Pluralistic: What kind of bubble is AI? (19 Dec 2023)

Today’s links What kind of bubble is AI?: My latest column for Locus Magazine. Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2013, 2018, 2022 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading What kind of bubble is AI? (permalink) My latest column for Locus Magazine is “What Kind of Bubble is AI?” All economic bubbles are hugely destructive, but some of them leave behind wreckage that can be salvaged for useful purposes, while others leave nothing behind but ashes: Think about some 21st century bubbles. The dotcom bubble was a terrible tragedy, one that drained the coffers of pension funds and other institutional investors and wiped out retail investors who were gulled by Superbowl Ads. But there was a lot left behind after the dotcoms were wiped out: cheap servers, office furniture and space, but far more importantly, a generation of young people who’d been trained as web makers, leaving nontechnical degree programs to learn HTML, perl and python. This created a whole cohort of technologists from non-technical backgrounds, a first in technological history. Many of these people became the vanguard of a more inclusive and humane tech development movement, and they were able to make interesting and useful services and products in an environment where raw materials – compute, bandwidth, space and talent – were available at firesale prices. Contrast this with the crypto bubble. It, too, destroyed the fortunes of institutional and individual investors through fraud and Superbowl Ads. It, too,…Pluralistic: What kind of bubble is AI? (19 Dec 2023)

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