No Expectations 017: Two More Bottles of Wine
AI is for suckers, 'Paul T. Goldman,' and a report from Chicago’s natural wine fair, Third Coast Soif.
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“And just like that. The music industry is forever changed.”
The marketing around generative AI and large language models is still pretty unconvincing to me. In its current iteration, this technology is clearly not going to replace music, art, or writing, be able to function effectively as a search engine, or even generate actual insight beyond responding correctly to leading prompts. But that doesn’t mean it’s not going to get worse and be bad in similar ways that crypto and the metaverse are right now. I really think the better the technology gets, the more harmful it’ll be, serving as just another way for bosses to hurt workers, grifter tech types to profit even more, and vultures to steal from artists. It will also intensify the proliferation of disinformation and bullshit that already makes going online borderline unbearable. There’s a line-in-the-sand moment coming soon for people who don’t want this disruptive technology to disrupt their own lives, jobs, and the way they use the internet. It’s probably already here, to be honest.
Over the weekend, an AI-generated image from Reddit’s Midjourney subreddit went megaviral. The image, created by a Chicago construction worker funnily enough, showcased Pope Francis donning a white and puffy Balenciaga jacket. It hit the uncanny valley sweet spot of being something the Bishop of Rome might actually wear while also resembling a jacket a hypebeast with too much cash to burn might shell out $3500 for. While originally posted as an example of Midjourney’s prowess executing prompts like “The Pope in a Balenciaga puffy coat walking the streets of Rome, Paris,” the image went viral on Twitter as fact. You couldn’t scroll the site last weekend without coming across a quote tweet of something saying that the Vicar of Christ has “hella drip” or bits about how the 86-year-old Jesuit might listen to How Long Gone and shop at SSENSE. The image wasn’t real but it seemingly duped the entire timeline. As Garbage Day’s Ryan Broderick noted, “Balenciaga pope might be the first real mass-level AI misinformation case.”