Episode 0079 · October 3, 2023

The podcast about what to do next.

AI Checkin

Paul Ford: Richard, how are you?

Rich Ziade: I’m good. How you doing?

Paul Ford: I’m doing just fine. It’s, uh, I went for a long bike ride yesterday all around Brooklyn. That was good. I’m a little sore today, a little sore – got a little creaky.

Rich Ziade: That’s the good sore though.

Paul Ford: Creaky thigh. Yeah, I’m sorry, that’s my AOL, um-

Rich Ziade: Creaky thigh?

Paul Ford: That’s my handle.

Rich Ziade: Let’s stop recording and nah… let’s keep it going everybody knows what this is

Paul Ford: From 1997. Yeah, CreakyThigh97, that’s me.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah… um, I have a theory that’s sort of come together.

Paul Ford: Oh good.

Rich Ziade: That I want us to end this conversation talking about AI, but I’m going to say a few words to you and I want you to react to them.

Paul Ford: Alright.

Rich Ziade: Metaverse.

Paul Ford: Too bad.

Rich Ziade: NFTs.

Paul Ford: Even worse.

Rich Ziade: Bots.

Paul Ford: Eh, I still like them.

Rich Ziade: Chat bots is what I meant.

Paul Ford: Yeah, they’re little snuggly guys. I like them.

Rich Ziade: Okay… But I’m not here to like shit on new tech.

Paul Ford: No it’s not that.

Rich Ziade: A lot of it, it’s supposed to fail. In fact, the VC model is mostly failure.

Paul Ford: The fantasy is one of changing humans.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, well, that’s tricky.

Paul Ford: Well, no because we’re we’re middle aged dudes now, right so it’s like we’re like, yeah, good luck.

Rich Ziade: No, but, I mean, most young people don’t have email addresses. They don’t open their laptops, they just use their phones and that’s everything – that ends it all. I mean, I guess they go to college and they have to write on something.

Paul Ford: Oh, they definitely have email addresses, but they don’t have laptops. No, this is-

Rich Ziade: Have you seen a child’s handwriting these days?

Paul Ford: Ah, yes I have.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: Um, no, here’s the thing actually. I know, um, I was following a professor in a graduate prof in sociology. Good school. And he’s got to teach very basic computer skills to graduate students.

Rich Ziade: Interesting.

Paul Ford: Because you can essentially get through undergrad on an iPad.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Right. So yeah, no, there are, there are some changes that way.

Rich Ziade: I want– and we’re meandering here on purpose to head towards AI and how everybody’s looking at AI now. So here’s, I think we’re in the like lurching forward phase. Here’s the thing, when you lurch forward, you stumble back. Sometimes you get up and you learn and you really take off, right? Like, there are really ugly, weird touchscreen laptops and phones before the iPhone, they didn’t work well. There was like a layer of plastic on them, some of them. I owned a couple, it was like a laptop that folded all the way back and it became a tablet.

Paul Ford: Remember when netbooks were going to be big instead of tablets and they were like cheap, cheap lapotps.

Rich Ziade: All this stuff going on. And then, you know, the iPhone shows up and it finally shows the way. And then… The iPad shows up and then all these- so a lot of times the lurch and the stumble and then they get up and it just changes the world.

Paul Ford: But listen, you know what-

Rich Ziade: It happens, not a lot of times. Less often.

Paul Ford: Let me throw this back at you though. You are [00:03:00] making this sound like it is somehow foreordained. The app, the-

Rich Ziade: Oh no, most fail.

Paul Ford: And not just that, the, the iPhone shows up after, first of all, after the iPod, they know that there’s a form factor that works, they figured out this aspect of their manufacturing, and then, then they license things, they patent it, they get the presentation exactly right, they create partners with, partnerships with the telcos, and then Apple, which is still one of the best software companies that has ever existed.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Creates one of the best, uses its amazing operating system to create one of the best software interfaces that has ever existed. And they’re able to identify, like, what’s gonna work and what’s not, and still a huge risk, and then they go out, right? So it’s like, all those other things that you’re talking about, everybody’s stumbling around in the dark, and they just were like, no, no, not yet, not yet, now!

