Home Artificial Intelligence Jon Stewart unplugs AI, goes to town on tech

Jon Stewart unplugs AI, goes to town on tech

We’re all familiar with artificial intelligence, Silicon Valley’s latest revenue stream hopeful that’s currently making all of our lives much, much better. AI has had a remarkable rise these last few years, sucking up the internet and reducing it to some of the ugliest, most incoherent spam we’ve ever seen. It really is impressive. But of course, spam and scams aren’t what this glorified auto-correct is supposed to be doing. It’s supposed to be returning investments to the billionaires who sunk billions into worthless wearables no one’s wearing, a “Metaverse” nobody wants, and an internet overrun by sludge. We’ve played this game before.

One person who’s particularly annoyed about all this is Jon Stewart. When Stewart left Apple TV+ last year, reports, even those by some really smart and funny news writers, asserted he left over his planned coverage of Chinese smartphone factories and AI (a report Stewart confirms in his interview segment). Sure, a slight conflict of interest exists with a tech giant like Apple. But a beleaguered basic cable channel that’s 95% reruns of The Office?

Jon Stewart On The False Promises of AI | The Daily Show

One of The Daily Show’s strengths is how it presents talking points. Playing a montage of talking heads repeating the same synergistic jargon that maximizes profits and glazes over eyes highlights the absurdity of what they’re saying. When Stewart plays a montage of CEOs from companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Google praising AI, saying it’s “better than fire or electricity,” as Google’s Sundar Pichai put it, he barely needs to add a joke (although “Suck a dick, fire” is a good one).

But Stewart’s superpower isn’t editing; it’s crystalizing a problem. His segment on AI pounces on the false promises of a more prosperous future through vaporware. We all know that AI’s biggest problem as a consumer good is that it’s boring as hell and doesn’t do anything cool. However, when the guys promise a future free of work, they’re not just trying to win us over, they’re attempting to cut off sections of the workforce that can “be replaced” by thoughtless machines that can’t even write a script for a stupid Willy Wonka birthday party. He makes chocolate and tortures children. What isn’t ChatGPT getting about this?

While these billionaires say they want to create a world where no one has to work, Stewart sees things differently. They say AI could solve climate change and cure diseases. It just hasn’t yet! Thus far, it’s using a massive amount of energy to shit out hideous Pixar characters that, get this, make edgy jokes. Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s promise that AI can free us of the painstaking task of making toast, the technology doesn’t do anything better than a human, but hey, at least it uses a lot of water. Maybe OpenAI would have a stronger argument if its engineers actually programmed their algorithms to solve climate change. It’s weird how they still haven’t done that.

“Whether it’s globalization, industrialization, or artificial intelligence,” Stewart says, “the way of life that you are accustomed to is no match for the promise of more profits and new markets, which sound brutal…if you’re a human.”



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