Great essay about AI being useful for capitalism by Matthew Eric Bassett. Will just plop in some of my favorite quotes, but strongly urge you to go read the whole thing.

This first one is part of the storyline of The Big Scrub:

The second is a “Trustworthiness of AI” problem. If such a tool is controlled by someone else you can never really trust it to act on your behalf even if you cannot avoid using it. Consider the AI on your phone in the previous example – the one that would end the call if you were advocating for an idea that it didn’t like. The same AI could change your words so that the other party never hears your original thoughts, instead, it would make sure people only hear the words that the “ideal” you would have said.

And this:

The future of creativity might be humans trying, like workers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, to create a few novel ideas that the AI would then expand, fill out, and send to a mass audience – think hundreds of thousands of low paid writers pounding on their keyboards to come up with one or two lines of an original Shakespeare play.

I actually would invert this as having the potential to be a good thing – if you take out the assumption of “low paid” and “one or two lines.” Personally, I expect that this is very much the direction of creative work, that artists (and the definition of ‘artist’ becomes vastly democratized through use of these tools) do indeed create a few novel ideas, and then work with AI to expand it. I think that’s a good thing?

For me, it has meant being able to create 67 books in about seven months, and advance a “minimum viable product” version of a very complex storyverse that I’ve been wanting to tell for nearly two decades. Yeah, it’s not perfect – but that’s part of its charm, and laying the V1 foundation will help me rapidly iterate on the V2, 3, 4, and so on…

I do agree with this delicious burn though:

But these days we tend to let a small cadre of billionaires think of the world they want to live in and implement it while we just accept the consequences, or pretend that we made those decisions ourselves.

Great piece, and an instant RSS subscribe for me.