Rich Ziade: They tend, they never lurch forward. They’re always– like the Apple watch was years [00:04:00] after a lot of other why? Like computers on your-

Paul Ford: We just saw it with those goofy goggles that they got, right? They come out and they’re just like, hi everybody, we want to tell you about this new and exciting thing that we’ve built. It’s not for you.

Rich Ziade: [Laughter].

Paul Ford: It’s not for you, it’s for doctors and nerds. It’s not it.

Rich Ziade: It’s 4,000$.

Paul Ford: It’s it’s simply not for you, but it’s excellent It’s going to be very good, and we just thought you would appreciate knowing now we’re gonna go ahead just like we did with the watch on our own schedule and go ahead-

Rich Ziade: Yeah, go ahead 5 years and perfect it.

Paul Ford: Not a worry because then we will own the category. Good luck everybody else. See you later.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah. And so now let’s talk about AI.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: AI is here, in a big way.

Paul Ford: Are you using it on a regular basis?

Rich Ziade: I’m not.

Paul Ford: I am.

Rich Ziade: Okay, tell me how you use it.

Paul Ford: I am finding ChatGPT really useful for certain things. Um, for example, I can ask you to make a list of software as a service tools that are good for managing an aspect of a company.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: So that’s a [00:05:00] good example. Actually, I’ll just keep going with that one. Uh, idea generation tools, because you want to do brainstorming. It’s not like we’re too small of a company to need that, but I’ve been in orgs where it’s like, we need, we need some way to capture everybody’s thoughts. Okay, you can say to ChatGPT, please make me a list of all of the idea generation and brainstorming tools that are currently in the market. Uh, include a URL in a two sentence description. And it will make an, you know, get me 20 of them.

Rich Ziade: Have a nice bulleted list.

Paul Ford: 2O of those organized. And there is no, um, Google 700 links like Idea Maker Pro.

Rich Ziade: Rummaging through ads.

Paul Ford: No, no, it is a, it is a bulleted list. Like in the olden days, like it could come out of Microsoft Word.

Rich Ziade: I think that’s where a lot of value in is, by the way. It’s sidestepping a lot of the dirty games that Google… frankly is not directly responsible for but people game Google they buy ads and it’s messy it’s hard to find the right information.

Paul Ford: And here’s the thing I’m going to say that’s kind of, that kind of sucks. The equivalent human to do that [00:06:00] very dry task is actually extremely expensive and usually otherwise occupied. You’re kind of like, I can’t get someone who doesn’t know software to go do a good job for me on this, because there’s actually a lot of domain knowledge. The person around you who’s got that domain knowledge who can do a better job than the AI, because it’s totally possible, like if I sat down and made that list, I’d do a much better job.

Rich Ziade: Yup.

Paul Ford: But it’s a starting point. I have URLs to look at and I can, I can get that done in, you know, what used to be a day of goofing around and getting distracted, and like, maybe this tool is good and downloading and trying things. Now I can get that list and I can just get started. And so a huge amount of like weird dynamics are going on. I’m finding it really good because especially my job involves a lot of just kind of making a list.

Rich Ziade: Collecting stuff.

Paul Ford: And yeah exactly and just kind of it’s very very good at that. It’s not up to the minute, it’s often wrong, it has a lot of flaws, but if you actually put it in that box it’s really good. The image [00:07:00] generation to me is fascinating because that’s where everybody like – because it’s so visual people notice it. So you can say to, um, you know, Dolly or Midjourney, draw me a picture of an elephant riding a man. Put a little elephant on a man, and it can be in another artist’s style, and so on and so forth. And, um, and it works, it’s really good, and the images are kind of exciting and compelling, except they always mess up the fingers, like 12 fingers. And I saw somebody did one with comics, like they had, um, Batman fighting, um, the Master Chief from Halo.

