Fracking The Web

Katie eats glue, Google says to eat rocks, and Sundar Pichai doesn't care about your website traffic.

Google AI said to put glue in pizza — so I made a pizza with glue and ate it,” wrote Katie Notopoulos. This is the kind of flawless sicko blogging of which we could only dream during the pivot to video. I am surprised that Business Insider let Katie describe glue pizza as “an easy and delicious weeknight meal for the whole family that anyone can whip up in thirty minutes or less,” but maybe they feel invulnerable after surviving Bill Ackman?

But perhaps I should have said “the first pivot to video,” because near billionaire and less-near presidential nominee Vivek Ramaswamy wants to bring back 2015 (Vivek’s Version) with another BuzzFeed pivot to video, but this time make it even dumber. Bloomberg’s Cam Baker reports:

“You have a historic opportunity to redefine BuzzFeed and set yourself apart from every other major media organization,” he said, adding he wants to see other voices featured, including personalities such as Candace Owens, Tucker Carlson and Aaron Rodgers.

Yeah absolutely, why not. Let’s see Aaron Rodgers’s “13 Reasons 9/11 Never Happened (Number 5 Is Wondtacular).” This is exactly the legacy Jonah Peretti earned.

Glue pizza is both funny and delicious, but Google’s A.I. content is spectacularly embarrassing and the company doesn’t seem to know what to do about it. While its flagship search engine is telling users to eat rocks, a company representative told The Verge that “Many of the examples we’ve seen have been uncommon queries, and we’ve also seen examples that were doctored or that we couldn’t reproduce.” I’ve personally been able to reproduce almost all the examples I’ve seen. Maybe Google has the include_ai_garbage flag disabled for its employees, so they can actually do their jobs?

Poor quality aside, the strangest thing about Google’s “A.I. Overviews” is that they’re all just scraped and rephrased webpage content. The dumb answers are easy to trace to their original sources, where they were either a joke or part of a longer post that the bot mangled. It’s pure automated plagiarism that treats the content of the web as raw material for Google to harvest and reuse however it sees fit. Last week in Wired Paresh Dave reported that Google “says it will soon start including ads inside those AI Overviews.” So it’s exactly what it looks like: Google fracking the web to sell ads.

On the other hand, when he was asked on Decoder about websites who see their Google referral traffic cratering, CEO Sundar Pichai told Nilay that:

“…it’s like an individual restaurant saying, ‘I’ve started getting fewer customers this year. People have stopped eating food,’ or whatever it is. It’s not necessarily true. Some other restaurant might have opened next door that’s doing very well. So it’s tough to say.”

Yeah, that’s a good point. Maybe another internet just opened up next door! It’s tough to say.

Music Intern Sam posted: “Saving this real screen my real television I paid real money for as a reaction image,” with a picture that says “Recommended for you: JAIL (Jail).”

Also Today in A.I.: OpenAI has a new safety team — it’s run by Sam Altman,” writes Emma Roth. The rest of the “team” is two other board members and the team will make recommendations to the board (i.e. itself). Good thing the whole idea of “A.I. safety” is marketing bullshit. And in Techcrunch Dominic-Madori Davis, Amanda Silberling, and Kyle Wiggers report that “Meta’s new AI council is composed entirely of white men.” It’s also their birthday, and you will never regret liking this A.I. council.

Today’s Reason I Can’t Wait To Log Off And Go Live In The Woods: Sundress Discourse.

Today in Religion: The Vatican is about to canonize its first gamer saint. They also pretty much admitted to making his incorruptible body out of wax. I’m told that his reliquaries will be called “loot boxes.”

Today in Money (I Guess?): FT Alphaville’s Louis Ashworth designed the perfect sellside research note, making two full decisions (Decision -1 and Decision 0) before even arriving at “Decision 1: How big is a piece of paper?” And “Ohio billionaire Larry Connor plans to take $20M sub to Titanic site to prove industry’s safer after OceanGate implosion.“ The ocean has a chance to do something so funny right now.

Ok that’s all that happened while I was in Canada! There certainly wasn’t any news about those “pronatalist” liars beating their kids no matter what you may think you saw in the so-called Guardian. posted “unfortunately had to slap my youngest child, hyperion dipshit, in the target parking lot today after he failed to show proper respect to a cybertruck. before you call that abuse, just ask my other children, aryan chlamydia and maximus trifecta what they think”

Today’s Song: Magdalena Bay, “Death & Romance”

Ty Music Intern Sam. Only! Two! More! Tabs! Left! DO NOT subscribe, it is simply too late. But DO subscribe to Today on Trail, the new, the next, what is to come, and the world that will be inshallah.