Derek Sivers

AI gives the news you need

UPDATE: My metaphor was too distracting, so this post has been replaced. Please click here to read the new post instead. Both have the same intention but that one says it with less distraction.

Your personal AI knows you inside-out. It’s local-hosted and securely encrypted on your phone, so you’re safe to tell it your secrets. You let it see all your texts, emails, photos and videos. It asks your thoughts each day, and you tell it what’s on your mind.

Your AI filters the news for you, showing you only what you will do something about. It removes all advertising. Nobody but you can influence what it shows. Its incentives are fully aligned with yours.

One day, you wake to huge headline news. Everything in the world, including inanimate objects, has consciousness! It’s been conclusively proven.

This blows your mind. You step out into a new world, feeling connected to and responsible for everything you see. You’re like a new parent, determined to be a great one. You spend the next few rapturous days carefully taking care of and improving everything you can.

You bump into an old friend and start talking excitedly about the big news, and how this changes everything. She’s just as excited as you, but then gets confused. Her AI showed her different big news — that we’re all living in a computer simulation. She spent the past week fully liberated, doing all the things she always wanted to do, since it’s all just a game. Her news was just what she needed to hear. She grabs you, kisses you, licks your ear, then runs off singing.

Your neighbor’s front windows are open, and he’s there watching four screens at once - a real information junkie. You ask if he’s heard the big news. He looks at you with a blank face and says, “What? No.”

An old man is walking towards you, so you ask him. He says “Oh yes!” with a big smile, and says now he’s so excited to die.