Rich Ziade: And you can make comics now, I saw this.

Paul Ford: Yeah, and it’s, it’s all good, and everybody’s kind of trashing it because they’re stealing art. And then, you know, it’s funny because the same people who are like, you can’t take my monkey avatar, it’s my NFT are now like, AI should be able to steal anything.

Rich Ziade: [Laughter].

Paul Ford: So, um, but, uh, but here’s the thing, you look at it. It’s untuned, it doesn’t really work. It’s compelling because it exists in a [00:08:00] way that you’ve never seen before. It’s novel, but it’s not actually very interesting.

Rich Ziade: It’s not. And I want to make a distinction with the two examples you just gave. The first which was like I could if you said: “Rich, we’re gonna use chat GPT here. I’m going to give you this task here”, and you gave me a day.

Paul Ford: You’d do a better job.

Rich Ziade: I probably do a better job, but that’s not even the point. It would probably be not differentiating enough. Like, and when I was saying before-

Paul Ford: And the advantage of the advantage of it, taking about 30 seconds.

Rich Ziade: Is huge.

Paul Ford: It’s colossal.

Rich Ziade: It’s colossal, right? And, so let’s talk about eliminating steps. The information is out there, Google is very good at indexing it. People try to game Google, they come up with fake lists, blah, blah, blah. But it is out there. I was saying before, eliminating steps, eliminating a lot of the like sort of rote work that you need to do to get to a good place. I could have used a different image, uh, picture taking app, saved it in my, on my phone and then sent it up to Facebook with another app. I could have done all those things, but Instagram collapsed it all. And when they collapsed it, it became something so low friction that it just took off. And I think what’s interesting about what’s happening here around the list example you gave is that it eliminated a lot of really lame steps, like really annoying, monotonous work.

Paul Ford: It’s not-

Rich Ziade: And it presented it back to you in a tidy fashion.

Paul Ford: It’s not just that. Let me ask someone to do this, “Hey can you make me a list of that stuff?”, “Yeah, can I do it tomorrow though? Because Rich actually already has me researching competitors”.

Rich Ziade: They have stuff to do.

Paul Ford: Uh, they have stuff to do. They have to go to the bathroom. They have to, and these are all really good things.

Rich Ziade: ChatGPT has no bladder.

Paul Ford: [Laughter] It truly- it’s in 20 seconds, you know, is this adequate or do I need a human to get involved.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, Now let’s move on to something special showing up. And art and visual creation, it is not, in fact– it’s learned a lot about what something should look like, like a slice of pizza.

Paul Ford: Picasso.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, but it’s not going, rummaging through the internet, gathering information and presenting it back to you in a readable way. That’s not what it’s doing, what it’s actually doing is saying, ah, I’ve squinted across the entire world of images. And you ask me for a slice of pizza, here it goes.

Paul Ford: Yeah, this looks like Batman fighting Master Chief to me, 1%. Let’s, let’s focus a little bit- ooh, now it’s 2%.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, exactly. And so, now what we’re saying is, is this thing gonna toss out a, just a stroke of genius and dump it in.

Paul Ford: This brings me back to the point that I was making earlier, which is people have fantasies and understanding of human nature that are completely off. They think that because a picture kind of looks like a thing, that all the other humans are going to go like, well, that looks like a thing. And then they’re going to want to pay for it or do stuff with it and so on. That’s not what we actually like. I can go to- why do I go to the Met Museum eight or nine times a year or more? Because I can look on their website and see high resolution scans with more detail of every single image, okay? So like, I have full digital access to every aspect of the Met, it’s better than going to the museum. But I go.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Because I’m gonna see things I can’t see otherwise and it allows me to connect and see and understand the human context of the art in a totally separate way than I can from looking at pictures on screen. Now you’re telling me I’m gonna just go, if you want a Picasso, I’ll draw you a thousand. I don’t want that. Go to hell.

Rich Ziade: Let me ask you this. I wanna fast forward a bit.

