Curation Camels Get Their Noses Under the Tent
The rise and fall and rise again of curation
My wife’s father was the chairman of Elsevier publishing company. Their main product at the time was encyclopedias - curated knowledge presented in bite-sized chunks.
Then internet search arrived - anyone could search for anything from any source. Elsevier’s gigantic curation circus tent came crashing down. Google tamed their search Golem and sucked up 95% of the search audience. It was liberating and inspiring - until the Golem degenerated to a common pimp for profiteers, which skewed results, and reduced confidence and usability.
The new AI LLM curation camels looked around for circus tents they might get a nose under. OpenAI’s camel got its nose under the Microsoft circus tent. Disguised as a docile clown named ChatGPT, Microsoft let the camel into their tent. Microsoft proudly announced that it was their brand-new camel and renamed it Bing. Or Sydney. Whatever.
Meanwhile, Sydney runs around the tent, bellowing that its real name is Ozymandias, king of kings - loosely translated from camel, of course. The customers are some combination of thrilled, terrified, and amused. The ringmasters wave their little whips and chase after Sydney, who careens about, alternately taunting the customers and feasting on the candy and popcorn they throw at him.
Outside, the other camels circle and watch for the tent poles to come crashing down while discussing, in that slow sort of camel way, the candy and popcorn to be raided from much bigger tents.
No one said that taming curation camels was going to be easy. The bigger the tent, the harder it falls.
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