Monday, July 1, 2024

A Simple Test.

One of thing things that shocks me about AI is the spread between how great, powerful, all-encompassing, and always improving we're told it is and how bad it is when we actually confront it in the wild.

We're told how great, seminal and life-changing it is. I can't think of one shred of evidence how it's improved anything but corporate profits.

The phonus-balonus Toys R Us commercial is one example, but certainly not the only one.

Try to fix your broken cable bill with a chat bot. It's more Kafkaesque than anything Kafka could imagine. In fact, I'd get more help talking to Kafka next time my xfinity goes out.

Worse, watch something on YouTube. Take the clip above, for example. If an 11th-grader typed the transcription, you'd send him back to 10th-grade. You'd find some way to punish him. At least, detention. 

The typos. The lack of understanding. The way AI completely missed the essential humanity of the moment. Not to mention the humor. Yet the biggest companies in the world and the biggest companies in what was the communications business are willing to put their brand-equity in the hands of inept machines that aren't getting better. What's more, and maybe what's worse, at a time of record profits, they're all too cheap to have an actual sentient human "fact-check" AI's transcription and correct its glaring errors.

It's ok that it's an assault to the senses. Look at the money we're making.

What all this proves is quite simple and is, as AI might auto-generate: "As klay as the nodes on your feces." The corporations and their agents embracing these assaults on humanity care nothing for humanity. Using AI in such as way makes it all so perfectly clear. They don't care about you, or how bad stuff like this sucks. Cheapito, ergo bonus. It's cheap, therefore it's good.

I've noticed for years now, and don't know why brands accept it, how machines interrupt the videos you watch on YouTube with commercials willy-nilly. Not at a natural break, not at the end of a sentence. No, they'll shove one of their asinine messages smack in the middle of a punch-line.

Because, they can. 
Because they don't care about the film itself, the creators' intent.
Because they don't care about art, entertainment, performance.
Because they don't care about the viewer.

Because they only care about doing it cheaply. To mammothize their mammon.

That message is more important than the message they're propagating. The semiotics of interruption and disdain speak louder than the $49.99 triple-play bundle they're lying to you about.

This isn't about preciousness and not interrupting art. It's about a having the merest modicum of courtesy for the people watching. It's deciding where a break should occur with an eye toward the viewer, not only an eye toward doing it as cheaply and machinely-possible.

GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company is an ad agency now. Much of what ad agencies used to do is protect their clients from bad behavior. Stop them from doing things that hurt their reputation and their standing with people.

When we gave up our role as agents (that's why we were called agencies) and embraced our role as "vendor," and a low-cost commodity vendor at that, we gave up our reason for being.

Counterpoint: A few people at the very top got very rich. And are getting richer,

Our modern AI-derived calculus means it's ok to suck. If you get rich from it.

No comments: