Google’s attempt to enrich Google through “AI”

I feel like “AI” always needs to be in quotation marks, because while it is clearly artificial, there is no apparent intelligence involved. It’s all just an elaborate guessing game based on a giant pool of answers that could be accurate, inaccurate, made-up, sarcastic, or some enticing combination.

Google is now rolling out an “AI Overview” in its search results, a furthering of its efforts to keep everyone on its search page (to show them ads and make $$$), with the side effect of killing off the rest of the web as all other sites slowly starve for traffic, revenue and everything else.

It is easy to find examples of this overview being hilariously and sometimes dangerously wrong. Google appears to be fixing the most egregious examples, no doubt by coming across them in their own searches and then fixing the results manually (ie. with an actual human). If this is their plan, they are going to need a lot of humans.

Here’s just one story from Ars Technica and one screenshot (below) illustrating the whole big pile of nonsense. I really don’t think this is going to improve over time in any significant way. Since this is Google, I’ll go further and say AI Overview could eventually end up in their graveyard along with the hundreds of other things they’ve killed.


This may or may not conclude AI Week on the blog.

Charlie Stross’s “We’re sorry we created the Torment Nexus”

This is the text of a talk Charlie Stross gave today (November 10) at the Next Frontiers Applied Fiction Day in Stuttgart. He talks about how science fiction writers influenced many of today’s most powerful tech giants–in all the wrong ways. Entertaining and also a nice section of SF history, dating back to the late 19th century.

We’re sorry we created the Tormet Nexus

AI interprets my fuzzy college ID photo from 1990

Using the tool found here (story on it from Engadget here), I input my blurry college ID photo from 1990 (we barely had color photos back then) and here’s a before and after shot. While it clearly has trouble with glasses, I think the AI made my lips look sexier than reality, so I can’t really complain about the results.

Before: Blurry. After: Come hither.

I like that it didn’t know what to do with some of the artifacts, so it enhanced those as well. This stuff is probably going to be freaky good in a few more years.