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What is hidden behind the shining promise of Artificial Intelligence? VPRO Backlight shows the reality behind the smokescreen that Silicon Valley presents us, speaks with people who are engaged in dissecting the global AI industry and uses the possibilities of the latest AI products to depict the places and people that Big Tech would rather not be visible.
Generative AI is the latest buzzword in Silicon Valley. The Big Tech giants all launch chatbots and incorporate AI assistants, based on large-scale language models, into their products. The credo is: we are building the most powerful technology since the invention of electricity, and it is about to change everything. And all this happens in 'The Cloud'.
Are we once again blinded by the shine of Silicon Valley and the promise of artificial intelligence? The recent success of AI comes with the use of even more raw materials, even more data, even more computing power and even larger server parks. If you zoom out, AI is a hungry beast that needs to be fed with the fastest chips, huge data sets and poorly paid labour. In the form of silicon mines, endless rows of power-guzzling servers or Syrians labeling data for the next generation of generative AI. AI turns out not to be a divine machine, but an industry that costs blood, sweat and metals. A system of extraction and exploitation on an industrial scale with major consequences for the earth and humanity .