Digital Vampires Sucking the Internet Dry

So the team has been locked out of the office for a month now. As we learned earlier, the vacuum cleaner stumbled and fell, our first casualty. But, logging in and checking the WiFi stats today, I’m heartened to see that the idle Chromecast that inhabits the projector has been watching some shows in our absence. The last 30 days (of which no one has been present) it has downloaded 70G of (splash screen images? new firmware? 8-bit midi music?).

Good thing that the Chromecast that inhabits the conference room TV is powered off with it, otherwise that would be 140G.

The idle printer, sitting waiting for jobs, clocks in @ 8.74MB, so 4 orders of magnitude less.

This made me think… We already have AI Neural Networks that can create content, images, even Shakespeare. Imagine this play where Othello, Gloucester, and Cassio discuss things:

I pray you, sir, to lie: in this hand is not a tend and talking of it;
I would not be threaten dispatch.
Our good old friend,
Lay comforts the state, seek for him;
I will grife you be faster’d!
And the blessed course of dower:
Net forth enough to do you;
And that the Moor is defective in the letter!
Abhorre, heaven, I will go sor;
And the other too.

Seems reasonable, right?

And, it appears, we have machines that are consuming content. It reminds me of a book “Midas World” by Frederik Pohl. In this book energy and raw materials are cheap. To keep the economy going, poor people have to endlessly consume. Wear those new jeans out, watch that TV. If you are more wealthy you can afford to have less. Later they manage to make the machines consume what they product.

Is this what we are becoming? So much information unregarded that we are employing machines to make it seem like it has value?






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