Illustration by Alexander Naughton Art for The Intrinsic Perspective

The amount of AI-generated content is beginning to overwhelm the internet. Or maybe a better term is pollute. Pollute its searches, its pages, its feeds, everywhere you look. I’ve been predicting that generative AI would have pernicious effects on our culture since 2019, but now everyone can feel it. Back then I called it the coming “semantic apocalypse.” Well, the semantic apocalypse is here, and you’re being affected by it, even if you don’t know it. A minor personal example: last year I published a nonfiction book, The World Behind the World, and now on Amazon I find this.

What, exactly, are these “workbooks” for my book? AI pollution. Synthetic trash heaps floating in the online ocean. The authors aren’t real people, some asshole just fed the manuscript into an AI and didn’t check when it spit out nonsensical summaries. But it doesn’t matter, does it? A poor sod will click on the $9.99 purchase one day, and that’s all that’s needed for this scam to be profitable […]

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