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November 26, 2023 | What Has AI Done for YOU Lately?

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.


AI hubris has become America’s chief source of good news. Over the past year, artificial intelligence surpassed bitcoin as mankind’s most easily imaginable pathway to quick riches, shortened work weeks, ingenious solutions to every problem, and endless satisfactions. An AI-assisted world supposedly will revolutionize the way we do business, enabling high school graduates, even mediocre ones, to do the grunt work of Wharton MBAs. It will make government workers heroically efficient, fine print more readable and Shakespeare more accessible to the masses. AI will allow paralegals to leverage the law library as effectively as Ivy-educated Supreme Court clerks, homemakers to serve four-star dinners and to provision every lunch pail with perfect nutrition.

It will end war, thwart alien invasions and allow pet owners to talk intelligently with their dogs, cats and tropical fish. Graduates of AI-specialized trade schools will reduce the heavy workload on diesel mechanics, actuaries, farriers, coders, electricians, pilots and brain surgeons, pitching in wherever they can. Every savings account will achieve the maximum possible return, and fake news, filtered into oblivion, will cease to exist. No umpire will ever again blow a close call, and no murder will go unsolved. Alexa will know what we want before we even finish a command, and your little Billy will be able to replicate ‘The Night Watch’ on the living room wall with a tricked-out, AI paint-box. His kid brother, a budding AI tunesmith and composer of nearly hum-able show-tunes, will owe his life to AI’s success at cracking the mystery of crib deaths.

A Flunky’s Tale

What a fabulous world it will be! For the time being, however, and most unfortunately, we’ll have to content ourselves with AI’s most visible achievement to date: AutoCorrect.  It was developed by the same millennial geniuses who have been toiling day and night to deliver AI miracles promised us by thousands of tech flacks, futurists, J-school flunkies, and most relentlessly of all, the editors of Wired magazine. But in the meantime, with so little apparent progress on the miracle front, jokes like this one will continue to surface: A priest, a minister and a rabbit walk into a bar. ‘What’ll ya have?’ the bartender asks the rabbit. ‘I dunno,’ comes the reply. ‘I’m only here because of AutoCorrect.’  As every smartphone user knows, AutoCorrect has made it well nigh impossible to compose an error-free text message. Type the word ‘bologna,’ as I did the other day, and it is rendered shamelessly as ‘baligba’. If AutoCorrect were a dog, as the saying goes, it couldn’t find a lamb chop tethered to its neck.

And neither could Sam Altman, for all we know. In case you’ve been living on another planet, Altman is the CEO of a firm called OpenAI. Several weeks ago, when he was fired by the company’s board, co-workers threatened to quit. And so he was reinstated, an event heralded in five-hundred publications with such noise and fervor that one might have thought his return was The Second Coming. For most of us, though, the ginned-up Altmanpalooza was a nauseating spectacle of self-absorption, with a navel-gazing news media inventing a story, a hero, and a messianic meaning for a branch of computer science so new and useless that it can only coo and gurgle at us from the crib.

Amazon’s Virtue-Signaling

This hasn’t stopped Amazon from virtue signaling with a cynical promise to equip millions of workers, not just its own, with the AI tools they supposedly will need to become more productive. Doesn’t that imply that the workers, transformed into Ai-tomatons, will ultimately eliminate each other’s jobs? Of course it does. That is what happens when economic efficiency improves very dramatically. But you’ve got to hand it to Amazon for correctly calculating that no reporter who ran with this deftly flacked, feel-good story would bother to think it through from that angle.

If AI is so smart, let it tell us whether the 2020 election was fixed, or whether Fauci was lying. Statistical analysis has evolved sufficiently in the age of supercomputers to answer such questions. That’s assuming our almost-thinking machines can parse the petabytes of data available on these subjects without adding political bias to the mix. If they can’t handle the truth, then what is AI worth to any of us?

It all boils down to pattern recognition — what AI algorithms supposedly do best. Let them take on this challenge: Some highly credible experts have testified that the two Pfizer shots (and the Moderna jabs, too) permanently impaired our immune systems, causing a cancer epidemic that has become visible to any statistician. Proving or falsifying the story should be a piece of cake for AI, since data on every cancer patient has been filed according to zip code and clinical history. Conveniently, the same is true for recipients of the jabs.  If AI experts cannot connect the two data sets with some telling Venn diagrams, then why are we even listening to them? Better to let them circle-jerk themselves into a peaceful coma as they fatuously pursue AI’s Holy Grail, the driverless car.

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November 26th, 2023

Posted In: Rick's Picks

One Comment

  • Rick Ackerman says:

    Here’s an appropriate response that ‘Civillan’ left on my web site:

    I could write volumes in response to this question — and about as much, in response to the commentary itself — but Someone has a much better idea than anything I could ever write.

    Internet, social media, AI, lying media… aside from all being over-hyped panaceas for All of Our Problems, these all suffer from the same malady, which is the evil spirits that have always separated us, from both God and each other. Therefore, they all have the same remedy…

    Intercessory prayer to St. Clare of Assisi & Gabriel the Archangel

    Sts. Clare of Assisi & Gabriel the Archangel, we turn to you for your intercession for those who work in televised advertising, entertainment, news media, and pioneering within the field of AI. We ask you to plead before the Lord that anyone in these industries realize the influence and impact of their work, therefore strive towards providing advertising, entertainment, news reporting, and fact and record, that are, above all, truthful and ethical in the eyes of God. We thank you, Sts. Clare of Assisi and Archangel Gabriel, for your intercession. Amen.

    Prayer to Defeat the Work of Satan: O Eternal Father, in union with your Divine Son and the Holy Spirit, and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg You to destroy the Power of our greatest enemy — the evil spirits. Cast them into the deepest recesses of hell and chain them there forever! Take possession of your Kingdom which You have created and which is rightfully yours. Heavenly Father, give us the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I repeat this prayer with every beat of my heart and with every breath I take, out of [sincere] love for You. Amen.

    Now, it has taken me two years to come to this conclusion about the power of intercessory prayer: When good and love triumphs over evil in the world, we are all blessed and made better for it. Thank all saints for their assistance to us. No Saint’s prayers are pointless or useless. For our sake, and for the sake of those we ask intercession for, but most of all for God’s sake! Also, prayer without fasting works as well as fasting without prayer. The two go hand in hand.


    Prayer can never hurt, Civillan, and I thank you for your benedictions and execrations. I fear, however, that the once-deepest recesses of Hell have by now been filled to overflowing with Beelzebub’s minions. RA

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