Skip to content
March 16 2024

#162 The AI Dilemma: Thinkpol Overreach and the Endangered Human Touch

Blog Details

<< Previous Edition: Every winner in Gen AI will get half their wish

Throughout our evolutionary journey, we've honed a variety of senses, one of which is our sophisticated ability to perceive the human essence in creations. This sensitivity enables us to identify signals of human involvement & effort, such as subtle narrative building. Subtle narrative building not only engages and captivates us but also moderates the pace at which we digest information. This method echoes our evolutionary tendency to favor a gradual learning process through lived experience over the instantaneous absorption of facts.

This understanding illuminates why even the most capable among us need to significantly sharpen our focus to process information swiftly (primarily but not limited to hunting and intellectual pursuits)—a skill that has been a driving force behind upward mobility throughout history. Since everyone can not be good at everything, empathy emerges as a crucial counterbalance, protecting against the unintended consequences. Otherwise Moving fast and breaking things in the history has led to more bloodshed than innovation.

Transitioning to the fast move of generative AI, I see two second order effects emerging. The first involves emergence of policing tools, which, despite receiving considerable attention, represent a misplaced focus. On the other hand, the reduction of human touch—an element far more deserving of our concern—remains underemphasized.

The Rise of Generative AI Thinkpol

A concerning trend in the age of generative AI is the emergence of Orwellian "Thinkpol" or "Thought Police" tools designed to intimidate students and discourage them from exploring the potential of this transformative technology. These tools are often overfitted to generate fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) among faculty and school administrators, serving the financial interests of the tool vendors rather than promoting responsible AI adoption.

When I submit my writings for analysis by these policing tools, the results frequently suggest up to 97% of the content is AI-generated (including personal anecdotes).

This reflects a significant mislabeling to the degree of deception, where the distinction between AI-assisted content curation and actual AI-driven ideation is conveniently blurred. In reality, AI-assisted ideation is about as effective as relying on a dog to pick stocks – it may occasionally stumble upon a winning idea, but it lacks the depth, nuance, and contextual understanding that human intelligence brings to the table.

The Absence of the Human Touch

In the era of generative AI, many of us have encountered content or images that we instinctively recognize as AI-generated. While the telltale signs in images may be attributed to inadequate prompting (a mistake I admit to making), the issues with AI-generated text are more profound. The reason being Generative AI tools prioritize efficiency in communication, often at the expense of effectiveness and the crucial human touch that resonates with readers on a deeper level.

As mentioned in the introduction, as humans, we have evolved to develop a keen sense of whether something bears the signature of human creativity and emotion. Our brains are attuned to detecting patterns, including the cadence, tone, and style of written expression. When we read AI-generated content, we may find it lacking in the unique quirks, personal anecdotes, and emotional depth that characterize human writing. This absence of the human touch can leave us feeling disconnected and unsatisfied, even if the content is technically accurate and efficiently presented.

The creation seems to embody the proof of work, hinting that the author not only took pleasure in but also deeply cherished every moment of the creative journey.

Think back to a time when you finished reading a truly remarkable piece of writing. The sense of fulfillment, inspiration, and awe that washed over you was not merely a reaction to the words on the page, but a profound connection to the author's very essence. It's as if the writer had poured their energy, passion, and soul into the work, and through the act of reading, you absorbed that energy, making it a part of your own being.

This powerful exchange between writer and reader is not confined to modern literature alone. It is a timeless phenomenon that has been present throughout the history of human storytelling. Ancient tales, passed down orally from generation to generation for thousands of years, carry with them the same potent energy as the most contemporary of writings.


While the current landscape of Thinkpol tools does not keep me up at night, I remain hopeful that their limitations and potential for misuse will soon be more widely acknowledged. This recognition will likely serve as a catalyst for these tools to evolve, becoming more accurate and valuable resources in the process. However, what does give me pause is the potential for an overreliance on automation to breed complacency, leading to the production of content that is lackluster and devoid of the crucial human touch.

As we stand on the precipice of a future increasingly shaped by generative AI, it is our responsibility to remain ever-vigilant, ensuring that we, as the architects of our own narrative, maintain control over the creative process. We must resist the temptation to fully relinquish the reins to algorithms and instead strive to find a harmonious balance between the efficiency of AI-assisted tools and the irreplaceable magic of human creativity.