Home Featured ‘Understanding AI’ Is a Smart Newsletter for the AI Age

‘Understanding AI’ Is a Smart Newsletter for the AI Age

‘Understanding AI’ Is a Smart Newsletter for the AI Age

Joanna Andreasson/DALL-E4

Seemingly overnight, artificial intelligence went from a far-future science fiction technology to a real thing that is supposedly on the verge of ushering in utopia and/or killing the human race. Lost in the shuffle of this discourse is serious discussion of what AI technology can actually do and what real-world effects it is having.

Explaining actual AI products is the core of Timothy B. Lee’s excellent Substack newsletter Understanding AI. Lee, a journalist (and occasional Reason contributor), refreshingly covers AI like a normal newsworthy subject. His articles include a nice range of original reporting on the companies and nonprofits producing AI, service journalism on how ChatGPT compares to Gemini, even-handed analysis of the legal and regulatory questions AI has inevitably provoked, and explainer articles on what even is a large language model.

The biggest takeaway is that, for all the boosterism and doomerism, AI will be a normal-ish technology that will have normal-ish impacts on the world. One of Lee’s best entries is a deep dive into how AI has affected one of the industries where it already predominates: language translation. Turns out that prices for translation have fallen and companies consume more translation services. That’s an unambiguous win for…

More information can be found here