Paul Ford: But I’m just gonna, let me finish my thought real quick, which is I don’t think that, I don’t think the uh, the market’s there. I think they’ll try to bolster a [00:12:00] market for people buying AI generated this, that, and the other.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, that’s not gonna fly. I agree with you.

Paul Ford: No, I think it is, it’s the equivalent of like super powered Windows macro shortcuts. You type two things and it types five, five words for you.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, that’s not, that’s not art, right? That’s not new creation.

Paul Ford: Because nobody wants, there is no market demand for computers making things that kind of look like other things.

Rich Ziade: Let me ask you this. Will, will we head toward, I agree with you on the list. Go get me the 20 productivity apps.

Paul Ford: Oh it’s really good. I am paying for it.

Rich Ziade: It’s really good. In terms of creativity and art, right? Um, uh, let me write a prompt from chat GPT 9.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: Please paint me… please create a painting of the New York City skyline, but instill in the painting a difficult childhood and lots of struggles with my own identity and my own sort of social difficulties, okay?

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: So what I, here’s the thing.

Paul Ford: You know what? It probably would, you could probably do it today and it would draw like clouds over the skyline. The skyline might be kind of-

Rich Ziade: is that what it would do?

Paul Ford: The skyline could be an impressionistic ash can. I can imagine that, sure.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, it’ll, it’ll make it a little darker.

Paul Ford: It’ll do something. It will react to the prompt, right?

Rich Ziade: [Laughter], yeah.

Paul Ford: So that as it… Brings the image into kind of its magical focus that the image, what it’s what it’s doing is aligning it more and more with those words.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, Is that different than someone that had like a rough childhood and grew up in Queens and decides to write songs or paint and then it’s their [00:14:00] art is influenced by their experiences?

Paul Ford: Let me ask-

Rich Ziade: Maybe not a chat GPT. What are we at, four right now? What about 9?

Paul Ford: Why did Taylor Swift just make a billion dollars? They could have just rolled out a robot that looked a little like Taylor Swift and moved its arms.

Rich Ziade: I think she created music that was relatable to a lot of women and girls.

Paul Ford: Okay and why do people want to go see her in the flesh?

Rich Ziade: Because we’re human beings.

Paul Ford: Because it’s primate behavior. It’s primate behavior, literally, like, we like to be in groups. We like to celebrate.

Rich Ziade: It does seem AI generated to me, but we don’t have to get into that.

Paul Ford: It’s not for you, right? But it is for lots of other people. It truly doesn’t feel like they know her story, they know the boys she dates, the men she dates, they know-

Rich Ziade: They know her life.

Paul Ford: They know her whole life. And by connecting to her life, they see themselves reflected, and they feel more fulfilled and connected to the universe around them.

Rich Ziade: Will AI generate a painting that’s just gonna knock you out of your chair?

Paul Ford: No.

Rich Ziade: Howcome?

Paul Ford: Here’s why, because you don’t [00:15:00] feel that kind of connection that they feel that I feel at the Met or at the..

Rich Ziade: You need to meet the person to feel the connection of a painting?

Paul Ford: Not me, but it’s, it’s, here’s what happens. And you see this like AI generated images started winning our contest, and it was in this sort of like fantasy style genre, right?

Rich Ziade: Which they’re good.

Paul Ford: They’re, they’re good at this. Yeah, anything where like a guy, like there’s an elf, um-

Rich Ziade: Well the LLM is, they fed the LLM a lot of like vans with airbrushed art on the side.

Paul Ford: Then the competitions banned that because it feels gross. It feels wrong, it doesn’t feel, and, and the artist was making a big point like, you know, well this is a piece of conceptual art about how everything’s blah, blah, blah, blah. Yes, all real. That is totally everything, you can go as postmodern as you want on all this. You can go all the way down.

Rich Ziade: So humans because we are biased towards other humans, are gonna reject this. That’s what you’re saying?

Paul Ford: Do you-

Rich Ziade: It’s not necessarily that it’s bad, or worse art.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: Have you seen the supermodel that’s like AI generated? She’s like a million Instagram followers.

