"Stone-cold panic that they are getting left behind."

To the Races

In a very ticked-off LinkedIn post, a newly-retired Google strategist went off on his ex-employer for forcing AI down its workers' throats as it attempts to cash in on the latest tech trend.

"The 'AI Projects' I was working on were poorly motivated," wrote Scott Jenson, a former Google UX strategist, in a LinkedIn post, "and driven by this panic that as long as it had 'AI' in it, it would be great."

On his profile, Jenson's other posts provide a bit of context for what those projects might have entailed as he rages against the limits of Google's Gemini chatbot for programming and the crappy user interfaces of chatbots.

"This myopia is NOT something driven by a user need," the ex-Googler continued. "It is a stone cold panic that they are getting left behind."

For the critical observer, that much has seemed apparent over the many months since Google built AI into its search service as Microsoft and OpenAI seemed poised to take over the world. As Futurism and other outlets have repeatedly demonstrated, these supposed "enhancements" have been anything but, resulting in all manner of nonsense — both hilarious and dangerous — being stamped with the Google logo.

Hey Jarvis!

"The vision is that there will be a... Jarvis assistant in your phone that locks you into their ecosystem so hard that you'll never leave," Jenson continued, referencing the superpowered AI assistant in Marvel comics that can make meals for Iron Man and help him fight bad guys. "That vision is pure catnip. The fear is that they can't afford to let someone else get there first."

Ironically enough, new emails from a federal case against Microsoft have revealed that the company's initial 2019 investment in OpenAI appeared to have been triggered by concerns that Google was getting ahead in the AI rat race.

To a similar end, Jenson noted that "Apple is no different," either.

"They too are trying to create this AI lock-in with Siri," he wrote. "When the emperor, eventually, has no clothes, they'll be lapped by someone thinking bigger."

Having been at the search giant for nearly a decade, Jenson knows a thing or two about the company's hype history, and pointed out that the same thing happened when it tried to compete with Facebook by creating Google Plus — and we all know how well that turned out.

While tech companies pivoting to the next big thing is far from new, things are substantially different with AI, what with the massive amounts of energy and capital it takes to run the algorithms and the way over-investment in it has already resulted in massive job losses, with many more expected to come.

"I'm not a luddite," Jenson wrote. "There *is* some value to this new technology. It's just not well motivated."

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