The Who Moved My Cheese? AI Awards!

Look, I didn’t really want to do this. But the sheer lunacy of some of the noisiest critics deserves to be memorialized, much like the famous Darwin Awards.

Inspired by Spencer Johnson’s 1998 business classic, Who Moved My Cheese? (wiki link), these awards recognize those who are most change-resistant, their outrageous quotes and claims, and… that’s about it!

Date Winner Notes
Apr/2024 1. 200+ musicians including Pearl Jam, Bon Jovi, CAKE, Norah Jones…


2. Dove


3. IOC Preident Thomas Bach

‘We call on all AI developers, technology companies, platforms and digital music services to pledge that they will not develop or deploy AI music-generation technology, content or tools that undermine or replace the human artistry of songwriters and artists…This assault on human creativity must be stopped.’ (release, letter)

‘At Dove, we seek a future in which women – not algorithms – get to decide and declare what real beauty looks like… Pledging to never use AI in our communications is just one step… AI creates unrealistic images that breed an environment that makes it hard for girls and teens to be able to discern between what is real and what isn’t.’
[Alan: C’mon guys, can’t you just look ahead a few months?!]

‘Unlike other sectors of society, we in sport are not confronted with the existential question of whether AI will replace human beings. In sport, the performances will always have to be delivered by the athletes. The 100 metres will always have to be run by an athlete – a human being.’

Mar/2024 Yann LeCun ‘LLMs… don’t really understand the physical world. They don’t really have persistent memory. They can’t really reason and they certainly can’t plan… If you’re really interested in human level AI, abandon the idea of generative AI.’ (LeCun interviewed on Fridman)
[Alan: denial.gif]
Feb/2024 Gergely Orosz “As a [software engineer], it is, frankly, terrifying to stare down the possibility of “superhuman devs” that are AI tools running on GPUs that do your job better. I get that this is what investors and founders want. I’m not that eager to rush to this future.” (Twitter)
[Alan: Gergely briefly consulted to OpenAI, and was the first to reveal GPT-4’s architecture. I was beyond shocked to hear this take from an informed expert. Welcome to the cheese room!]
Jan/2024 George Carlin’s daughter “My dad spent a lifetime perfecting his craft from his very human life, brain and imagination. No machine will ever replace his genius. These AI generated products are clever attempts at trying to recreate a mind that will never exist again. Let’s let the artist’s work speak for itself… Here’s an idea, how about we give some actual living human comedians a listen to?” (Twitter)
Dec/2023 The EU: all 27 countries The EU AI Act is a true abomination. Luckily for humanity, the wheels of bureaucracy turn so slowly that even though the EU agreed on rules to limit AI in December 2023, they won’t cover LLMs and GenAI until that part comes into effect around April 2025(!). By which time, we’ll have nearly hit AGI already…

Here’s that again in a timeline with references:

Apr/2021: EU AI Act draft does not mention anything about post-2020 AI like GPT or LLMs in general (OECD).

Sep/2022: I call the EU AI Act ‘a true abomination’ (The Memo).

Jun/2023: EU specifically adds ‘foundation models’ to the EU AI Act (EU PDF).

Dec/2023: EU agrees on AI Act (EU).

Apr/2024: EU might formalise AI Act (EY pdf).

Apr/2025: EU AI Act comes into effect for GPAI including training of new foundation models (Akin).

Nov/2023 Tina Arena ‘I would say to anyone interested in AI to be very afraid of the rabbit hole you decide to get yourself into. I am not interested because artificial intelligence is not capable of producing human emotion for me. Therefore it doesn’t apply to me. If there are other people who choose to be seduced by it that is their prerogative.
‘I see it as a categorical hand grenade in how to destroy something that is human.
‘No machine for me is ever able to replace because that machine is only able to emulate. There is nothing innovative about it.
‘I don’t find Silicon Valley intriguing. What I find audacious is that they can come in and rape and pillage whoever they want. Artificial intelligence is just rape and pillage. It’s just another form. Is it interesting? No it is not. Is it going to create an interesting world moving forward?
‘It is taking food off people’s plates.’
Oct/2023 BBC While AP partnered with OpenAI to share its stories to train new models, BBC, CNN, NYT, and Reuters have blocked OpenAI and Common Crawl from accessing their data. BBC in particular is using AI anyway to help it write articles, but is not giving back…
Sep/2023 Amazon “the rapid evolution of generative AI and the impact it is having on reading, writing, and publishing… in order to help protect against abuse, we are lowering the volume limits we have in place on new title creations.”
Aug/2023 Prof Michio Kaku “It takes snippets of what’s on the web created by a human, splices them together and passes it off as if it created these things… And people are saying, ‘Oh my God, it’s a human, it’s humanlike.’”
[Alan: An author once said ‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt’…]
Jul/2023 James Cameron “I just don’t personally believe that a disembodied mind that’s just regurgitating what other embodied minds have said — about the life that they’ve had, about love, about lying, about fear, about mortality — and just put it all together into a word salad and then regurgitate it…I don’t believe that’s ever going to have something that’s going to move an audience. You have to be human to write that. I don’t know anyone that’s even thinking about having AI write a screenplay… Let’s wait 20 years [2043], and if an AI wins an Oscar for best screenplay, I think we’ve got to take them seriously.”
[Alan: These guys are really going on record with this absurd stuff!]

