The Bot Decade: How AI Took Over Our Lives in the 2010s

The Bot Decade: How AI Took Over Our Lives in the 2010s

by Lynne Peskoe-Yang, Popular Mechanics

There’s no turning back.

Bots are a lot like humans: Some are cute. Some are ugly. Some are harmless. Some are menacing. Some are friendly. Some are annoying … and a little racist. Bots serve their creators and society as helpers, spies, educators, servants, lab technicians, and artists. Sometimes, they save lives. Occasionally, they destroy them.

In the 2010s, automation got better, cheaper, and way less avoidable. It’s still mysterious, but no longer foreign; the most Extremely Online among us interact with dozens of AIs throughout the day. That means driving directions are more reliable, instant translations are almost good enough, and everyone gets to be an adequate portrait photographer, all powered by artificial intelligence. On the other hand, each of us now sees a personalized version of the world that is curated by an AI to maximize engagement with the platform. And by now, everyone from fruit pickers to hedge fund managers has suffered through headlines about being replaced.

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