The AI Escalator paradox

How AI is making us lazy and boring

Michal Malewicz
5 min readJun 16, 2024

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AI Escalator vs stairs

There is a huge issue with AI (especially generative AI) that nobody is talking about.

It is making humanity dumber. The more you rely on automation to do your job, the worse you’re becoming at it. AI is making you suck.

Let me explain it with an escalator metaphor.

People pushing AI are saying that progress is inevitable. If we rejected new technologies we wouldn’t travel by jets across the Atlantic, sending satellites into space or… being slowly escalated up a moving set of stairs.

A flight across the atlantic
This is progress — the ability to fly at insane speeds and at purposefully unreal altitudes ;)

Escalators didn’t replace stairs. They also didn’t replace walking up the stairs.

They allowed easier access for a small group of weak/elderly to make their lives easier but they also created a whole fat, lazy generation of people who don’t want to walk.

When you don’t train a muscle it goes away. Atrophies. If you use the escalator a lot your legs won’t be as strong as if you were walking up regular stair every time. It’s simple logic. You will be weak.

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