"We must grow and we must adapt — even Darwin style, as a business is the ultimate survival of the fittest."
New World's Worst CEO just dropped.
Meet James Clarke, the chief exec behind the tech-meets-media publisher Clearlink who, in a viral leaked video, told his content-writing staff that they should be using AI to put out upwards of 50 times more content than they already do.
"Many content writers today are now exclusively using AI to write," said Clarke, without giving any examples of who those writers may be. "I can do that in about 30 minutes of an 8-hour workday."
"So what do we need to do?" he pondered, before offering that Clearview writers should use AI to "put out 30-50 times our normal production, or substantially more of our production."
Clearlink CEO James Clarke is not only the guy who drove an employee to sell the family dog, he's also pushing for workers to increase output by 30 to 50 times with AI. I'm tearing up about how inspiring this is! pic.twitter.com/9dK3BPI6JW
— Chamath Palihapitiya's burner (parody) (@ChamathWarriors) April 21, 2023
We know we probably don't have to say this, but: 30 to 50 times more output is an absolutely unhinged — and quite frankly, probably impossible — productivity goal to put on a workforce, with or without AI integration.
But if we were going to interrogate that AI claim? We'd probably say that any responsible integration of AI isn't much faster than just 1. writing things yourself and 2. using Google, rather than the AI, to find and aggregate facts. Generative AI-written text is known to crib pre-existing writing, and often spews out total fabrications to boot. Soundly checking the AI's work for plagiarism and errors is no small — or quick, if you're doing it well — task.
To that end, it's worth noting that a lot of Clearlink-owned publications are personal finance hubs. Not great, considering that AI text generators are known to be extremely terrible at math and finance.
Somehow, though, that AI-assisted output projection wasn't even the most deranged thing Clarke said in the leaked call.
Elsewhere, the CEO went into a bizarre rant about how he supports single mothers but thinks they also might be bad at balancing parenting with full-time work, praised one employee for giving up their dog for the sake of the grind — which she was seemingly forced to do as a result of company leadership's unexpected demand that formerly remote employees get back into the office — and inexplicably bringing up the fact that he went to both Harvard and Oxford out of absolutely nowhere.
But according to the exec? It's all just business, and business is all just Darwinism, baby. Snooze it or lose it.
"Things that do not grow are on a path to die," the CEO added. "We must grow and we must adapt — even Darwin style, as a business is the ultimate survival of the fittest."
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