Albanian and Mexican hitmen may learn something new by answering that question. Hey, Fortune Magazine, why not take another shot at covering this story?

Stephen E Arnold, October 31, 2023

Google Gets into a One in Four Chance to Destroy Humanity? Risky? Nah!

October 31, 2023

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

Below is quite a headline in the Blaze online “information” service. Note: The Blaze is sufficiently confident in its ability to attract subscribers that the outfit is moving away from advertising. Okay, let’s see how that works out in an era of subscription fatigue, right, aggregators?


Relax, there is only a 25 percent chance that AI will destroy humanity. Go for it! Thanks, MidJourney, is this Redmond after the apocalypse?

Here’s the headline:

Google Invests $2 Billion in AI Company Whose CEO Admits AI Has a One in Four Chance of Destroying Humanity

Snappy. What does the story about the Google reveal. Here are a couple of snippets, and you will have to navigate to the Blaze write up, endure the “please, oh, please, subscribe” message, and read the allegedly accurate story yourself… or not. Tip: Check out the non opt out cookie settings. Quite a nice touch in my opinion.

Item 1: Google and Amazon?

There has already been $500 million that Google has invested in Anthropic, with the remaining investment being provided over a period of time. This comes after Amazon invested $4 billion into Anthropic

Item 2: OpenAI DNA

Amodei [the Anthropic CEO] was previously OpenAI’s vice president of research before going his own way to build something that could rival ChatGPT. Since he departed three years ago, Anthropic has become a company worth $5 billion.

So OpenAI was influenced by the Google AI work. Anthropic is probably aware of OpenAI’s work. Google, like Amazon, has invested some pocket change in Anthropic?

Does this seem like a bit of a cozy little circle? Why is the US government issuing broad AI guidelines for an entire swath of technology outfits. Perhaps a bit more focus would be useful? Hurry, because the one in four chance of destroying humanity is playing out in real time. You know. Percentages work in interesting ways.

Stephen E Arnold, October 31, 2023

Google Loves Up Search Engine Optimization

October 31, 2023

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

Alphabet, Google, YouTube is definitely a believer in search engine optimization or SEO. How do I know? Consider the reports that relay this allegedly accurate number: $26 billion. Yep, $26 billion paid out to other companies to buy click love.

Google Paid a Whopping $26.3 Billion in 2021 to Be the Default Search Engine Everywhere” asserts:

Google obviously agrees and has paid a staggering amount to make sure it is the default: testimony in the trial revealed that Google spent a total of $26.3 billion in 2021 to be the default search engine in multiple browsers, phones, and platforms.

The article shares some napkin math and says:

Just to put that $26.3 billion in context: Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced in its recent earnings report that Google Search ad business brought in about $44 billion over the last three months and about $165 billion in the last year. Its entire ad business — which also includes YouTube ads — made a bit under $90 billion in profit. This is all back-of-the-napkin math, but essentially, Google is giving up about 16 percent of its search revenue and about 29 percent of its profit to those distribution deals.

It appears that Google does its own big money SEO. It pays to be the search system and, therefore, is artificially boosted to be the winner. Yes, SEO, but not the penny ante silliness of an art history major working at a Google optimization company. The billions deliver the big school of fish: Advertisers.

Is this good or bad? From my point of view, Google is doing what good optimization wizards do: Maximize return and reduce risk. Big money deals facilitated some important milestones in the American economy; for example, the steel monopoly, the railroad that made Stanford the exemplar of integrity, and everyone’s friend with the jingle Luckies taste better.


Maybe money can buy happiness or $150 billion in revenue for those offering free online search? Thanks, Microsoft Bing.

Google is little more than a clever construct. What’s fascinating is that the baloney about Google search being better has a shelf life of more than 25 years. What’s troubling is that it has taken Google, the US legal system, and users a long time to think about the company’s mechanisms of control.

Perhaps it is helpful to think about Google’s entanglement with certain government activities? Perhaps some thinking about the data collection, retention, and mining capabilities of the company? Perhaps some analysis abut the use of YouTube to shape thinking or distort thinking about certain issues?

I love the Google. I have a Christmas card from a long gone Googler. That shows something. Nevertheless, the gravitational “force” of an outfit like Google seems so right. The company is the environment of online.

But 25 years of Google love? That’s a bit much. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 showed more awareness than the governmental officials beavering away in Washington, DC, today. Oh, I forgot. Many of those tireless workers have Google mouse pads and a Google T shirt to wear to a frisbee session at the reflecting pool.

