Tech is fun! Especially for my generation — the generation that has grown up on the internet messing around, having fun, even making mistakes, but learning all throughout.
We know the streets of this place! We know where to go when bored — YouTube, Twitch and TikTok — places on the internet with content that keeps us stimulated for hours. We know where to learn more about the world — Wikipedia, Twitter, Reddit and Substack — places that expose us to boundless perspectives and radically influence our worldview. But we also know the proverbial shady street of the internet. We know when to feign identity, and how to avoid getting malware.
Unfortunately, this doesn't come as easy to those of us who aren't clinically online — the far extremes of the population pyramid. Many old people (my grandma included) avoid using technology because of the lingering fear of this shady street. That if they accidentally click on something, they'll be met with a barrage of popup ads and be subscribed to a million newsletters they never asked for. That hyperlinks are mines in the battlefield of the internet, waiting to be clicked on so they can make your phone spontaneously combust.
It's not just the shady street either, many of us simply aren't aware of the things our computers can do, and with all the confusing jargon surrounding trivial things, we give up and chalk it up to a lost cause.
Even something as seemingly simple as compressing images can be a daunting task for those not in the know.
With the ever-accelerating progress in AI, access to the internet has become the grand equalizer — the wheelbarrow of our times. As our lives online gradually take more and more precedence over our IRL lives, we need a way of circumventing gaps in knowledge and using technology as leverage to move forwards.
That's why I built Ada — an AI guide to the internet, but also software, hardware, and everything in between. So the next time grandma scoffs at the internet, don't fret. Ada can show her how cool the internet is, with the fascinating artefacts in Smithsonian's online museum, cute pets on YouTube, and breathtaking views on Google Earth.
Ada's still a work in progress, so in the rare case that she spews out broken links, incomplete text, or outdated information, don't be mad, take a deep breath, reload the page, and ask her again, more explicitly this time.
And finally, if you like this project and would want it to stay free to use for a long time, consider buying me a book. You'd be surprised how far $5 goes.