I’ll Be Saying No to Setapp’s New AI Subscription Tiers

Though I concede AI can be helpful for language learning

Ellane W

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Digital cartoon pencil drawing of a woman standing at her desk, writing in a discbound notebook. A pencil case and an open Mac laptop are also on the desk.
Illustration drawn by the Author, in the Concepts app on her iPad

All words and pictures human made—no AI input. Not a paid Medium subscriber? Click here to read for free.

The Mac-only subscription service, Setapp, has a new subscription structure.

It launches on February 28th, 2024, and will offer two tiers: AI Enthusiast, with 100 credits, and AI Expert, with 200 credits. For reference, 10 credits get you about 18 messages with GPT-3.5 Turbo, or 6 messages with GPT-4. Credits reset each billing cycle. Pricing structure yet to be announced.

Now, the announcement email from Setapp began like this:

We agree with everyone: GenAI tools give humans superpowers.

The first part grated on me because I don’t like being thrown into a bucket with the AI acolytes, but even if the last part is true, there are some superpowers I’m happy to leave alone!

Artificial Intelligence. According the Dictionary app on my phone, the word ‘artificial’ means, in part, something made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally. Oh, the irony!

We need to more closely define what “made or produced by human beings” actually means.

If a human makes a machine that can make things independently of its creator, the thing that the latter makes cannot, in my mind, be classed as having been made by humans.

Joanna Holman recently said (and Tony Stubblebine boosted) the following on Mastodon, and I wholeheartedly agree. She’s talking about entertainment content, but the same principles also apply to other (not all) uses of AI.

AI created entertainment content feels like the tech version of meal replacement shakes. Sure both are technically going to achieve something, providing you with some vitamins and protein from the shakes, distraction and entertainment from the AI content. Both might have some small legitimate uses in the context of a well rounded individual life and society.

But made a major part of our lives they are both soulless, highly artificial impersonations of the creativity…

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Ellane W

Designer and educational publisher for 30 years+. Plain-text advocate. Still using paper, but less of it. https://linktr.ee/miscellaneplans