Paul Ford: Of course she does.

Rich Ziade: She’s, she’s very cool

Paul Ford: Yeah, she’s right-

Rich Ziade: I’ve been trying to meet her forever.

Paul Ford: Keep trying.

Rich Ziade: Yeah [chuckles]. Is that, is that better or worse? Like, like, what’s going on?

Paul Ford: Hey you know your wife went to the hospital and you went with her, but you know we disappeared for a minute and I’ve got you a robot baby instead. Go ahead and raise it, have a nice time with that robot baby.

Rich Ziade: Okay, but, okay, fine. fine.

Paul Ford: Okay, like, no, but that’s, that’s the most fundamental human relationship is the parent with the child, right?

Rich Ziade: Is that AI supermodel good enough to sell perfume?

Paul Ford: Sure, of course. We live in the world like anything, right? Like, I mean, you know, can she eat a KitKat and say, “Hmm, kitKats”?

Rich Ziade: Probably.

Paul Ford: Meanwhile, you-

Rich Ziade: Have you seen the, like, AI generated, like, Pizza Hut ad? It’s kind of-

Paul Ford: It’s good. It’s really good. And then at the same time, you have people pretending to be video game characters going, “Hmm, ice cream’s so good”. Like you can’t – everybody has decided that, look, the way our culture works right now is you pick exactly one indicator of anything and then you extrapolate that to determine exactly how all of future society will work. And it’s never real, right? People will act like video game characters, and video game characters will be more and more like people. And it will be kind of blurry, and a certain portion of humanity will have trouble keeping it all straight. This is all real, this is all happening already. You don’t have to look very far, but people also believe that, they believe that their dogs can read their thoughts, and they also believe that wizards are real. Right, they believe that there are people with wands who can cast spells and then we’re like, well they’re also not gonna be able to tell if this is a real Gaugan or not.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: This is you know, is it a they’re they’re gonna think those water lilies aren’t the ones that are hanging up in the in the museum.

Rich Ziade: Do you think an album will come out in the next five years that you’ll be really into and then you’re just going to feel gutted when you find out no human was involved in it?

Paul Ford: I kind of doubt it, frankly.

Rich Ziade: Huh! Interesting, really?

Paul Ford: I don’t think it’ll, I don’t think it’ll get there. Here’s why, because as far as I can tell, and I have watched Net Art since I was a kid, Some of it’s beautiful, some of the like processing.org stuff is gorgeous and it’s really thoughtful, you can see the human involved and what they’re going for. And the fact that the computer is intermediary is a part of the art and you connect to that. You’re like, alright, they were able to do something with a million tiny little lines sketched on a piece of paper that a human probably couldn’t pull off. And they could do it at a certain scale and with different colors and so on. So the computer being in the middle empowered the human to make a whole new kind of experience.

Rich Ziade: Fractals have been around forever.

Paul Ford: Well, and that’s, that’s just pure math with some colors chosen, right?

Rich Ziade: But it looks like it looks like art.

Paul Ford: It’s cool stoner art, right? You know, and, and so like, okay, all good. But then you tell me that like, well, yeah, the new U2 album is all generated by AI, and they really did a rug pull. Well, first of all, that’s annoying. Second of all, it’s not surprising.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: They’ve probably been doing that for 15 years.

Rich Ziade: Ohhhh.

Paul Ford: Ever since “Octoon Baby”, but the, um, at that point, here’s the thing. If, if you get no reaction, what’s going to happen with that is you’re going to be kind of numb to it. You won’t have a reaction. You’ll be like, eh, they kind of, the rug pulled me. I feel bad, okay. Art that generates that reaction in humans has very little market possibility.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, well, we just saw it happen. We just tried it, we tested the waters with NFTs, and it burst into flames.

