Notes for Week 23, 2024

Song of the week:


  • I'm writing this on Saturday morning, which means the tally is going on for the Local and European elections. I'm a bit concerned because it seemed like a relatively low turnout, which could mean apathy on one hand, and a potential risk to allow the lunatics to get votes on the other. I'm hoping for a bit of apathy which leads to the same-old, even if the same-old are poor. Better the devil you know.
  • I link to an Ars article below which comments on Microsoft's Recall AI feature, which essentially tracks everything you do in Windows to provide a 'recall' function, powered by AI. But it demands so much trust that it seems insane to me that anyone would 1) allow it & 2) ever find use in it. A universal undo on an operating system is not valuable enough to allow the OS creator to track my every move.
    • And this leads me to think about general 'big tech' stuff overall. I don't think the majority of companies in these situations have earned the right to do half of the weird shit they do. And most of this 'weird shit' is just to track your behaviours in order to serve you ads. It's not interesting, hardly a feature you'd actively sign up to organically and just full-on creepy. Regulation needs to step up here.
    • I work in the fintech space, which is so heavily regulated (as it should be) that it'd be very hard for a bad actor to be in the space. Heck, I meet with other companies who you would class as good actors as part of my role, and even they struggle with the regulators because said regulatory bodies are so demanding. As they should be.
  • Somewhat similarly, I was at Adobe Summit earlier this year and I think I noted here that if you did a shot for everytime someone mentioned AI during their keynote, you would be dead. And a few months later, they seem to be changing everything about their business to force users into handing over their creative juices, workflows and content in order to train an AI model that ultimately is there to make it easier for other people to do their work with minimal effort. It's such a stupid trade-off, that like the Microsoft deal, is absolutely not worth it for the user. I've no idea why the Adobe exec team are so enamoured with this. It only benefits Adobe, and even then, I don't even think it's so beneficial that it's worth the bet-the-kitchen-sink model they've decided upon.