Articles

Default Skepticism for Technology Companies

Linus Torvalds at the 2024 Open Source Summit North America 2024 said about GenAI “Let’s wait 10 years and see where it actually goes before we make all these crazy announcements.” Similarly, with tech companies the default approach should be skepticism. Let’s start with smartphones. On a recent trip to Seattle I did a three-hour walk on the waterfront near Pike Place Market. By Daniel Schwen - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.

Supersize my McIntelligence Tim Cook and Throw in a McFlurry

It is the year 2035 and the new McApple drive-through is doing brisk business at one of the busiest times of the day. A customer in an autonomous Tesla jumps the curb and slightly crashes into the drive-through speakers and hears a voice responding “Welcome to the McApple store. What would you like to order ?” “Hey, Yo, I will take a new McIPhone with the latest McAppleIntelligence. Also give me a McRib and a McFlurry, and ‘Supersize me’”.

Ronny D Tech CEOs

Remember the last time you saw a commercial for a Tomato, or Rice or Beans by themselves? The reason these commercials don’t exist is that fruits, vegetables and whole grains are a commodity product that don’t need to be sold as part of a McDonald’s Happy Meal. A McDonald’s Happy Meal has something that is technically called food, but in practice is “food like”, and includes a toy to encourage addiction.

Exiting Apple in 2024 - The Final Upgrade

All relationships end. In particular American Corporations have a habit of peaking, then self-destructing. For me, after spending about 40 years as an Apple customer it was WWDC and the announcement of a partnership with OpenAI. My experience with Apple over my lifetime was that I was ok paying for a premium brand that treated me like a premium customer. Even the mention of a company as shady as OpenAI instantly destroys all brand value despite any promise Apple makes of firewalls.

Diversifying off Apple

Trojan SaaS

A good question for a CTO or CIO is to determine if they can afford to trust SaaS in the era of GenAI. Why? Many SaaS vendors often cheap or free services, but may later changes the TOS (Terms of Service) to sell the data to GenAI companies. Further if eventually deep learning approach turns out to be too expensive this data trove could be leaked as organizations can no longer afford to keep the data.

Rejecting OpenAI and GitHub Copilot

Rejecting Regulatory Entrepreneurship and Unethical Data Sourcing by OpenAI and GitHub Copilot The business model of Regulatory Entrepreneurship, i.e., they find a lucrative market, break the law, then get the law changed afterward is something I reject. As a result I reject all products from YCombinator, OpenAI and GitHub Copilot. There are many better alternatives including AWS CodeWhisperer which includes attribution, doesn’t appear to be trained on Pirated Datasets and isn’t associated with a deeply unethical incubator YCombinator which pushes negative externalities on to the world.

Ethical Functional Strength

Ethical Weighting What is an ethical weakling? Someone who says one of the following: “Everything is bad”, “Everything is the same” when confronted with unethical company or product. The counter to this is develop ethical muscles and weigh attributes again one product or company against another. We can select better solutions, no, everything isn’t equal. Additionally, things are not static, if your selected alternative gets worse, then swap. A general heuristic is:

Ethical Sourcing of Datasets

Ethical Sourcing of Datasets for LLMs One of the key issues with LLMS (Large Language Models) is ethical sourcing of datasets used for training. This topic is especially tough in light of the way Bay Area VC-funded startups operate via Regulatory Entrepreneurship, i.e., they find a lucrative market, break the law, then get the law changed afterward. We see this with Uber, Airbnb, other startups, and now with OpenAI.

AI Insurgence: Honey Pots and Poison Pots

The Coming Insurgency against LLMs An upcoming battle will fight against the unauthorized use of content. Here are some of the emerging ideas. This article will be updated frequently. Background My background is unique to the LLM problem in that I currently work in the AI domain outside of Big Tech, so I can have any view I want without worrying about censorship. Additionally, I have film credits and spent years working on big-budget Hollywood films and live TV in the technical realm.