Stephen E Arnold, October 31, 2023

The GOOG and MSFT Tried to Be Pals… But

October 30, 2023

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

Here is an interesting tangent to the DOJ’s case against Google. Yahoo Finance shares reporting from Bloomberg in, “Microsoft-Google Peace Deal Broke Down Over Search Competition.” The two companies pledged to stop fighting like cats and dogs in 2016. Sadly, the peace would last but three short years, testified Microsoft’s Jonathan Tinter.

In a spirit of cooperation and profits for all, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet tried to work together. For example, in 2020 they made a deal for Microsoft’s Surface Duo: a Google search widget would appear on its main screen (instead of MS Bing) in exchange for running on the Android operating system. The device’s default browser, MS Edge, would still default to Bing. Seemed like a win-win. Alas, the Duo turned out to be a resounding flop. That disappointment was not the largest source of friction, however. We learn:

“In March 2020, Microsoft formally complained to Google that its Search Ads 360, which lets marketers manage advertising campaigns across multiple search engines, wasn’t keeping up with new features and ad types in Bing. … Tinter said that in response to Microsoft’s escalation, Google officially complained about a problem with the terms of Microsoft’s cloud program that barred participation of the Google Drive products — rival productivity software for word processing, email and spreadsheets. In response to questions by the Justice Department, Tinter said Microsoft had informally agreed to pay for Google to make the changes to SA360. ‘It was half a negotiating strategy,’ Tinter said. Harrison ‘said, ‘This is too expensive.’ I said, ‘Great let me pay for it.’’ The two companies eventually negotiated a resolution about cloud, but couldn’t resolve the problems with the search advertising tool, he said. As a result, nothing was ever signed on either issue, Tinter said. ‘We ultimately walked away and did not reach an agreement,’ he said. Microsoft and Google also let their peace deal expire in 2021.”

Oh well, at least they tried to get along, we suppose. We just love dances between killer robots with money at stake.

Cynthia Murrell, October 30, 2023

Microsoft and What Fizzled with One Trivial Omission. Yep, Inconsequential

October 27, 2023

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

I read “10 Hyped-Up Windows Features That Fizzled Out” is an interesting list. I noticed that the Windows Phone did not make the cut. How important is the mobile phone to online computing and most people’s life? Gee, a mobile phone? What’s that? Let’s see Apple has a phone and it produces some magnetism for the company’s other products and services. And Google has a phone with its super original, hardly weird Android operating system with the pull through for advertising sales. Google does fancy advertising, don’t you think? Then we have the Huawei outfit, which despite political headwinds, keeps tacking and making progress and some money. But Microsoft? Nope, no phone despite the superior thinking which brought Nokia into the Land of Excitement.

10 27 security fire

What do you mean security is a priority? I was working on 3D, the metaverse, and mixed reality. I don’t think anyone on my team knows anything about security. Is someone going to put out that fire? I have to head to an off site meeting. Catch you later,” says the hard working software professional. Thanks MidJourney, you understand dumpster fire, don’t you?

What’s on the list? Here are five items that the online write up identified as “fizzled out” products. Please, navigate to the original “let’s make a list and have lunch delivered” article.

The five items I noted are:

  1. The dual screen revolution Windows 10X for devices like the “Surface Neo.” Who knew?
  2. 3D modeling. Okay, I would have been happy if Microsoft could support plain old printing from its outstanding Windows products.
  3. Mixed reality. Not even the Department of Defense was happy with weird goggles which could make those in the field of battle a target.
  4. Set tabs. Great idea. Now you can buy it from Stardock, the outfit that makes software to kill the weird Window interface. Yep, we use this on our Windows computers. Why? The new interface is a pain, not a “pane.”
  5. My People. I don’t have people. I have a mobile phone and email. Good enough.

What else is missing from this lunch time-brainstorming list generation session?

My nomination is security. The good enough approach is continuing to demonstrate that — bear with me for this statement — good enough is no longer good enough in my opinion.

Stephen E Arnold, October 27, 2023

Mastercard and Customer Information: A Lone Ranger?

