Maggie Appleton

Maggie Appleton Product Designer Ought

The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI

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The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI

Have you noticed how the web we love is becoming an eerily lifeless place? Its public spaces are filling with a mix of bad faith actors and automated predators like bots, advertisers, clickbait attention-grabbers, and angry twitter mobs. Like a dark forest, all the living creatures are quietly hiding out of sight.

Generative AI systems are about to make this situation a whole lot worse: We now have tools that can churn out tens of thousands of words, images, and videos in seconds.

The volume of mundane, low-quality, and uninspired content published to the web is about to explode. How will we find original insights under this pile of cruft? How will we figure out which authors are flesh-and-blood humans we can form emotional and intellectual relationships with? And does it even matter if something was made by an AI instead of a human?

Maggie Appleton

Maggie is a designer, anthropologist, and mediocre developer. She currently leads design at Ought, an AI research lab exploring how machine learning can support open-ended reasoning. She previously spent years working in developer education and designing visual metaphors for programming concepts. She's enthusiastic about embodied cognition, end-user programming, and digital gardening.

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