In a fascinating 1966 interview with Marshall McLuhan, the visionary media theorist discussed the future of information, expressing ideas that now find resonance in the age of ChatGPT and generative AI. McLuhan's vision of personalized information, wherein people could request specific knowledge and receive a tailored package of content, is strikingly similar to the capabilities of AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT.
McLuhan described a future where individuals could call on the telephone, detail their interests and qualifications, and receive a package of information curated just for them. This idea of personalized content delivery has become a reality with the advent of AI-driven natural language processing models. ChatGPT, for instance, can understand user inputs and provide relevant, contextual, and personalized information on a wide range of topics, essentially creating a tailored package of knowledge.
In the interview, McLuhan also voiced his opposition to change, stating that he was "resolutely opposed to all innovation." Despite his objections to technology, McLuhan understood the importance of comprehending emerging trends to avoid being overwhelmed by them. He believed that understanding the changes around us was essential to retaining control and knowing "where to turn off the button."