October 26, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[2]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

In my lectures, I often include a pointer to sites selling personal data. Earlier this month, I explained that the clever founder of Frank Financial acquired email information about high school students from two off-the-radar data brokers. These data were mixed with “real” high school student email addresses to provide a frothy soup of more than a million email addresses. These looked okay. The synthetic information was “good enough” to cause JPMorgan Chase to output a bundle of money to the alleged entrepreneur winners.

10 16 eel trust

A fisherman chasing a slippery eel named Trust. Thanks, MidJourney. You do have a knack for recycling Godzilla art, don’t you?

I thought about JPMorgan Chase when I read “Mastercard Should Stop Selling Our Data.” The article makes clear that Mastercard sells its customers (users?) data. Mastercard is a financial institution. JPMC is a financial institution. One sells information; the other gets snookered by data. I assume that’s the yin and yang of doing business in the US.

The larger question is, “Are financial institutions operating in a manner harmful to themselves (JPMC) and harmful to others (personal data about Mastercard customers (users?). My hunch is that today I am living in an “anything goes” environment. Would the Great Gatsby be even greater today? Why not own Long Island and its railroad? That sounds like a plan similar to those of high fliers, doesn’t it?

The cited article has a bias. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is allegedly looking out for me. I suppose that’s a good thing. The article aims to convince me; for example:

the company’s position as a global payments technology company affords it “access to enormous amounts of information derived from the financial lives of millions, and its monetization strategies tell a broader story of the data economy that’s gone too far.” Knowing where you shop, just by itself, can reveal a lot about who you are. Mastercard takes this a step further, as U.S. PIRG reported, by analyzing the amount and frequency of transactions, plus the location, date, and time to create categories of cardholders and make inferences about what type of shopper you may be. In some cases, this means predicting who’s a “big spender” or which cardholders Mastercard thinks will be “high-value”—predictions used to target certain people and encourage them to spend more money.

Are outfits like Chase Visa selling their customer (user) data? (Yep, the same JPMC whose eagle eyed acquisitions’ team could not identify synthetic data) and enables some Amazon credit card activities. Also, what about men-in-the-middle like Amazon? The data from its much-loved online shopping, book store, and content brokering service might be valuable to some I surmise? How much would an entity pay for information about an Amazon customer who purchased item X (a 3D printer) and purchased Kindle books about firearm related topics be worth?

The EFF article uses a word which gives me the willies: Trust. For a time, when I was working in different government agencies, the phrase “trust but verify” was in wide use. Am I able to trust the EFF and its interpretation from a unit of the Public Interest Network? Am I able to trust a report about data brokering? Am I able to trust an outfit like JPMC?

My thought is that if JPMC itself can be fooled by a 31 year old and a specious online app, “trust” is not the word I can associate with any entity’s action in today’s business environment.

This dinobaby is definitely glad to be old.

Stephen E Arnold, October 26, 2023

Google Giggles: Late October 2023 Edition

October 25, 2023

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

The Google Giggles is nothing more than items reported in the “real” news about the antics, foibles, and fancy dancing of the world’s most beloved online advertising system.

10 25 google giggles

Googzilla gets a kick out of these antics. Thanks, MidJourney. You do nice but repetitive dinosaur illustrations.

Giggle 1: Liking sushi is not the same as sushi liking you. The JFTC Opens an Investigation and Seeks Information from Third Parties Concerning the Suspected Violation of the Antimonopoly Act by Google LLC, Etc.” Now that’s a Googley headline from the government of Japan. Why? Many items are mentioned in the cited document; for example, mobile devices, the Google Play Store, and sharing of search advertising. Would our beloved Google exploit its position to its advantage? Japan wants to know more. Many people do because the public trial in the US is not exactly outputting public information in a comprehensive, unredacted way, is it?

Giggle 2: Just a minor change in the Internet. Google wants to protect content, respect privacy, and help out its users. Listen up, publishers, creators, and authors. “Google Chrome’s New IP Protection Will Hide Users’ IP Addresses” states:

As the traffic will be proxied through Google’s servers, it may make it difficult for security and fraud protection services to block DDoS attacks or detect invalid traffic. Furthermore, if one of Google’s proxy servers is compromised, the threat actor can see and manipulate the traffic going through it. To mitigate this, Google is considering requiring users of the feature to authenticate with the proxy, preventing proxies from linking web requests to particular accounts, and introducing rate-limiting to prevent DDoS attacks.

Hmmm. Can Google see the traffic, gather data, and make informed decisions? Would Google do that?

