AI Scams and Influencers
How scammers prey on greed, ignorance and desperation to sell their courses and products
Happy Friday everyone,
As some of you may know, GPT 4 has been released. This will no doubt add a lot of noise and hype to the field, with more AI and Productivity Gurus crawling out of the woodwork to sell their courses, groups, and products. However, this is far from the only kind of scam where influencers shill useless garbage in the name of AI.
People have been shilling garbage like ‘Become a Data Scientist in 50 days’ or ‘Make 10K/month by Selling Simple AI Models’ for a while now. In my second newsletter-Tech Made Simple- I covered these scams, how to spot them, and why they don’t work. To give you an idea of the content, here is a copy of the key highlights of the article-
Why this matters- I’ve covered a lot of scams and fraud on this newsletter. Of them all, this is the one that a lot of you are most likely to fall to. A good portion of my readership (about 40%) is college students, junior engineers, or people trying to transition into Tech. These courses/products prey upon such people. Chances are one of you, or someone you know has paid for such overpriced nonsense.
Understanding these scams- The big red flag that these scams all have a basic claim- you get outsized returns for very little investment. This is never the case. Nothing that promises you great returns without any investment is worthwhile. A good book or course will teach you principles but will require work on your end. Or enough upfront capital to handle serious leverage. If a course or program states that you don’t need money, time effort, or special skill to get wealthy- run.
Why Good Courses can’t make you an expert- Good courses will teach you something specific (learn the basics of Deep Learning with PyTorch). Scam courses (like the ones that will make you a Data Scientist in 50 days) will make sweeping promises. Expertise (on even a baseline of insight) can’t be taught through a course because it is developed through practice and experience with problems. A course created for usage by many people will be by its nature general. Thus, it can’t teach you how to deal with the nuances of a specific challenge/circumstance. And as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.
Why Super Simple methods don’t work- Think basic demand and supply. Large Supply—> Low prices. If there is a super simple method that works, there will be a lot of people that jump on to do it. This means that there will be a lot of supply of that particular method, severely cutting down costs. If something is simple and works well, why would more people not do it? And if more people are doing it, how would you make money to stand out from the crowd? These are questions to ask when such a course is pitched to you.
If you’re interested in this topic, you can find the article below-
Also in case any of you missed it, make sure you check out the following piece by the free publication- Davis Summarizes Papers. I wanted to share it earlier, but have been traveling through Jamaica, so this slipped my mind. It starts off strong with the sentence-
We trained an optimized BERT model to match the results from the original paper in ~9 GPU hours for a cost of about $20.
and then keeps going. Highly recommend it.
Aight, with this I’m signing out. Got a flight to catch. Got a really nice breakdown coming this week. Keep your eyes peeled for that.
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