AI is the new plastics, or “Just one word: AI.”

It dawned upon me today that AI is like that famous moment in The Graduate where the protagonist is told, “Just one word: Plastics.” And in a truly profound way!

AI is the cognitive equivalent to the plastics industry’s relation to the physical world. Both are harvesting (and learning) from nature. I was reminded of this while visiting the Cooper Hewitt Triennial on “Design by Nature” when I spotted this piece in the show on plastics.

Image: Eyeglasses frame carved from tortoise shell before the advent of plastics.

This point made by Chancey Fleet is key on the parallelism of unintended consequences: