April 14, 2024


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Silicon Valley’s richest nerds seem dead certain that AI will make our world a better place. Not everyone is so convinced, however. At SXSW this week, a sizzle reel that featured conference panelists talking effusively about the new technology was roundly booed by disgusted audience members.

The reel in question was shown before the premiere of the new rom-com The Fall Guy. The video, which is less than a minute long, features panelists—including noted tech journo Kara Swisher—saying stuff like “you need to stop resisting and starting learning” about AI, and “instead of something you have to resist,” folks should “find ways to leverage AI to accelerate faster.” One speaker helpfully tells audience members: “Be one of those people that leverages AI, don’t be run over by it.” During her segment, Swisher, who recently got chummy with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to promote her new book, said that every company will use AI to “figure out how” to become “more efficient.”

Here’s the reel:

Yes, wow! I guess resistance is futile, guys. Better just assimilate to the Borg while you’re ahead and stop worrying about stuff like job automation and AI-guided warfare. Everything’s going to be cool if we just support AI now!

Well, audience members weren’t having it. The video got booed. Like a lot.

Here’s the reaction to the reel:

Variety notes that many of the audience members who booed were likely “writers and actors who just spent much of 2023 on the picket line trying to reign in the potentially destructive power of AI.”

Yes, not everybody is as enthused about the “AI revolution” as the tech industry’s jetsetter class. Unsurprisingly, the people who are more likely to lose a job rather than gain one due to technological disruption aren’t huge fans.

This story was originally published on Gizmodo.



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