Giggle 3: A New Language. Google’s interpretation of privacy is very, very Googley. “When Is a Privacy Button Not a Privacy Button? When Google Runs It, Claims Lawsuit” explains via a quote from a legal document:

"Google had promised that by turning off this [saving a user’s activity] feature, users would stop Google from saving their web and app activity data, including their app-browsing histories," the fourth amended complaint [PDF] says. "Google’s promise was false."

When Google goes to court, Google seems to come out unscathed and able to continue its fine work. In this case, Google is simply creating its own language which I think could be called Googlegrok. One has to speak it to be truly Googley. Now what does “trust” mean?

Giggle 4: Inventing AI and Crawfishing from Responsibility. I read “AI Risk Must Be Treated As Seriously As Climate Crisis, Says Google DeepMind Chief.” What a hoot! The write up’s subtitle is amazing:

Demis Hassabis calls for grater regulation to quell existential fears over tech with above human levels of intelligence.

Does this Google posture suggest that the firm is not responsible for the problems it is creating and diffusing because “government” is not regulating a technology? Very clever. Perhaps a bit of self control is more appropriate? But I am no longer Googley. The characteristic goes away with age and the end of checks.

Giggle 5: A Dark Cloud. Google reported strong financial results. With online ads in Google search and, how could the firm fail its faithful? “Google Cloud Misses Revenue Estimates — And It’s Your Fault, Wanting Smaller Bills” reports that not all is gold in the financial results. I noted this statement:

Another concerning outcome for the Google cloud was that its $266 million operating income number was down from $395 million in the previous quarter – when revenue was $370 million lower.

Does this mean that the Google Cloud is an issue? In my lingo, “issue” means, “Is it time for the Google to do some clever market adaptation?” Google once was good at clever. Now? Hmmm.

Are you giggling? I am.

Stephen E Arnold, October 25, 2023

HP Innovation: Yes, Emulate Apple and Talk about AI

October 24, 2023

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

Amazing, according to the Freedictionary means “ To affect with great wonder; astonish.” I relate to the archaic meaning of the word; to wit: “To bewilder; perplex.” I was bewildered when I read about HP’s “magic.” But I am a dinobaby. What do I know? Not much but …

I read “The Magic Presented at HP Imagine 2023.” Yep, magic. The write up profiles HP innovations. These were presented in “stellar fashion.” The speaker was HP’s PR officer. According to the write up:

It stands as one of the best-executed presentations I’ve ever attended.

Not to me. Such understatement. Such a subtle handling of brilliant innovations at HP.

Let’s check out these remarkable examples cited in the article by a person who is clearly objective, level headed, and digging into technology because it is just the right thing to do. Here we go: Innovation includes AI and leads to greater efficiency. HP is the place to go for cost reduction.

Innovation 1: HP is emulating Apple. Here’s the explanation from the truth packed write up:

… it’s making it so HP peripherals connect automatically to HP PCs, a direction that resonates well with HP customers and mirrors an Apple-like approach

Will these HP devices connect to other peripherals or another company’s replacement ink cartridges? Hmmm.

Innovation 2: HP is into video conferencing. I wonder if the reference is to Zoom or the fascinating Microsoft Teams or Apple Facetime, among others? Here’s what the write up offers:

[An HP executive]  outlined how conference rooms needed to become more of a subscription business so that users didn’t constantly run into the problem of someone mucking with the setup and making the room unusable because of disconnected cables or damaged equipment.

Is HP pushing the envelope or racing to catch up with a trend from the Covid era?

Innovation 3: Ah, printers. Personally I am more interested in the HP ink lock down, but that’s just me. HP is now able to build stuff; specifically:

One of the most intriguing announcements at this event featured the Robotic Site Printer. This device converts a blueprint into a physical layout on a slab or floor, assisting construction workers in accurately placing building components before construction begins. When connected to a metaverse digital twin building effort, this little robot could be a game changer for construction by significantly reducing build errors.

Okay, what about the ink or latex or whatever. Isn’t ink from HP more costly than gold or some similar high value commodity?

Not a peep about the replacement cartridges. I wonder why I am bewildered. Innovation is being like Apple and innovating with big printers requiring I suppose giant proprietary ink cartridges. Oh, I don’t want to forget perplexed: Imitation is innovation. Okay.

By the way, the author of the write up was a research fellow at two mid tier consulting firms. Yep, objectivity is baked into the work process.

Stephen E Arnold, October 24, 2023

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