[Four winners]
1. Nature

2. The Grammys

3. Nikon Peru

4. Belgian ad agency, Impact

“Many national regulatory and legal systems are still formulating their responses to the rise of generative AI,” Nature writes. “Until they catch up, as a publisher of research and creative works, Nature’s stance will remain a simple ‘no’ to the inclusion of visual content created using generative AI.”

The Grammy awards are banning AI-generated music, ‘A work that contains no human authorship is not eligible in any categories.’

Nikon: “Millions of people around the world are generating surreal images just by entering a few keywords on a website, which is directly affecting photographers”

“AI can do a lot. But AI can’t finish this building on the Keyserlei in Antwerp. AI can’t fix a leak or install a heating system neither. Crafts(wo)men are here to stay, and they deserve to be recognized. Their skills are simply irreplaceable.
[Alan: Good luck with that. Give it a few months.]

May/2023 Seth Rogen & the writers strike “I think the prospect of artificial intelligence writing things is horrifying… and the fact that they seem to be digging in on [it] is more horrifying… You’d have to shove a lot of weed in that thing [for it to write good TV].”
[Alan: Welcome to the cheese room, Seth!]
Apr/2023 Italy Italy has become the first Western country to block advanced chatbot ChatGPT.
Mar/2023 Neal Stephenson Mega-author Neal Stephenson says AI-generated ChatGPT Is ‘simply not interesting’.
…a person would be reading only the output of an algorithm, “and if that’s interesting to you, then fine.”
“Personally, I know a lot of writers who are putting a lot of effort into creating their own original works, and I’d rather support them and hear what they have to say than just look at the output of an algorithm.”

[Alan’s note: I love that these guys are going on permanent written record with these preposterous soundbites! Give it a year or two so we can look back!]
Feb/2023 Clarkesworld Sci-fi publisher bans all written submissions after ‘deluge’ of AI-written work.
Jan/2023 NYC Schools NYC public schools bans ChatGPT because ‘it does not build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success’.

(I’m sure we addressed this back in my 2017 article:

The five-year-olds who started kindergarten this year [in 2017] will be at university in 2030 and will spend most of their working lives in the second half of the 21st century. It’s always been the case that our schools hold the future within their classrooms, but today’s education systems need to set the foundations for these young children to thrive in life and work in 2050 and perhaps through to 2090.

While many schools are happy to wax lyrical about their modern curriculum and environment, it’s clear that the number of… schools actually preparing their students to live in the year 2090 is close to zero.)

Dec/2022 Stack Overflow Stack Overlfow Ban on posts by GPT (specifically, GPT-3.5 and ChatGPT)
Nov/2022 DeviantArt DeviantArt about turn ban on art for use in datasets…
Oct/2022 Matthew Butterick A typographer starts a class-action lawsuit against GitHub/Microsoft/OpenAI for using data during training (+ bonus Metallica/Napster throwback)
Sep/2022 The EU Rather than train models, the EU is passing laws to hamstring AI, especially open source (+ bonus Slashdot commentary)
Aug/2022 YouTube commenters Special mention to all the crazies emptying their minds into the void. You know who you are!
Jul/2022 Noam Chomsky Historian says language models have done nothing: “First we should ask the question whether LLM have achieved ANYTHING, ANYTHING in this domain. Answer, NO, they have achieved ZERO!” (+ bonus video with avatar impression)
Jun/2022 Clem Delangue (CEO, HF) CEO of largest Transformer library said we should censor data from models, and bans GPT-4chan: “some dark corners of the web like 4Chan that are already sometimes unfortunately part of the pre-training of these large language models (maybe to try to remove them/mitigate them?).”
Dec/2020 Ben Goertzel
“But what [GPT] did, it looked at all the multiplication problems online and memorized the answers. And then it came up with some weird extrapolations and let it do a few problems that weren’t in its training database. [Alan: this is wildly incorrect, and spelt out in detail in the GPT-3 paper on p23.]
It doesn’t understand what multiplication is, or it would never get 15 or 20% multiplication problems right. And you can see that in many other cases. Ask it like, who were the best presidents of the U.S. it’ll answer a lot of good things then it’ll throw a few kings of England in there just for fun. But I mean, because it doesn’t know what ‘of the U.S’ means.
So, the thing is, in the end, [GPT] has no more to do with AGI than my toaster oven does. It’s not representing the knowledge in a way that will allow it to make consistently meaningful responses. And that’s not to say that everything in there is totally useless for AGI. It’s just you’re not going to make GPT-4, 5, 6, 7 and get AGI.”


Got a nomination? Fill out this form (nominees with initials ‘GM’ is just cheating…).

Image generated by Alan D. Thompson via DALL-E 2 with outpainting on 6/Dec/2022. Prompt: ‘single quarter of swiss cheese, colorful frame from pixar animation, 8k’

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Dr Alan D. Thompson is an AI expert and consultant, advising Fortune 500s and governments on post-2020 large language models. His work on artificial intelligence has been featured at NYU, with Microsoft AI and Google AI teams, at the University of Oxford’s 2021 debate on AI Ethics, and in the Leta AI (GPT-3) experiments viewed more than 4.5 million times. A contributor to the fields of human intelligence and peak performance, he has held positions as chairman for Mensa International, consultant to GE and Warner Bros, and memberships with the IEEE and IET. Technical highlights.

This page last updated: 21/Apr/2024.