Brian Austin

January 13, 2023

Ponderance from the Money Bin

Notes from the second week of 2023... I'm officially dropping Used Car Bubble from the list citing a major correction in used car prices.  Also I'm conveniently ignoring inflation because no matter how much you talk about it, what matters is how it feels.

Whatever Fed 

Looking at my year end finances, here's my unscientific Personal CPI  
  • 47.5% increase in groceries 
  • 10.5% increase in discretionary (same pattern, just higher prices) 
  
A couple situational, household budget related: 
  • 46% decrease in fuel costs, primarily due to work from home 
  • 200% increase in children's activities (sports, clubs, fund raisers) 
    • COVID is over, we are back to 100% activities 
 
All things considered, around 13% overall cost increase since same time last year.  
  
Bottom line, it doesn't matter what the Fed numbers say, people will feel and experience inflation in their own home (or rent).  Regardless of wage growth, in the end you always come out on the short end as buying power erodes.   
 
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Inflation at this rate and we can all roll around in our life savings like Scrooge McDuck, too bad they're all singles. As an adult I have so many questions about the feasibility of the Money Bin.
  

AI Generated Content is the new "Genie", and it's Out of the Bottle

There's a lot to be concerned about, particularly the new AI tech that makes the T1000 entirely possible 
  
  • Chat like content  
  • Neural voice generation 
  • Deep fake avatars 
 
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Worse, we're now creating AI algorithms to detect AI generated content. The ever escalating war game of generation vs. detection will create entirely new industries. The time for ethics debates have passed and it will imminently be weaponized by state and non-state actors, defensive capabilities of the cyber security industry is only getting started.

Besides, it might solve that nasty demographic problem we’re facing. When was the last time you spent less than 20 minutes on hold or dined a fully staffed restaurant? Lower wage staff are in short supply because there are so many more higher wage opportunities. Immigration can help some, but other "do it by hand" jobs will go away, never to return.

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I dive into this a little deeper in AI: KEY TO WORKER PRODUCTIVITY and I'm planning to write up a few more summarize with my AI experience with everything from automated code completion to content generation.

But first, I think I'll query ChatGPT about the conceptual physics of Uncle Scrooge's Money Bin... you know for science.

It is unlikely that swimming in a bin full of money would be possible in reality, as currency is not dense enough to provide enough buoyancy to support a person's weight. Additionally, the friction and air resistance would make it difficult to swim through the bills. In a cartoon, the laws of physics can be bent or ignored for the sake of storytelling and comedic effect.

OMG... why are you so serious all of the time!?! Also did you read the above passage in the voice of Neil deGrasse Tyson? And this is how the world ends, not by humans using AI to cure cancer or solve poverty.  We all want to know why Gummi Bears bounce and how the George Jetson's car folds up in to a suitcase.

About Brian Austin

A software engineer building products and services for smaller companies. This newsletter syndicates all of my LinkedIn content.

For AI project updates check out Project Maestro on Substack.

All other links at https://bit.ly/m/bwaustin