Brief LinkedIn thoughts on AI
I wrote this comment on a LinkedIn post by Garrett Sussman who I’ve known for nearly as long as I’ve been an SEO.
This was his original post:
At least 50% of people don’t care that tools like ChatGPT or Bing’s Sydney produce factually inaccurate answers.
If we’ve learned anything from the world of social media and conspiracy theory culture, people will accept an answer that’s delivered with confidence.
These tools are large language models, not knowledge models.
I can understand why Google has been apprehensive to roll them out into their search product.
Unfortunately, in a capitalist society, money trumps ethics too often.
AI-generated content will flood the internet. And I don’t think you can count on Google to fact-check for you. Just look at YouTube’s suggestion algorithms.
All that said, I still believe that AI-generated content can be a useful tool, but the best content creators will still have the workflows in place, build credibility (E-E-A-T), and use it ethically.
What say you?
To which my responses were:
Agreed, and as an industry we should do more to give balanced approaches like this and highlight the potentially harmful aspects with as much weight as we give to all the “interesting” use cases.
And (in reference to whether the good will outweigh the bad for large language models):
I think the hands that this tech is in currently (the ones with the most power) will tip the scales towards the bad. I’m not trusting of major world leaders and their governments in any case but there needs to be SOMETHING in place and it needs to involve not just the CEOs of these AI companies and their biggest investors but with non-C-suite practitioners too (with as little bias as possible to avoid poisoning the well further). Any loopholes and it’ll get worse.
I also think that in our industry, we cannot ignore any of that because it is all intricately linked. Without people and search engines, SEO has very little to go on (if anything, arguably but that’s another story for another day lol). So it’s up to us to be as open, transparent, and balanced as possible with a people-first approach to everything—as it should always be, regardless of this emergent technology.