Elon Musk buys Twitter

If history is a guide, and I think it is, it'll act as an enhancement of most people's lives, it'll cause a number of major problems and it'll negatively affect a decent number of people's lives.

It's worth looking back to get an idea where it's going. The internet put a decent number of people out of work, especially in bricks & mortar shops, it has caused some major societal problems too, but overall there's no doubt there's a net benefit from it.

I moved to England 20 years ago to design mobile phones. There were 20 companies within 20 miles designing phones, the likes of Nokia, Motorola, Panasonic, Sony, NEC, Sharp, etc...
Used to go to factories in China where they'd pay a few dollars a day and literally have someone at the end of a production line with a brush cleaning it. The sort of job that could be done by a pretty cheap piece of machinery. Their knowledge of electronics was laughably bad and nobody understood software.

Left that industry 10 years ago because all of the design work had shifted to Asia, those very same companies in China were now designing good phones from the ground up. All of the manufacturing in Europe was gone, plants closed and the design work mostly went with them. There were 2 companies left doing phone design around Reading.

All those people found new jobs eventually, frequently with pain but the market adapted. The cost of phones dropped dramatically*, and the few remaining companies in the west really mostly worry about higher level function and design.

At the moment, AI is convincing sounding but not particularly clever. I think of it like Jacob Rees Mogg. It's really not a good idea to trust it much, even if it sounds like it knows exactly what it's doing.

AI right now is best thought of as really powerful autocorrect and a tool in certain processes. Network configuration? Sure. Driving from Skibereen to Bantry?
Hahaha. No.

Additionally it can't take responsibility for failure and doesn't really understand people. Probably never will understand people because, well, people don't understand people.

If you work writing dull press releases for boring tech companies, get your CV ready as you're out of a job. If you create websites, you had better start getting good at using AI.

It's good for complicated jobs but not complex jobs. It's worth understanding which your job is to get a feel for how much you're likely to be impacted:

*Relatively, the actual cost people pay for phones nowadays is higher but the capabilities are an order of magnitude better. €110 for a Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G absolutely trounces an €599 iPhone 5S from 2013 in almost any metric.
Interesting stuff as always HBB (y)

How bad boy

Full Member
Here's a great example of what I'm talking about::

"Last week, Steve Yegge, a renowned software engineer who – like all uber-geeks – uses the ultra-programmable Emacs text editor, conducted an instructive experiment. He typed the following prompt into ChatGPT: “Write an interactive Emacs Lisp function that pops to a new buffer, prints out the first paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities, and changes all words with ‘i’ in them red. Just print the code without explanation.”

ChatGPT did its stuff and spat out the code. Yegge copied and pasted it into his Emacs session and published a screenshot of the result. “In one shot,” he writes, “ChatGPT has produced completely working code from a sloppy English description! With voice input wired up, I could have written this program by asking my computer to do it. And not only does it work correctly, the code that it wrote is actually pretty decent Emacs Lisp code. It’s not complicated, sure. But it’s good code..”

sounds impressive and it is. But the comments are very telling, this one captures the salient points:
"Programmer's don't have a magic trick. Not software engineers may think that way, but that's now how we thin, nor how we act. You do realise that boilerplate code production has been in existence for decades (sure, a little clumsier to use), and the collaborative site Stack Overflow, as well as the libraries available on GitHub? But boilerplate code production is not what makes a good programmer or software engineer. That has already been factored out of our equation.

I am certain AI can enhance how we work, god knows I can be so much more productive with tools that reduce the repetitive and non differentiating work we all have to do. But - it is critical to understand the code you write, and the systems you build. Deep understanding is something that I imagine will take a lot longer to replace, and may never be a particularly good idea.

You come across as you are gloating that the cadre of software engineers have held something hidden and inaccessible to you, and now it's smashed. It really isn't. What has happened is, we are all freed up to think at higher levels of abstraction, and ultimately, if we are wise, build better systems. I get the feeling that you don't really know what programmers do."

It is akin to saying that AI can write great newspaper copy. Yeah, probably some, especially in fairly dull news updates that are barely better than rewritten AP pieces. But in some areas like opinions, it's unlikely to make a dent.

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