Is AI Ruining Your Home Theater?
With the rise of AI (artificial intelligence) being used to (poorly) write articles about our hobby, or enhance our gear, one wonders if AI ruining your home theater? The answer, most likely, is yes. But how can you protect yourself from this? Let’s discuss.
The AI Trend
What exactly is AI? Well, for those living under a rock, AI is artificial intelligence. No, I am not talking about the folks on the Reddit forums who spout the same nonsense as the hive mind. To simplify it, AI was defined as a computer system capable of performing tasks that only a human can typically do. Think of those cool robotic arms in a car plant. Or a murderous cyborg sent back from the future to kill the human resistance leader. Harmless technology!
Today, AI describes a wide array of programs used to power many of the technologies we use regularly. I use YouTube as a prime example. The AI algorithm studies what you watch and recommends videos based on that. But for writers, sites like ChatGPT are becoming a popular destination. These sites allow one to plug in some keywords to generate an article that can be immediately posted for the clicks!
How Can AI Be That Harmful?
While AI can be a super helpful tool for the writer, it can also be harmful for the reader. Why? AI, like ChatGPT, scours the web for the keywords you delineate and distills that into the final product. But AI doesn’t fact-check and doesn’t discriminate what sources it uses. So, while it will get some content from reputable sources (AVGadgets!), it will also draw on personal opinions from forums. This will skew the article, giving the same weight as fact-checked articles and personal conjecture.
For example, I recently wrote an article, Is Harmony Still An Option For 2023? As part of my fact-checking, I started to look for used remotes and to see what is still supported on the website. I determined that it was still usable IF you could get a used Harmony remote, but the brand is dead. However, I also found a clearly AI-generated article that declared Harmony the best NEW remote for 2023. Better yet, it ranked ALL of the Harmony remotes, including ones discontinued a decade-plus ago! Nowhere in the article did it mention that these remotes were discontinued.
If you didn’t know that the Harmony suite of remotes was dead, you may have read that article and started searching for a Harmony to buy. Of course, you would have been confused by the lack of availability and high aftermarket prices. But again, because AI will use non-fact-checked sources, you get recommendations that are just plain bad. And for the neophyte who doesn’t know better, it can be costly!
So, All AI Is Bad?
Not all AI is terrible. I use Grammarly all the time. I find that it helps me be more concise with my articles. And I have learned better ways to write as a result. Plus, when I use search engines or YouTube, I often use the built-in AI features to tell the system to learn my preferences and not recommend channels that I know are full of…non-fact-checked stuff.
But use your best judgment to see what works best for you, and don’t assume that AI is the end-all-be-all. I have read AI-generated articles that simply compare one product to another. Those are great for me because it helps my research and I don’t have to scour through specs. AI does the boring and tedious jobs for me just fine. What you can’t really do is rely on it to come to conclusions that are correct. AI can write a “factual” article that is misleading or comes to a completely wrong conclusion. All because it can’t differentiate between facts and opinions.
So again, I ask the question: Is AI ruining your home theater? That depends. It is clearly most harmful to those that have the least experience. AI-generated articles that are not reviewed by knowledgeable humans will contain bad information. Not always, but often. If you are reading an article because you are trying to learn about a subject, AI can be very harmful to you. It can present opinions as facts, outdated information as true, and leave you more confused than enlightened.
And for those that are using AI to generate articles and post them without review? Well, you are the reason there are murderous cyborgs from the future hunting resistance leaders!