Paul Ford: We, we like things that are made with intention and meaning, and when we don’t get that, the market doesn’t do what everybody thinks it’s going to do. They’re like, well now there’ll be an infinite marker for AI generated or whatever, but actually human beings tend to buy connection. We don’t buy quantity of information, we buy connection. And so like-

Rich Ziade: Okay, that’s that’s for art Artifacts that get bought but to sell [00:20:00] a KitKat we may be seeing an AI character.

Paul Ford: We probably are already. Of course we are, you see animated characters. You’re seeing, um, you’re going to see AI special effects spattered through every movie, right? You already are to a certain degree.

Rich Ziade: No, no, no, but like I mean like Kitty the KitKat clown.

Paul Ford: Yeah, but see, this is the problem, right? Like if kitty is not sculpted and portrayed and sort of crafted. Okay, you only see it once and be like, wow, that KitKat just crawled across my screen. It’s like, it’s got 28 legs. I’ve never seen a centipede KitKat before. Like, you know, it could be something where you’re just, you can’t look away. But again, like, how the hell, we get so bored. Everybody assumes that this will, here’s the problem– everybody assumes that what humans want is infinite sugar and fat. But we actually don’t. We want a variety, we want some spice and we want-

Rich Ziade: We want variety of flavor.

Paul Ford: Like yeah.

Rich Ziade: I think you’re [00:21:00] right. I think we seek the human touch. We don’t need the human touch for the 20 links to productivity apps.

Paul Ford: That is about achieving a goal. It is not about an experience, the experience is simply to help me achieve the goal.

Rich Ziade: You don’t feel, it’s not, you’re not seeking an emotional connection to anything.

Paul Ford: I find it amusing and exciting that it can pull it off. I kind of know how it works. I see what it’s doing. I don’t necessarily trust it, but, but I got in 20, 30 seconds.

Rich Ziade: It’s transactional.

Paul Ford: I got a great outcome for 20, 30 seconds and a couple bucks a month, okay. And then you’re telling me like, actually, the computer will be able to generate meaning for you. It’s like, no, here’s what I’m going to tell you. This is the thing that drives me bananas about everything. This is tricky for me as a writer, I don’t generate meaning when I’m writing a column. The reader generates the meaning based on what they read. And so, yes, people will generate meaning, and then what they will interpret AI generated art as, they’ll see it as AI generated art. They will see it in the same way.

Rich Ziade: Cool algorithm, dude.

Paul Ford: Exactly. In the [00:22:00] same way that the net artists make these like really interesting outputs from processing and whatever and it’s plotted and it can be really beautiful. The fact that the computer was involved is part of the work. So people will engage there and nobody likes being-

Rich Ziade: It’s fascinating, right?

Paul Ford: Nobody likes being tricked all the time. I mean, I’ll tell you where it’s going to get goofy. Will be YouTube children’s… uh, videos, like, here’s the AI animated mother goose that you can put a two year old in front of because it’s as close to that now as it can be. And some of those videos have like 80 trillion views.

Rich Ziade: Oh, yeah. I foresee something a little different, I foresee like, uh, like a, an experimental version of YouTube that asks you a series of questions and then in about 10 seconds generates a cartoon or a video that is going to reflect what you’re into and what you’re interested in.

Paul Ford: Does that help you think your thought? We’re actually back to [00:23:00] transactional. You’re not going to have, like, because it is catering to you, there’s no friction.

Rich Ziade: Right.

Paul Ford: So you’re not, you’re going to engage with it as like, oh cool, that, you know, it’s not much different than the experience of making the bulleted list. It’ll just have a really lovely aesthetic to it.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah, and it’s interesting. I think they try to create Sort of identity and personality with things scarcity to they’d be like, oh this this special character I created is only going to put out three paintings. Don’t you want to buy one and it doesn’t work It does just because you created scarcity doesn’t mean…

Paul Ford: Because it’s not true scarcity, the only true scarcity is kind of human time, right? Like it’s not, yeah, what they said instead is we’re going to turn off the switch because we know you’ll pay.

Rich Ziade: Right, right.

