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A few weeks ago, I posted an answer to New blog post from our CEO Prashanth: Community is the future of AI asking for an interpretation of the CEO's words for the regular users of Meta Stack Exchange.

Usually, my posts aren't very well received, but that answer has so far been upvoted 160 times, but there hasn't been any comment from a company agent (aka Staff, Community Managers). A new blog post, mentioned in Blog post: CEO Update: Paving the road forward with AI and community at the center, refers to a previous post.

More specifically, what does "Community" mean in the latest posts by the CEO?

Can you tell me how the CEO gauges the sentiment of the "Community" regarding the buzz around AI both within and outside the Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange communities? Also, do the moderators who frequently engage with the communities have a significant impact on this sentiment?

By moderators, I'm referring to all registered users who use moderation privileges based on the reputation earned, as explained in A Theory of Moderation.


Related posts

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    I think this should be tagged support. There isn't much to discuss if you're seeking facts about what/how a specific staff thinks. Jun 1, 2023 at 0:04
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    Possibly related comment by Phillipe (not Prashanth) in a MSE Q&A: meta.stackexchange.com/q/388551/#comment1295694_388586. Jun 1, 2023 at 0:06
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    I'm still waiting to know what "Community is the future of AI" is supposed to mean. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/388401/…
    – PM 2Ring
    Jun 1, 2023 at 0:14
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    I think it means the ‘Community’ of AI companies they believe are lining up to pay a gazillion dollars to use ‘their’ content.
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 1, 2023 at 0:58
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    @PM2Ring Sounds like an AI hallucination to me.
    – Chris
    Jun 1, 2023 at 4:35
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    "Can you tell me how the CEO gauges the sentiment of the Community'? " | Answer: he looks at our feedback, assumes that it's opposite day, and acts accordingly.
    – CDR
    Jun 1, 2023 at 12:35
  • Regarding the bounty notice, the wording of the options is: **Authoritative reference needed** Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources. I expected that the same be shown in the bounty notice. Just to be clear, looking for an official answer or a quoting an interview with a company agent or someone that has talked about something closely related to this topic directly with Prashanth. As the moderation-strike extends, I has becoming more a more relevant to know if there is any interest on the opinion of users using their moderation privileges.
    – Rubén
    Jun 23, 2023 at 17:49

1 Answer 1

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The blog posts are a bit like political or marketing statements. He is selling a positive image to investors or the public using lots of buzzwords or positive language but leaving out or cutting short on negative things. It's not a representative/ fair/ unbiased accord of the current state of the network.

As such the meaning is to impress you as much as possible. You should feel in awe, inspired, positive about SO. And maybe, if you wouldn't know much about the details of SO (and most people on Earth don't), that would actually be the case.

I think he uses community loosely for the content providers and curators of SO (active users) but also for the visitors consuming the stored knowledge on SO. They all would potentially profit from AI if done right. And he certainly also includes the community of Teams users/maintainers, which I don't know much about because there isn't so much overlap with the community platform.

And he seems to be bullish on AI like many others as well currently. He wants to heavily invest in it betting the future of SO. As for the moderators and the community, they are courted a bit in this blog post (although it feels rather hollow given the contrast to reality) because both are needed for that. I personally don't think there is more to "Community equals AI" than that somebody has to produce that training data for the AI. If you guessed who that will be, you understood the blog post.

Whenever you hear someone from "upper management" talk about something, ask yourself who is going to do the work and who is reaping the benefits. That usually tells a clear picture of the message. In this case here the question is if you want to be part of an SO where AI is at the center? Maybe you want, maybe you don't want.

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    I mostly feel sad and disappointed, like finding out the cake is a lie. Jun 1, 2023 at 4:19
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    @JourneymanGeek You have to fight for the cake if you want to keep it. It doesn't automatically stay. Jun 1, 2023 at 4:42
  • @JourneymanGeek at least you feel like Chell finding out that the promised prize cake is a lie. Many users currently feel like Caroline...
    – SPArcheon
    Jun 1, 2023 at 9:29
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    I think the day I feel like Caroline, I'm completely out. Jun 1, 2023 at 9:29
  • "He wants to heavily invest in it betting the future of SO. " That sounds risky. Or is "betting" a typo?
    – PM 2Ring
    Jun 1, 2023 at 10:03
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    @PM2Ring No "betting" is not a typo. I would say that investing in AI currently is a bet in two ways: first that AI is going to enhance productivity a lot and second that your AI is better than the AI of others. Nobody knows. Of course the potential reward seems also quite big and may be worth the risk while not doing anything is also risky in itself. Jun 1, 2023 at 11:37
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    You forgot to mention the community that lives in Teams as well, which is also heavily part of the previous blog post, but potentially invisible on the main sites. I don't disagree with the CEO that those folks are part of the "Stack Exchange community" in their own right, and obviously as paying customers they're quite important to the company, but grouping that community together with curators from the main site and calling us all happy feels short sighted at best.
    – zcoop98
    Jun 1, 2023 at 16:09
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    @zcoop98 You're right. I forgot them because I usually don't have much exposure to them. Added to answer. Thanks. Jun 1, 2023 at 17:55
  • > They all would potentially profit from AI if done right. - Citation needed. AI done right might help people improve questions or clarify answers, but not write answers itself. There is currently no AI that is capable of doing it, nor does any AI-owning company pretend they can. These are text/image generation bots, they simply don't have the capacity to comprehend anything.
    – Gloweye
    Jun 24, 2023 at 7:06
  • @Gloweye It's my personal estimation, no citation is needed for that. I think that it's general enough that one can assume that some aspect of any currently or in the future existing AI would have a positive effect. The "if done right" does the heavy lifting here. Currently it's very obviously done wrong. Jun 24, 2023 at 7:38

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