Is chasing artificial intelligence genuinely senseless? | This Week in Business

This Week in Business is our weekly recap column, a collection of stats and quotes from recent stories presented with a dash of opinion (sometimes more than a dash) and intended to shed light on various trends. Check every Friday for a new entry.

With a name like “This Week in Business,” the expectation is that we talk about things that happened this week. Things in business, even.

But sometimes expectations go unfilled. And sometimes we plan to write about one thing, but then Unity shoves its foot into its mouth clear up to the knee and we feel obligated to point at the company trying to choke down its own femur and say, “I don’t know, seems like a bad idea?”

So anyway, we’re playing catch-up this week and looking back to two weeks ago at an interview we did with Roblox’s chief technology officer Daniel Sturman about the company’s plans for generative AI.

QUOTE | “It can act as an incredible on-ramp to creators on the platform, but it also can work in a way that can really accelerate existing creators. It’s not a separate thing from Studio. It’s all part of the creator tools we’ve been shipping for years; it’s just accelerating them with the power of generative AI.” – Sturman talks about Roblox’s AI Assistant, a conversational tool that users can ask to pull assets into a project and code behavior for objects in a game.

Right now the AI Assistant pulls assets from Roblox’s Creator Marketplace, but eventually the plan is to roll it out with 3D model creation, so Roblox developers will be able to ask for a model of a car and the AI will generate one that can then be tweaked on command.

Now I have what I think is a healthy skepticism toward AI. I question whether it will ever work the way backers are promising it will. I question whether the people rolling it out – those who swear up and down they want to do it in an ethical and proper way – will ultimately just shed any ethical concerns (and the people responsible for voicing them) as soon as it is financially prudent to do so, just like Amazon/Twitch, Microsoft, and Twitter have done.

I question whether it is even possible to pursue AI in an ethical way, given how

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