This is Behind the Blog, where we share our behind-the-scenes thoughts about how a few of our top stories of the week came together. This week, we discuss AI-generated non-consensual images that went viral of Taylor Swift, why we need your email address, and the state of journalism.
EMANUEL: The leader of a Neo-Nazi terrorist group is directing his followers to an “uncensored” chatbot he thinks will be more useful and a flood of nonconsensual AI-generated porn of Taylor Swift is trending on social media. This is the future that Marc Andreessen, a16z, so-called “techno-optimists,” effective accelerationists, and broadly the “let it rip” contingent of the artificial intelligence boom want, have built, and continue to build today.
I feel like I’ve said this 1,000 times but I’m going to keep saying it until I die because the same crowd tries to make the same point every time we publish a story about abuse that’s happening with AI, and because I simply love to beef: We are going to see widespread abuse of of AI tools until the people who make them voluntarily think more seriously about safeguards, or are forced to by regulators or an army of Taylor Swift stans with pitchforks. It’s not a question of if this happens, but when it happens. The delusional future Horowitz and other techno-sycophants imagine, where AI companies and tools operate completely outside regulation or the constraints of public opinion, will never come about. First because no technology operates this way, and second because despite the libertarian ideologies proclaimed by the venture capital and blue check class, the people who actually operate these AI companies and tools buckle when the inevitable result of this ideology is publicly scrutinized.