Weekly recap: 2024-02-04

Posted by Q McCallum on 2024-02-04

What you see here is the last week’s worth of links and quips I have shared on LinkedIn, from Monday through Sunday.

For now I’ll post the notes as they appeared on LinkedIn, including hashtags and sentence fragments. Over time I might expand on these thoughts as they land here on my blog.

2024/01/29: AI is made of people

I have to give them credit. The standard “the AI was people all along” playbook is usually executed on a larger scale…

Following lawsuit, rep admits “AI” George Carlin was human-written” (Ars Technica)

(I’m now wondering whether the “there was no AI involved” is part of some odd legal defense strategy …?)

2024/01/31: Condensing information

My take: the barcode didn’t so much engineer its own downfall, as it dramatically improved data management (especially for automation) and then paved the way for the next generation of printed/label codes.

As QR codes offer a much greater information density – in some cases up to several kilobytes of arbitrary text data – they can provide additional context to label-scanning systems, which can improve supply chain operations. They can also play a role in a payments/auth system. See WePay, AliPay, and so on…

The Barcode Engineered Its Own Downfall” (The Atlantic)

2024/02/01: Improving your data literacy in 2024

An image that represents a brain as a circuit diagram.  The background is blue, with colorful squares.

(Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash)

February is here!

Did you set a 2024 goal to improve your AI literacy and understanding of AI-related risks?

This is your periodic reminder that my blog has 70+ articles on those topics.

You can read it right now. There’s no paywall.

You can also follow me here on LinkedIn for more tips and breakdowns of the news.

2024/02/02: A shift in belief

The AI sector is feeling a bit of a market correction:

AI Companies Lose $190 Billion After Dismal Financial Reports” (Futurism)

You might ask: “So what does this mean?”

Share prices – ergo, public company valuations – are an expression of (collective) belief. This sector-wide drop in price reflects people’s belief that AI won’t deliver as much value as they had previously hoped.

-> “Does this mean that AI is a complete waste?”


As the article points out, the $190B figure is a large number overall … but the major AI companies have lost just a few percentage points on share price. So it’s not as though the FAANGs have suddenly tumbled to penny stock territory.

It does mean that people are coming around to the same reality we experience with every other emerging tech: it’s no silver bullet. When it works, it works; and when it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

-> “So what should we do? Should we shut down our company’s AI department?”


And also, maybe not!

  • If you are putting AI to good use and it is improving your company’s bottom line, making it more efficient, or smoothing employee life … may as well keep going.
  • If not, it’s time for a think. Maybe some restructuring is in order. Perhaps you’ll find some untapped potential. Or you may indeed have to downsize.

(Do you need help sorting this out? Contact me. This is the kind of work I do. An AI assessment will help you determine whether your efforts are on-track and aligned with the business, or need course-correction. And in the latter case, I can offer ideas for remediation.)