For a little while now our LinkedIn feeds have been littered with AI Takeaways; a highlighted, prompt-toned text blurb wedged under selected posts and adorned with a little star (to let you know this is an important new feature). Premium users can click on the prompt and be treated to what “an AI” has to say on the subject at hand. Here’s one now!

Worthless Prompt
Note: the lopsided toast is not sloppy screenshot cropping on my part, that is actually how AI Takeaways appear on the screen, intentionally misaligned to the right.

If you’re unfamiliar with Marc Randolph, he’s the OG founder of Netflix and a great source of startup inspiration. This post is typical of what he shares; brief, insightful, honest, and credible. Did you notice that little gem on the bottom, just below his content? Paying customers can click and discover what a generative model adds to the discussion, with such insightful prompts as “how can following rules lead to success?” This is a product that a $30B+ Microsoft company has brought to market, and seemingly thinks consumers will actually pay for.

If your workplace suffers from organizational bloat you’ve likely had similar experiences to Linkedin’s AI Takeaways in real life. Those insufferable midlevel management drones, the ones that are somehow embedded in every meeting and on every email, and who pay just enough attention to hurl blobs of meaningless buzzwords into otherwise productive conversations; pseudo-leaders that function by stringing together canned phrases into recognizable tropes, staples like “Can we circle back on that” or “Let’s drill down here.” You already have these people injecting noise into conversations, regurgitating the most likely set of words in an attempt to sound coherent - which is exactly what a language model will contribute to the conversation. Marc Randolph created a company so successful that Netflix was “competing with sleep, on the margin.” If I want insight on success, I want to hear from Marc Randolph - not the statistically most likely thing a statistically average human would say.

What product journey brought AI Takeaways to life? Was there a team working late at Linkedin HQ one evening, sweat stains and sunken eyes abounding across the Applied AI war room, when someone said “Hey, I’ve got it! You know how Ted always asks trite and pointless questions that totally derail every meeting for hours, and add no value whatsoever? What if we made that a premium feature!?!”

This is the biggest challenge in the current AI landscape. Not context windows or quantization rates, benchmarks, or VRAM requirements. It is the wasteland of products nobody asked for, of solutions desperately searching for a problem. Would you pay a human minimum wage to vomit generic prompts into your professional feed? I wouldn’t. Google’s related searches for “AI Takeaways Linkdedin” suggest I am not alone.

how do I turn off AI Takeaways on LinkedIn
It appears there is an emerging market helping consumers remove unwanted AI products.

We need to see a directional shift toward product sanity in the GenAI space. The growing trash mound of readily hateable GenAI products will poison the well of possibility, distracting from really exciting and powerful use cases once the stink of unwanted AI has set in. Unwanted products are worse than just cash bonfires; they sully the technology and create roadblocks for real advancements in the future. Please, sanity check what you build.