Paul Ford: And it’s like that can work once or twice and it can work in, in like the people with the, with the goofy monkey NFTs. It worked for a while, but it’s everybody, unless there’s real value or there’s a real human connection, the market always crashes.

Rich Ziade: In two years, um, chat GPT six overbearing father edition will be coming out and it’ll be, just be this deeply insecure AI engine that’s always overcompensating.

Paul Ford: Did you get your homework done? Did you get your homework done? Um, you know, well, you know, the other, another trend I saw people, uh, they took an image of a whiteboard and they asked the AI to write code and it did a pretty good job based on like rectangles that they drew.

Rich Ziade: That’s impressive.

Paul Ford: That is the beautiful transaction.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, I just wonder if we’re in the beginning of that, and then eventually we’re going to be like, it’s going to pull off much more complex things the same way we solve problems.

Paul Ford: It really will but then we’re going to see the same things as walking around with super magical phone machines that can take photos. You know, cameras like the ones in your iPhone.

Rich Ziade: Right. It’ll get better and better.

Paul Ford: They used to cost thousands. Whole industries get destroyed by this stuff. It’s real. It’s going to happen, sure.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: But do you want to go back to carrying an SLR around when you want to take a picture of your kid?

Rich Ziade: Right, right, right, right.

Paul Ford: Like no.

Rich Ziade: Um, it’ll be interesting to see how… I still view this as novelty today. We’re still in the lurching forward phase.

Paul Ford: I am in the utility zone.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, no, I think there’s utility. I think as in like, this is going to crack through popular culture and just become part of everyone’s lives. Not, it hasn’t, it may happen by the way. It hasn’t happened yet.

Paul Ford: It’s a fantasy.

Rich Ziade: It means something might crack through. I mean, we’re talking to our Google home devices and Alexa and Siri and all these people. It’s just a crowd of people, there’s like five of them now, Cortana. Nobody talks to Cortana.

Paul Ford: Nobody’s spoken to Cortana in years.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, Cortana just keeps chiming in with nobody asked.

Paul Ford: Cries all night. I don’t know what devices support Cortana.

Rich Ziade: I think it’s just a Windows.

Paul Ford: Yeah like Windows Surface.

Rich Ziade: Well, I think they wired it to chat. Like they have a big partnership with OpenAI, Microsoft. So I think [00:26:00] it’s like in there, I don’t know, It doesn’t matter.

Paul Ford: We’re just going to muddle through and then there’ll be all these applications and, and there’ll be something new and you and I will have this conversation and AI will be-

Rich Ziade: I think we should need to have this conversation every six months, it’s moving fast.

Paul Ford: And then, no, but like 10 years from now, we’ll be like, remember when everybody was all upset about AI?

Rich Ziade: Right.

Paul Ford: I’ll say, please, do you have water?

Rich Ziade: Yeah [Laughter]. Um, last question, answer it quick. This is a long podcast, can we use AI to solve some of our like really nasty problems like climate change.

Paul Ford: I would say like no not really.

Rich Ziade: Because humans are stubborn.

Paul Ford: It’s not just… It’s just like don’t… I’ve asked it about climate change. It doesn’t know anything. We don’t… we don’t know how to solve it as a species.

Rich Ziade: We kind of do, we just don’t have the discipline.

Paul Ford: Neither does AI. It can’t do any better than we can.

Rich Ziade: Um, this podcast is sponsored by Aboard. Aboard uses some AI, it’s got it sprinkled about in different places. It’s a great tool to collect, organize, and collaborate on the web. Full disclosure, Aboard is Paul and my startup, and we have an amazing team. It’s a great product. Mobile is coming very soon, but you can sign up for free on the web at aboard.com.

Paul Ford: And if you want to check us out, ZiadeFord. com on the internet and at ZiadeFord on X. Uh, anything you need, hello@ZiadeFord. com. We’ll talk to you soon.

Rich Ziade: I’m gonna put that list together for you, Paul.

Paul Ford: Oh, could you please, but you know, honestly-

Rich Ziade: Just give me a day.

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