Notes from the Electronic Cottage 11/10/22: AI Snake Oil

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Suppose you were an academic who posted some slides from a lecture on your university’s archive page and suppose that tens of thousands of people found them and downloaded them and 2 million people read your Twitter feed on the subject. Would you be surprised? This really happened to Avrind Narayanan and therein lies the source of a book in progress and blog underway entitled “AI Snake Oil.” That title alone should make it worth listening to today’s episode of the Electronic Cottage.

Here are links to the sources mentioned in the program:

AI Snakeoil, Substack
How to Recognize AI Snake Oil, Arvind Narayanan, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Princeton University
A checklist of eighteen pitfalls in AI journalism, Sayash Kapoor, Arvind Narayanan. September 30, 2022

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.