AI and the Rise of Mediocrity

From TIME Magazine, in an article (sorry, "essay") purportedly about reckoning with a modern landscape of mediocrity, comes this extremely mediocre take in the opening paragraphs:

The truth is that there is no such thing as “artificial intelligence.” ChatGPT, Midjourney, and the like are not conscious, intelligent minds. As sophisticated as they are, they are only language and image models fed with the results of human innovation scraped and stolen from the internet.

Uh, ackshually. I don't think they're wrong per se, but the more important definition, from Matt Webb all these months ago, seems to be: artificial intelligence is intelligent (or, is conscious, or has a soul) insofar as there is a "non-misleading distinction between non-conscious [or intelligent or whatever] AI and hypothetical conscious AI". Is there a distinction to TIME Magazine between modern AI and a theoretically-actually-intelligent AI?

Although I like this comment on how mediocrity fuels consumer appetite for good enough, which is the actual product here:

That’s always been the way: the long-distance truck tomatoes sold in American supermarkets, for instance, are grainy, and oftentimes flavorless, but you won’t ever know how bad they are until you bite into an heirloom tomato and understand what you are missing. Similarly, the companies that own nearly all of our media have devoted billions of dollars to retelling stale stories instead of the thousands of new ones out there, but we’ll never know what could have been, because all they will put their money behind is The Avengers again—forever.

Stray observations

TIME appears to be using Tailwind, and appears to be applying a bit of loose leading on their body text, which looks weird, to me.

AI and the Rise of Mediocrity, TIME Magazine



Battery on Arc

Arc works with my crummy old laptop now! Is that enough to make me want to switch to it fulltime?


Goathland standing stones

A long running loop southwest of Goathland taking in many of the most popular megalithic sites in the central North York Moors.