Chris Padilla/Blog / Tech

AI as a Synthesis Tool

True artists create in the genre of their time. Sooooo I'm going to write about AI!

Some of the AI demos are pretty impressive!

What I've seen though, mostly, feels like playing those old point-and-click adventure games. You have to keep trying different solutions to a puzzle just to make the game happy. Similar is true with having AI generate content for you.

It's a tool, but it's not quite the "steal your job" kind of automation that's been expected. At least, from a knowledge-work perspective.

Josh Comeau makes a great point at this juncture about tasks v jobs:

My personal belief is that for the most part, working professionals will find ways to integrate this technology into their workflows, increasing their productivity and value. Certain tasks might be delegated to an AI, but not many jobs.

I appreciate that GitHub's AI product is named "Copilot." It seems more fitting and true to the nature of most AI tools. It's not going to do the job for you, but it's a means of getting an idea started or synthesizing information.

Dave and Chris speak to this point on ShopTalk Show (also, my source for Josh's article!) AI seems to be good at synthesizing and expanding on certain points. Generating reports, namely, or summarizing notes.

But, in that sense, blog articles that are only a Google search away can accomplish a similar task.

So maybe that's it. AI is largely a synthesis tool that is only one step removed from the Google "I'm feeling lucky" button of old.

But it still takes a human being to understand context, style, form, and to solve the innumerable problems that take more than a few Google searches.

Does that takeaway from how impressivene or usefull AI is as a tool? I don't think so. AI still unloads the initial effort of sifting through content.

If anything, the fact that AI is not quite a quantum leap in productivity is a testament to how AMAZING our current resources are.