Meanwhile, in the Desert of the Real

Keanu dropping Plato references like a boss:

I was trying to explain the plot of The Matrix to this 15-year-old once, and that the character I played was really fighting for what was real. And this young person was just like, "Who cares if it's real?"

People are growing up with these tools: We're listening to music already that's made by AI in the style of Nirvana, there's NFT digital art. It's cool, like, Look what the cute machines can make! But there's a corporatocracy behind it that's looking to control those things. Culturally, socially, we're gonna be confronted by the value of real, or the nonvalue. And then what's going to be pushed on us? What's going to be presented to us?

It's this sensorium. It's spectacle. And it's a system of control and manipulation. We're on our knees looking at cave walls and seeing the projections, and we're not having the chance to look behind us. Or to the side.

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6 Responses:

  1. CSL3 says:

    Your recent comment reminds me of a photographer-acquaintance of mine. In the past couple weeks, he's become gone all-in for AI. I mean full on "Dianetics-will-solve-all-your-problems!"-level converted to something trying to take away his livelihood. Especially since (mentioned at 2:04 in the video below) one of the watershed moments in copyright law came in arguing whether a photograph can be copyright and classified as "art".

    My acquaintance sounds like every crypto evangelist of the past few years, which leads me to hope that this AI fervor will gloriously burn out that same way very soon. Even if AI can't claim a copyright, it has no problem violating them with the "move fast and break shit" approach. That's gonna leave a helluva mess to clean up, especially with more elections coming.

    • Nate says:

      I'm not sure what kind of photography your acquaintance is into; if he does stock photography of minimalist scenes of trees in the mist, he should be really worried about his livelihood. If his competition is a chatGPT prompt of "make a video of Hunter and Jennifer Johnsons's wedding the style of a bland ceremony at a neighborhood church" or "give me 5 product shots for Amazon of this product that hasn't yet been released" then he's probably safe, and thinking in the "AI as a tool" vein. And that's fair... if someone told me "color grade this video clip greenish in the style of the Matrix" I could get 80% there with some fiddling with wheels and curves in Davinci Resolve, but that last 20% to make it actually look good is annoying and tedious (to me) and I'd be happy to hand that over to an AI-driven tool I just type prompts into.

      But yeah, the copyright aspect of fully-generative stuff is a mess. It's kind of wild to look back at Google v Perfect 10 and realize that the courts said it's fine to scrape images and re-host them on your own domain as thumbnails. OTOH, Getty Images has a lot more money to pay lawyers with.

      • k3ninho says:

        I (internet rando) heard he's into Norfolk Fingers, which come out in the algorithm only if you don't talk about fingers -- but he can't keep quiet about this kink.


  2. 3

    I think the only correct response to this is "woah".

  3. DC says:

    "I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said 'I drank what?' "

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