We can do better than meeting spec

Well, that’s over. Google AI now sounds indistinguishable from a human. And it’ll only get more nuanced and more flexible.

It can read aloud better than you can.

Which means that anything that’s ever been written can be perfectly read to you. Which means that anything a computer figures out or computes can be delivered to you with audio quality that meets spec.

That’s what AI keeps doing… things we said were impossible.

Most of us shrugged when computers could drill holes or assemble machines with more accuracy and speed than a person can.

And we avoided the topic when we discovered that computers could read x-rays with great skill as well.

But now, it ought to make you shudder to discover that something as basic as speech is now better than the typical human’s. Any speed, fully customized, in clear tones with great pronunciation.

Once it’s done a little, it will quickly become commonplace.

And as we all know, when you do something that’s commonplace, it’s not worth that much.

The goal can’t be quality, not for people anyway. It needs to be humanity. The rough edges of caring, of improv and of connection.

If all you can do is meet spec, better be sure you can do that faster and cheaper than an AI can. 


Here’s this week’s episode of Akimbo, my new podcast. Coincidentally, about quality. And rough edges.