LLMs and Google could destroy the internet

Leigh Harrison sent me this blog post by Evan Boehs, which reflects my earlier ones about the web being rendered useless by Google et al.

I never intended this blog to be about tech, but there’s so much to chart, and so much dishonesty to get on the record, lest someone else finds themselves in the same boat. And I fight the crap because it’s a medium that still holds promise. It’s still the medium that takes us out of our shells and connects us to people on the other side of the planet, and does so more effectively than any other to date.

Evan’s headline is ‘LLMs are this close to destroying the internet’ and I don’t think it’s hyperbole.

Google is inherently incentivized to promote the most ad laden content, instead of the highest quality. Website admins fill their sites with prose to give search engines more keywords to latch onto, and to make more room for ads …

… If you’ve ever searched a recipe, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

With LLMs creating GIGO, then Evan foresees a Model Collapse. Google and Microsoft, he says, consumed copyrighted content and are spitting it out. Except I know from the last four months that what these programs spit out is drivel. Thanks to sites like Linkedin, nothing is being done about it, so Google indexes it to serve up.

He also notes that the big companies will suppress opinion, since “AI” expresses the average content online.

His links, on the same theme, are instructive—and make for sobering reading.

I feel vindicated about creating Lucire and Autocade in print media, extending them beyond the web. The web will always be there, but with what the dominant search engine has done, it is going to be hard to judge legitimacy. But something beyond the web provides the evidence—as long as people know about it. We’re going to need Mojeek and the others to help, because Google is too devoted to serving up junk for financial reasons. They also like censorship too much.

Will the public forget and forgive, as it has done with everything Big Tech so far? Somehow I don’t think it will this time—not when they can’t find anything that they know should be there.

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