If AI Is So Great, Prove It: Eliminate All Surveillance, Spam and Robocalling

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Authored by Charles Hugh-Smith via oftwominds,

AI is for the peons, access to humans is reserved for the wealthy.

Judging by the near-infinite hype spewed about AI, its power is practically limitless: it’s going to do all our work better and cheaper than we can do, replacing us at work, to name one example making the rounds. It’s going to revolutionize everything from science to marketing, all the while reaping trillions of dollars in profits for those who own the AI tools, apps, etc.

All these extravagant claims make good clickbait, but let’s set a higher standard: if AI is so great, then prove it by eliminating all the surveillance, spam and robocalling that’s making daily life such a chore. If AI is so powerful and can do pretty much anything a human can do only faster, better, cheaper, then why doesn’t someone assign it a simple task: make all surveillance, spam and robocalling go away and become a thing of the dreary, dreadful past.

I mean, come on, how hard would that be? Humans can spot spam and robocalling a mile away, so shouldn’t AI be even better at completely eliminating these miseries from our already-digitally-overloaded lives? as for surveillance, how hard would it be to identify and block every tracker, data vacuum, etc. on all our connected devices?

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How hard would it be for AI to identify the entities and humans profiting from ruining our lives with surveillance, spam and robocalling? Wouldn’t a publicly updated list of those responsible, including names, business addresses, email accounts, etc. be transparency in action?

As I outlined in Is Anyone Else’s Life as Stupidly Complicated by Digital “Shadow Work” as Mine Is? (May 22, 2024), we’re squandering our lives dealing with completely needless, useless complexity imposed on us by monopolies, scammers (oh wait, isn’t that a redundancy?), rapacious tech platforms, fraudsters and marketers.

If AI is so great, why doesn’t it do all this stupidly burdensome “shadow work” for us? When yet another corporate monopoly’s products and/or services fails miserably, then why can’t AI get on the phone with a tech-support person halfway around the world and get it sorted?

We all know the reason why AI will only add to our misery and shadow work: there’s no profit in making our lives easier unless we pay for the “privilege” of not being surveilled, spammed and robocalled to death. This is the price we’re paying for allowing tech/corporate monopolies and cartels to dominate our economy, society, political order and daily lives: the only way AI will reduce our shadow work is if reducing our misery is more profitable than adding to it.

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If we lived in a truly well-ordered economy / society, every individual participating in surveillance, spam and robocalling would be renditioned to Devil’s Island where they could enjoy the company of all the other grifters and scammers who profited from our immiseration.

But alas, we live in an economy / society that has been optimized for parasitic predation and exploitation. And so AI will be deployed not to eliminate the obvious sources of our immiseration but to increase them, until our desperation reaches such an extreme that we’re willing to sign up for a special deal, only $99.99 a month (for six months, then the price reverts to $399.99/month, plus applicable taxes), a service that comes with an AI app to fix everything that’s broken and dysfunctional.

If you want to actually fix what’s broken, well, that requires speaking with a human being, and that’s going to cost you extra. AI is for the peons, access to humans is reserved for the wealthy.

new podcast: Financial Nihilism, Inflation & The Collapsing American Dream with Gordon Long (42 min).

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