Wednesday, June 26, 2024

On AI Shaming

Here is a new thing: AI shaming. It is a practice where individuals accuse others of using artificial intelligence to generate written content, as if such an act were inherently deceitful or somhow sinful. How fascinating, the very premise of it.

This phenomenon  reveals itself to be a fairly common logical fallacy. It is a summative dismissive argument, with a dash of ad hominem (ad machinam?) for flavor. One might wonder why the method of creation should overshadow the substance of the content. After all, we don't dismiss the works of authors who switched from quills to typewriters, do we? 

There's a certain Foucauldian quality to this practice, if one may be permitted a touch of theoryhead's indulgence. By attempting to draw a sharp line between 'acceptable' and 'unacceptable' means of content creation, some seem to be engaging in a subtle power play. It is almost as if they're trying to sell their unfamiliarity with newer technologies as a virtue. it is a rather clever way of elevating the game at which one excells, and putting down a game at which one fails. While an understandable inclination it is still a folly. 

For those of us who have embraced these new tools, such accusations are about as concerning as a light drizzle on a summer day - which is to say, entirely expected and hardly worth mentioning. If anything, it provides a certain amusement to observe the lengths to which some will go to maintain the status quo and their priviledged little spot in it. 

However, there is a more sobering concern to consider. While thick-skinned people like me might brush off such criticisms with a raised eyebrow, younger, more impressionable ones might internalise this arbitrary stigma. It would be a shame if the next generation felt compelled to hide their technological proficiency out of  fear of Luddites' bullying.

As these AI tools inevitably become more sophisticated and ubiquitous, perhaps we might redirect our energy towards more productive ends. Instead of engaging in this curious form of digital fingerpointing, we could focus on the responsible and creative use of these technologies. After all, the ideas expressed within content will always be more intriguing than the means by which they were transcribed.

To those who persist in AI shaming: by all means, knock yourelf out. Your dedication to this cause is admirable, if somewhat perplexing. Just don't be too surprised if the rest of us seem a bit distracted - we'll be busy adapting to the future while you're perfecting your fingerwagging techniques.

P.S. This text, according to QuillBot, is 0% AI-generated, however I wrote it with Claude :)

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