AI washing: Silicon Valley’s big new lie

The AI-washing phenomenon is built on delusion. It’s built on the delusion that people want machines creating and controlling everything, which they don’t. It’s based on the delusion that adding AI to something automatically improves it, which it doesn’t. And it’s based on the delusion that employing people represents a failure of technology, which it doesn’t.

I think I speak for all of us in the technology industry, the technology customer community, and the tech press when I say to Silicon Valley: Stop gaslighting everybody about AI. 

Read my column at

The AI robots are watching... and learning

Humans are cultural animals, which means that we learn from each other and pass that knowledge on to others. Acquiring skills — from folding laundry to cooking to boxing — involves a teacher explaining while demonstrating. We learn by observing others.

Thanks to generative AI, robots are also gaining the ability to learn the way humans do — by watching YouTube videos. Read all about it on my MACHINE SOCIETY newsletter

How AI will kill the smartphone

In 2011 Marc Andreessen, co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, asserted in a Wall Street Journal essay that “software is eating the world.” He was right, of course. But in this decade it’s AI software, specifically, that’s eating our world. And very soon, AI software will eat the smartphone world, too. Read how in my Computerworld column

Check out the podcast Inside A.I.!

Check out the shiny new podcast Inside A.I., hosted by Jason Howell and Jeff Jarvis and, on this episode, guested by me! The timing couldn't be better, as the podcast was recorded after two of the most consequential announcements in the history of AI, of course, by OpenAI and Google. This is a must-listen, must-watch podcast episode! 

Listen and watch here!

Become a patron of the show here!

This Week in Tech: Musk-Stache!

Join host Leo Laporte and guests Paris Martineau, Sam Abuelsamid and me on TWiT where we tackle solar storms, Tesla chaos, Apple AI, Google failures, TikTok risks, messaging mayhem, Sony switcheroos and much, much more!!

Watch here now!

A glimpse at the powerful future of information

Perplexity AI is not unique. It’s simply the most popular and probably best in the category of tools that combine search with large language model (LLM) chatbots. (I previously recommended another in this space, is

The leading brands will soon converge on Perplexity’s space. OpenAI is rumored to be building a search engine. Apple’s Siri is thought to be getting the addition of AI. Bing already uses ChatGPT. And Perplexity-like startups abound — for example, explicitly positions its tools as a kind of “enterprise Perplexity AI” that keeps corporate data private (Perplexity has its own enterprise offering, called Perplexity Enterprise). 

It’s likely that within a year, the AI chatbots will have search, the search engines will have AI and the voice assistants will have both search and AI. 

This strikes me as an improvement all around.

Read my column at Computerworld.

Why you’ll soon have a clone of your own

"Any day now, an industry will emerge where your face and body are scanned, your voice is recorded and your communications are fed into the system, so it knows how you use words. From that point, a virtual version of you can leave high-resolution video messages from a simple command you give to your AI glasses." Read my opinion column at

The US State Department wants to counter Russian disinformation in Ukraine through video games

A grant posted by the US State Department wants to counter Russian disinformation in video games through video games. Here's a summary from the grant: 

"Leveraging the popularity and penetration of video games in Eastern Europe, the implementer will develop an eSports program at American Spaces in Ukraine. eSports athletes will need professional training to form a talent pipeline to professional teams in Ukraine. In tandem with traditional eSports training, these athletes will receive counter disinformation/conflict resolution training to confront foreign propaganda and disinformation in competitive online gaming spaces. The project will culminate with an eSports tournament and coalition-building event on the sidelines of the tournament."

Is this a good idea or a bad idea? 

Hedge fund to profit from 'market-moving' scoops

Two investors want to re-invent news. And it’s the worst journalism idea I’ve heard in a long time.

Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz and Sam Koppelman — both 27 years old — are creating a newsroom that will be monetized by investments based on “scoops” produced by the newsroom, according to exclusive reporting by the Financial Times.

In other words, their investment firm, the $100 million hedge fund Hunterbrook Capital, is using journalists to write stories designed to affect the stock market. They’ll buy or sell stock based on those “market-moving” stories before the market moves — before other investors know about the stories — thereby profiting.

Read it all on Mike's List.

Top shelf Oaxacan street food!

Yeah, I'm in Oaxaca again. My wife, Amira, went out with friends while I slaved away in the information mines. But she brought me this Tlayuda from the food vendor down the street -- tlayudas are what Oaxacans eat instead of tacos. And mezcal here is not only a great idea. It's the law.