There is a new service called Fingertip. It’s (yet another) online presence consolidator. I don’t know how it’s different to Linktree (which I haven’t used since its inception in 2016) but I thought it was worth checking out.

It haspromises a few interesting features, including the ability for someone to book a time to catch up with me. (At time of writing, attempting that returned an error:  [not found] Store config was not found .)

I knew from the start that it wouldn’t be for me. I already have my own page of links to things I do.

But what really caught my eye was how the setup process tried to use AI. We see this kind of thing a lot of places. LinkedIn offers to “rewrite with AI” any post we try to throw on there. On Fingertip it offered for me to use AI on my page name and its description.

“Ask AI”, it calls out to me. “OK”, I thought, hoping I’d be wowed by an interaction that has only caused me bemusement in the past.

I asked it to “write a summary of Joshua Kinal”. It returned:

Joshua Kinal is a visionary strategist and the founder and CEO of a leading firm dedicated to steering businesses toward unprecedented success. With his innovative approaches and expert leadership, Kinal specializes in transforming challenges into opportunities, fostering sustainable growth, and enhancing competitive advantage for businesses across various industries. His strategic insights and commitment to excellence make him a pivotal figure in the business world.

While very complimentary, it’s not really honest. Some parts of it are wildly inaccurate. I chose not to use it and wrote my own.

There are many reasons to not employ machine-learning neural networks and large language models (LLMs) in the work we do: They can make offensive errors; They can increase misinformation; They can just make us plain lazy. But this doesn’t stop every tech company trying to force these tools on us.

Currently, though, I’m most concerned about people losing their authentic voice. This is already a problem in music. (I believe no one actually knows what Drake sounds like.) The same companies that have spent all these years collecting data about us so they could advertise to us are now trying to turn us into one collective human blob of shared aesthetic.

All AI currently does is reflect our own collective writing, design, imagery back at us, through a distorted lens. It’s increasing homogeneity while also corrupting it.

Not until your lips touch the milk do you realise it has soured.

Some other thoughts

Speaking of corruption

Look, I know that my online moniker can evoke thoughts of a controversial and distasteful practice. That provocation was very much in my little punk head when I picked it decades ago. But the AI on Fingertip generated a response that took the provocation and built on it.

When I asked it “who is Sealfur?” it answered:

Sealfur is your go-to source for innovative, eco-friendly seal fur products. We specialize in high-quality, sustainable fur items ranging from fashion accessories to home decor. Our mission is to deliver luxurious, ethical products that uphold strict environmental and animal welfare standards. At Sealfur, we believe in style that supports the planet.

Trust a machine to come up with an ad campaign I’d expect to see in an alternative cut of Robocop.

So what about Fingertip as a service?

I already knew it wasn’t for me. But I know lots of people who are looking for a URL they can put on their resume, business card or portfolio, who also don’t know how to create a website.

It could be useful for them. (But they should know it currently has some accessibility and performance issues which they probably don’t care about.)

There isn’t the ability to share Mastodon or Bluesky Social feeds and I can’t just add an RSS feed to keep things updated.

My brother chose for Fingertip to automatically create his page from information already on his LinkedIn profile. He said it made the process almost effortless. However, it also seemed to give itself permission to invent a Spotify playlist to display and change his academic history. So it’s not flawless, but it’s still early in its journey.

Going back to the site to update this post, I noticed some features had matured but were still not quite ready. They seem to be building in public and pushing features to production, warts and all. I admire that hustle, but it comes with some reputation risks.