I Don’t Want AI in Firefox

Mozilla just announced another round of layoffs.

This time around 60 people have been let go so that the company can focus on Firefox and AI.

While I’m glad to hear that Mozilla wants to focus in on Firefox and improve the browser, I’m not even a little excited about AI integration.

Beyond not excited, I’m a little disappointed to see them moving in that direction at all.

AI creates unnecessary suffering

I have a lot of ethical problems with the way AI’s are being trained. Without going into all the ways that AI is stealing from Artists, Authors, and other Creators.

The most prominent concern I have at the moment is how AI companies exploit human workers in Africa for their content moderation.

The fact that so many people are essentially being abused for a product that nobody really needs is hard to justify.

My hope would be that Mozilla has a plan to reduce that suffering, and not just a marketing strategy to explain it away. But I doubt it.

AI is a privacy nightmare

Unless Mozilla has a plan to implement an AI that runs on a local machine, (which is practically speaking, impractical) then they don’t have any choice other than to send your data to someone on the internet for processing.

Even if it’s encrypted in transit, and on disk, that data has to be decrypted to be understood by the machine processing it. What happens to that data between the time it’s decrypted and the time the machine spits out its results is anyones guess.

Which means that the things you are doing in your browser will be even more open to exploitation than they already are.

If they do implement AI in the browser it needs to be an opt in feature, not opt out.

Is Mozilla just chasing the next big “thing”?

I hope not but let’s take an honest look at their recent history of hype chasing.

Mozilla VPN - VPN’s are mostly just hype.

Don't use VPN services.

The only time you need a VPN is when you need to connect to a private network that is behind a firewall. I.E. You need access to your home or work network from a remote location.

Mozilla Hubs.

Mozilla Hubs is some kind of 3D virtual meeting space where you can interact with an avatar of someone you work with… Or something... I don’t know, it’s weird and obviously just chasing the metaverse hype.

Mozilla AI

Mozilla AI

I don’t know what Mozilla AI is. If you visit the link above this sentence you will get a site that is strung together by a bunch of buzzwords and corporate jargon that can mean anything you want it to mean.

So what?

So I don’t know what, but I’m getting pretty frustrated by the horrible management decisions coming out of Mozilla these days, and the stagnation of Firefox as a browser.

I’m not one to call for a fork of anything as complex as Firefox, especially because I have neither the skill nor the time to give any significant help to such a project.

But If there is any hope of salvaging Firefox I’m starting to think the only way to really save it would be to create an organization that is modeled on the Debian project and fork it.