We have little to fear from current AIs

So, while I’m away in Iceland, Google again starts being irritating.

Suddenly, Newsstand decides to start telling me headlines. And giving me notifications about them too.

A few years ago I noticed that companies weren’t being accidentally annoying, but were instead deliberately pushing the boundary of annoyance as far as they could - far enough to benefit the company but just short of so far that you’d switch to a different company. I wrote a ranty blog post called ‘Maximising Tolerable Irritation’ and then never bothered posting it. I’ve hunted it out and posted it now, years later.

I have never asked Newsstand to do notify me about news stories. I’ve never used Newsstand. I’ve never even knowingly searched for and installed Newsstand. I’m fairly aware of is existence but it hasn’t exactly been a part of my life.

Until now when I'm in a foreign country and it decides to notify me with headlines from a newspaper I already get email from every day. It’s trying to get my attention to tell me something I already know.

I truly do understand that it doesn’t know I already know what is trying to tell me. But it’s hard to see its AI as anything other than dumb now, and why would I want something dumb interrupting me?

All the other notifications are switched off on this tablet whenever they start, and it’s not a big leap that it should say ‘Woah, all the other times this guy had been notified he’s turned the notifications off. Maybe I should shut up?'

But no. Newsstand doesn’t even give you the option of not downloading shit. The only option it gives is disabling it downloading shit over mobile.

So I stopped it downloading shit and notifying me about stuff I already know by just uninstalling the damned thing.

I really don’t think that was the intent the designers had behind their new notification system, but hopefully if they see a lot of uninstalls as a result of their actions they’ll Actually Think Things Through instead of being so blasé about interrupting people.

I don’t care. I'm done Tolerating this kind of Irritation.

Tags: Clueless Idiocy
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