Browse for Me

March 2, 2024

Arc recently just released a feature called "Browse for Me".

I love it. But I'm also concerned about it.

Before I get into things, I'm open to accepting that I'm just ignorant about this emerging technology.

Why I love "Browse for Me"

As a consumer, I love using it. I can look up recipes, ask dumb questions, and I'll get the answer just like that.

I even noticed that I ask more dumb questions. Anything that piques my curiosity, I just ask Arc Search. The time between question and answer has been shortened. That made searching fun again.

Also looking up recipes has been so much easier. I've been cooking a bit more and making sure I cook food that matches my health conditions. I love trimming out the preamble and SEO manipulation of all these sites.

On the other hand...

In a world where Arc Search, Perplexity exists, what would incentivize people from writing?

I know there will be a lot of people who write for the sake of it. Writing to share what they know to the world. But it feels ass backwards. The people willing to share their knowledge, their expertise, or just their stories, exploited by machines that scrape and summarize their words.

What's the point of writing if these words will be distilled down, mixed with words from other sites, and then spat out as bullet points for someone to consume?

Do we really need to be that hungry about consuming everything online that we need to read everything? Listen to everything at 2x speed? Summarized? Distilled?

Why should one write when it's going to be summarized by a robot? Personally, when it comes to technical write ups, case studies, I know it's about the process.


I don't know, maybe I just don't understand this paradigm shift just yet.

Maybe this isn't just for me.

I hope what's being scraped doesn't go away so there's still room for the articles, blogs, and content that I like to enjoy.

Maybe at some point websites won't optimize for SEO but rather optimize for robot summarization. Or worse.. .both. Just a bunch of keywords and bullet points for for an machine to parse.