#btconf Düsseldorf, Germany 13 - 14 May 2024

Maggie Appleton

Maggie is a designer, anthropologist, and mediocre developer. She currently leads design at Elicit, an AI research lab exploring how language models can support scientific research and open-ended reasoning. She’s enthusiastic about tools for thought, end-user programming, and digital gardening.

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The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI

The web is becoming an eerily lifeless place. Its public spaces are filled with a mix of bad faith actors and automated predators like bots, advertisers, clickbait attention-grabbers, and angry twitter mobs. Like a dark forest, all the living creatures are quietly hiding out of sight. Generative AI systems are about to make this situation worse. We now have tools that can churn out tens of thousands of words, images, and videos in seconds. The volume of mundane, low-quality, and uninspired content published to the web is about to explode. How will we find original insights under this pile of cruft? How will we figure out which authors are flesh-and-blood humans we can form emotional and intellectual relationships with? And does it even matter if something was made by an AI instead of a human?