The AI craze, like everything else, will pass

The tech industry has been obsessed with AI for close to a year now. But it’s not just Silicon Valley. From Microsoft’s Copilot to Duolingo’s own AI-powered adaptive learning features, every company has been jumping on the AI bandwagon. What gives? Does this even matter to the average consumer? I’d hazard a guess that it doesn’t. Despite the marketing, AI mostly only gets used by enthusiasts, random people who want to have fun with it, or bad actors right now.

That doesn’t make the tech useless, however. AI can be useful. But it’s also incredibly dangerous and highly unregulated—see Taylor Swift’s AI ‘nudes’ spreading across the internet from just the past week (don’t worry, the article I linked doesn’t have them), requiring Twitter to temporarily block searches for the musician on the platform. It’s easy to manipulate media with AI, and that’s something the U.S. Congress and lawmaking bodies across the globe should absolutely be working to get a handle on now, not later.

Companies only see AI as “the next big thing” now because of the work OpenAI is doing on ChatGPT. Industries are trained to basically follow the money, and there’s money in AI. Apple is rumored to be doing some sort of implementation for their upcoming iOS release based on their own models, too. This sort of shift in every industries’ focus happens anywhere from once a year to every few years. Then, they quietly shut down all the work and pour all that investment down the drain in search of larger profits. It’s a cycle that lasts forever.

The thing is, AI is another piece of technology that shouldn’t advance until there are guardrails in place protecting real people—of which Taylor Swift is—from getting hurt in the process. But then again, it’s possible this is just part of the cycle, and AI will fade into obscurity within the next few years.

I don’t know for certain; and only time will tell.