Molly White’s experience with LLMs corresponds more or less with my own, but she is much better at recounting, critiquing, and drawing conclusions than I am.

I find my feelings about AI are actually pretty similar to my feelings about blockchains: they do a poor job of much of what people try to do with them, they can’t do the things their creators claim they one day might, and many of the things they are well suited to do may not be altogether that beneficial. And while I do think that AI tools are more broadly useful than blockchains, they also come with similarly monstrous costs.


But the reality is that you can’t build a hundred-billion-dollar industry around a technology that’s kind of useful, mostly in mundane ways, and that boasts perhaps small increases in productivity if and only if the people who use it fully understand its limitations. And you certainly can’t justify the kind of exploitation, extraction, and environmental cost that the industry has been mostly getting away with, in part because people have believed their lofty promises of someday changing the world.

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