Super-Not-Impressive AI

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I’m a tech guy. I think I’ve got the bona fides to prove it. Worked with computers since 1979. Online since 1982. Over twenty published books. Started and sold a software company. Always bought the latest stuff. Wrote a book about interconnected computers around the world in 1982, which was more than a decade before it started happening. You get the picture. I know tech. I’m 99.9th percentile.

I have said again, and again, and again, that this entire AI thing is the most overhyped pile of crap in the universe, and we’re all going to look like fools in a few years. But allow me to share a tiny little snippet to show what I mean.

I was looking at the Shanghai Composite Index. Sighted readers will notice that I have highlighted the 52 week high, presented here in MSN Money. Remember that, because it will be important in a moment.

Now, it just so happens that near this display of the Shanghai Composite was a button called What Was 52-Week High. That seemed odd, since the data was right in front of me, but I clicked it anyway, and Microsoft’s AI wizard, Copilot, leaped into action. Let’s take a look:

As the kids say these days, there’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s review:

  • First we get the definition of what a 52-week high is. I suppose for the severely mentally-challenged, this is a helpful reminder. No argument from me here.
  • Next, it goes on to declare the current price. Fine, I didn’t ask, but sure, if you’re going to walk me through your logic, that’s fine.
  • Next comes the percentage change of -0.42%, which it parenthetically explains is “today’s change.” OK, Copilot, you’re starting to worry me here.
  • It then presents me with two beautifully formatted math formulae, illustrating just how it’s going to figure out the 52-week high based on, of all things, today’s price change.
  • Lastly, it presents to us the 52-week high of 3075.65 which, in case it isn’t clear to you, is dead wrong and not even in the same ZIP code as the truth.

Beneath that, with hat in hand, Copilot goes on to explain that this is an appropriate calculation based on the “provided data.”

OK, if you’ve got a few moments, I’m going to walk to the other side of the room and bash my head against the wall for a few moments.

All right, hi, I’m back. Thanks for waiting. Do you realize – – can you see – – how completely stupid, imbecilic, and insanely horrible this is? The data desired is the 52-week high. The data is RIGHT THERE. It’s literally right there on the screen.

But what does Copilot leap to the rescue to do about it? It goes through some convoluted and totally illogical procedure to estimate the 52-week high based on today’s percentage change, which is absolutely bonkers. I might as well hand you my recipe for Zesty Banana Pudding and tell you that’s the correct answer.

So……….I say again………..computers barely function, even after being around for the past half century. AI will have its place in very specific vertical applications, yes, but the notion that AI is going to replace us all in a few years? Total horseshit.