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The Age Of AI Snake Oil

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the author's frustration with the AI features being added to the Arc browser, as well as their skepticism towards AI-focused products in general.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The author's views on Arc browser's AI features

1. What are the author's main criticisms of the AI features in the Arc browser?

  • The author finds the AI features in the Arc browser to be "really really not useful", such as the "Ask on Page" shortcut which replaces the command+F search functionality.
  • The author feels that the Arc browser lacks a cohesive strategy and identity, with the AI features feeling like random productivity tools rather than a unifying vision.
  • The author believes these AI features will ultimately fail, drawing parallels to the lack of success of Bing Chat in improving Bing's market share.

2. Why does the author think the Arc browser's AI features will fail?

  • The author believes the Arc team is making the same mistake as Microsoft with Bing Chat, by assuming that simply building the AI features will make people use them, without understanding their customers' actual needs and use cases.
  • The author cites their own experience of preferring to use a simple search query on Google over the more conversational Bing Chat, to illustrate how the AI features may not align with how people actually use browsers.

[02] The author's views on AI products in general

1. What is the author's overall perspective on AI products?

  • The author sees a "graveyard of half baked ideas" when looking at the landscape of AI products, where companies are rushing to incorporate AI just because it makes for a good demo, rather than thoughtfully integrating it to solve real user problems.
  • The author acknowledges that AI can be an amazing tool when used well, citing their own use of ChatGPT, but believes many products are incorporating AI as an "afterthought" rather than a core part of the product strategy.
  • The author refers to these AI-focused products as "AI snake oil", implying they are more about hype and marketing than providing genuine value to users.

2. What example does the author provide to illustrate their concerns about AI-focused products?

  • The author discusses the Rabbit R1 phone, which they describe as a "phone without apps that relies entirely on AI", and suggest it may be a "scam" due to the lack of a subscription model for the AI service.
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