Learning machine learning: On the political economy of big tech’s online AI courses - Inga Luchs, Clemens Apprich, Marcel Broersma, 2023
tl;dr version: Large tech companies pretend to offer educational material about machine learning, but what they’re really doing is trying to train you in how to use their very specific technology so that they can lock as many people as possible into that way of thinking and doing things, and therefore control the market. A quote:
We demonstrate how the online courses further support Google and IBM to consolidate and even expand their position of power by recruiting new AI talent and by securing their infrastructures and models to become the dominant ones.
Which is fine–all tech companies do some variation of this, and depending on what you’re doing you may need it–but don’t confuse this vocational training for education, because it’s not that.
@email@example.com I feel like all big-tech companies pretty much do this as their general “business strategy”. Build a bunch of SaaS products, market the crap out of it, sell it at a loss, train people how to use it, lock ‘em in till they have no choice but to use your shit™
I don’t think there’s that many people left in the industry that truly know how to “program” anymore. it’s just cobbling “cloud native this” and “cloud saas that” and wiring shitt together 🤦♂️
@firstname.lastname@example.org yeah, and I mean to a certain extent that’s fine. You need to be trained on how to use a company’s technology in order to get the best value from it, and that is often a great thing for all involved.
What I find objectionable is that Google and IBM (and others!) pretend that these training courses about their products are actually educational the way a university education is. That is blatant misrepresentation.
@email@example.com I try not to be too snobby, but I kinda have the same impression? At the same time, I don’t think there are many companies that want people who know how to code–they actually want people who will stitch together other people’s stuff because they perceive that to be lower risk, and they probably pay folks like that less than they’d pay someone who generated novel software.
@firstname.lastname@example.org I want people that can code/program 🤣
@email@example.com lol same