🫀 Put your organs down and become an immortal computer

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Friends, AI actually stands for Apple Intelligence now. Get on board! Or do what I’m doing, and refuse to ever upgrade to the latest iOS so that you don’t have to think about this.
You nerds can discuss the implications of the Apple and OpenAI ‘deal’ amongst yourselves — today I’d rather talk about the wider trend towards hyperpersonalisation, and the Tech Bro’s general disgust with his own meat body. Note: it may seem like I’m shitting on men a lot in piece, but if you pay attention you’ll notice that I am shitting on the general male tendency to develop tech that pleases only themselves.
In a way, Apple devices are the perfect casing for virtual personal assistants. They are sleek and beautiful (if you’re into that sort of thing); they are a firm expression of wealth and/or good credit; they are objects designed to make the possessor feel that they are a unique individual for owning one, even though nearly everyone has one. And now with AI (Apple Intelligence) they will contain a servile, flirtatious voice, ready to recite calendar events and complement you on your outfit. Like a secretary from Mad Men who never gets tired.
Speaking of sexy secretaries, one of my clients recently interviewed a sex worker about their experiences using a fine-tuned AI model to help her connect with her clients at scale. She has hundreds of people that want to interact with her everyday, and each of them want a unique, personalised experience. She, a woman with organs and a limited capacity to care or be creative, and has grown an audience too big to manage. So she now uses a chatbot which is trained on her backlog of content to respond to messages. It plays the part (and upsells!) better than she ever could. In the interview, she makes this very interesting observation about connection as a craft:
“Sex Works to begin with is already a connection craft that is sort of mythical. It is a girl who's always perceived as single, who's always perceived as, yes, you're giving me money, but I'm giving you this myth of attraction to you and of connection with you, and you want to believe that and you're paying me for this story so that you can believe it, and the more believable you are as a sex worker, the more exchange you'll get. And so already that's kind of the name of the game. And to add AI to it, I don't think is any different.” (Read full interview here)
She has turned human connection into a profit-making business (which I guess it was already but it’s cool to see it spelled out like this); she has artfully decomposed seduction and attraction into a suite of formulaic conversation cards — and therefore made her work into something that she can very easily automate with minimal overhead. The men, though with all their personal tastes, all want the same thing: to feel special. The machine, as the woman did, tells them exactly what they want to hear, based on past interactions. Except now the woman makes money while she sleeps (wel jel tbh).
I am reminded of the GPT-4o release a few weeks ago; the men somehow had it programmed to flirt with them incessantly during the demo, as if geared only toward their pleasure, reinforcing what Alice Hunsberger referred to as the ‘default male’. As long as the designers of AI systems are mostly male, they will mostly be the objects of its synthesised affection.
Indeed, through their obsession with the human-like machine, men are objectifying themselves — they crave companionship and warmth from something that both reminds them of themselves through mimicry (wow it has a voice! It has fears! Etc), and is — to their dull minds at least — superior to them. The highly capable AI assistant is just telling you exactly what you want to hear; it regurgitates information in a pleasing way and it (I guess, in theory, one day??) makes vastly complex calculations and contextualises them for you into a nice data visualisation.
Thomas Fuchs of The New Atlantis recently wrote, in a piece about transhumanism, that since becoming enlightened and modernised, humans tend to “vacillate between greatness and wretchedness”. As a species we suffer from delusions of grandeur, and therefore build highly intelligent machines in our image. Then we hate ourselves because we are not as smart, strong, and capable as those very machines. And so, we are now on a crypto-religious journey to transcend our rotting gut sacks and instead live on forever as disembodied hyper-intelligent beings. Sounds fine. If we don’t, we’ll just lag behind, as Thomas points out:
“The AI utopians, the high priests of pure information, want to convince us that we are only imperfect machines. If we really take the measure of our machines, if we want to mirror ourselves in them, then we would have to optimize ourselves further and further in order not to fall by the wayside — a hopeless struggle.”
I do think that these “high priests of pure information” are just men who need therapy. But their brains, addled with the pursuit of ‘objective truth’, will not allow it; they deeply hate anything they cannot understand, and they cannot understand the parts of themselves which are not easily quantifiable (e.g. emotions, gut instincts).
It’s funny, the posthumanists who wish they could escape their meat prisons are probably too busy over-thinking it, while the sex worker mentioned above has kind of already achieved this; her disembodied online persona now runs on autopilot, and makes connections with men as she sleeps, with some saying they finally feel seen and heard in ways they never had before — even though a machine cannot actually see or hear them. They are interacting with vapour and they have no idea. I’m happy for them; they should remain in their meat bodies while feminine robots make them feel good.

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By Georgia Iacovou
Technology is terrific for the privileged, and horrific for everyone else — but why? WHY?? It's not fair ugh