Generative AI and Wristwatches

When you ask peo­p­le what a wrist­watch does, many say: they tell the time.

But if you take it serious­ly, that’s not true. Wrist­wat­ches – and for the sake of sim­pli­ci­ty we are only deal­ing with ana­lo­gue wrist­wat­ches – do some­thing dif­fe­rent: they move hands across a dial at a speed that is as con­stant as pos­si­ble. The fact that we, as obser­vers, dedu­ce a time from the posi­ti­on of the hands abo­ve the dial is no lon­ger a func­tion of the clock. The fact that we then draw con­clu­si­ons about our envi­ron­ment from this assu­med time is a fur­ther step that no lon­ger has any­thing to do with the clock.

And it works in a simi­lar way with gene­ra­ti­ve AI and “con­ver­sa­ti­ons”.

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