Is Now the Winter of AI Discontent?

Snow-covered road at Kanangra-Boyd National Park, NSW, Australia. Image by Toby Hudson CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

With Google’s introduction of ‘AI Overviews’ beginning to replace its traditional search engine, Apple launching its ‘Apple Intelligence’ system embedded in its latest variants of iOS, Adobe incorporating an AI Photo Editor in Photoshop, and so on, it’s fair to say that artificial intelligence – in the form of generative AI, at least – is infiltrating many of the digital tools and resources we are accustomed to rely upon. While many uncritically embrace such developments, others are asking whether such developments are desirable or even useful. Indeed, John Naughton (2023) suggests that we are currently in the euphoric stage of AI development and adoption which he predicts will soon be followed by a period of profit-taking before the AI bubble bursts.

In many ways, we’ve been here before. Haigh (2023, 35) describes AI as “… born in hype, and its story is usually told as a series of cycles of fervent enthusiasm followed by bitter disappointment”, and similarly,

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