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Allison Parrish @aparrish

[my impression of the state of AI in pop culture, snarky, sorry]

RESEARCHER: I have made yet another somewhat interesting way to transform one spreadsheet into another spreadsheet

JOURNALISTS: we're all doomed by robots lol


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...which isn't to say that transforming one spreadsheet doesn't affect the world because obviously it does (that's the history of computation essentially, going back to punched cards). it's just the "we're all doomed by robots lol" narrative acts like a weird sink for actual critical thinking about what these procedures are doing

@aparrish it's a reasonable entry level of criticism, because it's the first tentative step past "cooool!" to wondering what the secondhand effects will be. For example, spreadsheet transformation is a traditional entry level job in many industries. Learning for mastery requires periods of rote activity. What happens to mastery when robots take over those parts? (I don't know, but I can imagine feelings of doom & gloom about this)

Tangent about spreadsheets Show more

Tangent about spreadsheets Show more

Tangent about spreadsheets Show more

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@aparrish man can we talk about how in some contexts the robot uprising has already happened and it is Not Good?

So much of governing and policy is done by algorithms and those algorithms are racist and classist and they have real effects on real people and generally they are not great. This is ignoring the advertising industry and the effects of algorithmic capitalism and basically I might be a data scientist but that shit scares me.

JOURNALISTS: We will be conquered by the robot uprising

TWITTER: Hurry up with it, then

SCIENTISTS: Don't worry about the robot uprising

TWITTER: Goddamnit, first we got our hopes up for the giant meteor, and now this

SCIENTISTS: Global warming is still happening

TWITTER: Not fast enough


@aparrish i like the researcher part. a former cs prof of mine used to say "gentlemen, we are in the symbol manipulation business"

@aparrish @Elizafox

Tensorflow has been successfully installed on a Raspberry Pi. The Robot Army Approaches.


@aparrish amen. I like to call this "superficial intelligence".