The field of AI is undergoing a concerning shift towards marketing and away from research and development. In 2023, there is a proliferation of AI personalities who build brands around misinformation and unethical fearmongering rather than reputable education or contributions to the field.
As an AI university graduate with expertise, I have faced barriers when sharing factual information and networking authentically. I have been blocked, dismissed from communities, and rejected from roles for not aligning with hype-driven marketing tactics.
The priority is social media optics and sales, not advancing AI capabilities. Access to cutting-edge tools and knowledge is limited unless you engage in marketing gimmicks. Those who create their own tools face legal threats, which I have seen from major AI companies, yet at the same time, they favour people in the marketing dynamic rather than working with them.
This divide between marketing and research is troubling. If AI becomes dominated by marketing rather than substantive research and development, it risks an "AI winter" where progress stalls. Meaningful developments may be obstructed. Similar things have happened before throughout the long history of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
Marginalized groups already face barriers in tech fields. A marketing-driven AI culture risks compounding this by prioritizing optics and profits over ethical, equitable advancement.
While marketing has a role, the current imbalance puts profits over responsible innovation. Research, factual sharing, and inclusive advancement should remain central pillars of the AI community. We can reshape the culture with care to support substantive contributions over misinformation and hype.