Of AI & Hollywood: Hear, Hear Justine Bateman

by Shelt Garner

The latest episode of The Town evoked a strong reaction. I was stunned that the producer of the podcast stepped in at one point and said that he didn’t believe anyone would watch an AI generated movie. Oh boy. Talk about clueless. The guest on the episode, Justine Bateman, was totally spot on with a number of the points that she made.

The issue being — she’s right that SAG should have gotten a definition of what an “actor” is like the DGA and the WGA got for director and writer. The thing for me is we’re zooming towards an era in which 99.9% of Hollywood movies are AI generated. To the point that “artisanal” movies will be given special value. And it’s also possible that as such, Broadway and other live theatre will see a sudden surge in interest because of the “human touch.”

But, otherwise, the Hollywood of the future is going to be just Suits and Programmers. There will be no directors, writers or actors. Everything will be AI generated. It was heartening how much Ms. Bateman echoed a lot of the writing I’ve done on this blog since ChatGPT first came out.

And, really, I fear there’s not a lot that people like Ms. Bateman can do to stop the looming AI transformation of Hollywood. All types of entertainment and art will be totally “disrupted” by AI over the next 18 months. To the point that we might be having a “Fourth Turning” politically in late 2024, early 2025 just as we’re also having a “Petite Singularity” technologically.

Regardless, the next year or so could be extremely bumpy. Some pretty dramatic things could happen starting in late 2024, early 2025 that totally transformed the everyday lives of billions of people across the globe.

Superhero Fatigue: Will AI Generated Movies Make It Moot?

by Shelt Garner

Westerns dominated Hollywood fare for a very long time after WW2. Then there was a brief moment in time, right before the age of the summer blockbuster, when “good” movies were popular. The question is, are we leaving superhero movies behind?

And if we are, is it all just a lulz until AI generated movies wash over the audience and nothing matters anymore?

There is a chance that rather than some new, exciting genre taking over Hollywood that the very notion of “mass media” will become rather quaint. We’ll all have a hyper personalized AI — like in the movie “Her” — that will scan our face and give us a movie that it so personalized that there will no longer be any “shared reality” at all anymore.

Hollywood exist of two types of people: plutocrat suits and programmers.

And programmers may be eliminated if we reach AGI sooner rather than later. Or, put another way, Hollywood is ripe for a severe disruption very, very soon. All the technological pieces are falling into place. It’s just a matter of time before AI is a commodity to the point that the entire knowledge / creative economy implodes into a Singularity based around it.

Good times!

Could Elon Musk’s ‘Grok’ AI Save Twitter?

by Shelt Garner

I saw with keen interest the news that Space Karen will soon release an AI called Grok for “premium” users of Twitter. Of all the weird, bad things Space Karen has done to ruin Twitter, this one seems the least destructive — and potentially, actually, lucrative.

Or it could be a total disaster.

But, on paper, making an AI organic to the Twitter UX seems like a golden opportunity to kill more than a few birds at one time. Grok is supposed to have real-time access to Twitter’s content, so, that could come in handy.

I will note, however, that Twitter is full of shit, so, I don’t know how they will accommodate that cold hard fact. But I do think that we are careening towards a “Her” future where *everyone* has a highly personal DPA with a great personality or at least one we can modify to our personal desires and needs.

Grok may be the first step towards that future.

Flipping The Script On XR & AI

by Shelt Garner

I can be a contrarian at times and, as such, something dawned on me about the immediate future of XR and AI technology. I’m beginning to believe that Her-like AI technology (digital personal assistants) will be a far bigger service industry than any of us can possibility imagine at the moment.

Instead of a trillion dollar industry, it might be the thing that spawns a few trillion dollar industries.

I say this because I just don’t know if people really want to wear any sort of shit on their face. So, in the near term, it could be that XR technology will sound great on paper but, in reality, no one will actually do anything with it because of vanity.

This, in turn, leads me to the following scenario — rather than a Apple Vision Pro, what if you had a tiny black dot video camera you wore on your forehead over an eye combined with a earpiece that let you communicate with a Her-type digital personal assistant.

The camera would serve as the “eye” of your Her. As such, all the hard work would be done by your Her. Rather than YOU seeing the XR technology, your Her would. Her, in turn would tell you in your ear what she saw.

This kind of squares the circle, at least in the near term. I suppose once XR headsets look more like glasses as opposed to birth control devices then XR will begin to live up to its ages-old promise.

The Future Of Search

by Shelt Garner

It definitely seems as though our relationship to Web search is about to be totally upended. The advent of AI indicates that there may come a time soon when we all have a Her-like digital assistant who searches the Web for us using vocal commands. What’s more, it’s also possible that the “practical obscurity” of the Dark Web will come to an end.

In the near future, a Her-like digital assistant may be able to search the entire Web — Dark Web, too — and give us information that maybe we don’t want to know or weren’t expecting.

The question is, of course, what does this sea change mean for Google?

I think it could be that Google will be one of several companies that SELLS you the Her-like AGI that helps you during the course of the day with voice commands. Or, put another way, it could be all the jobs we expect to happen because of a fusion of AGI and robotics could be from humans still having control over the back end.

Or maybe not.

AGI is a very powerful concept. Once AI comes anywhere close to being “more human than human,” I struggle to discern why any humans would have a job at all. That combination is so potent that a Universal Basic Income seems to be the inevitable conclusion.

But, who knows. I’m, as always, being very speculative and I can’t predict the future.

Twitter (‘X’) Is Now Nothing More Than A Sewer of Disinformation & Bots

by Shelt Garner

I honestly don’t know why I continue to use Twitter or “X.” It is now nothing more than just a sewer of MAGA disinformation and bots that like my tweets in a weird attempt to catch my attention.

Or, if they’re not bots, they’re catfishing me. I say that because I seem to attract the putative accounts of way too many cute Asian girls who just got onto Twitter in the last month or so and have almost no followers. It’s enough to make me a little bit paranoid.

It makes me wonder if people with ill-intent read this blog and are for some reason trying to fuck with me. Maybe it’s a co-ordinated effort at a mind fuck from whomever that person in California who is obsessed with this site is. But, hopefully, that’s just me being paranoid.

I’m really — at the moment at least — all that important. That’s why anyone who gives me sudden, unexpected attention is suspect. I think that may be my age showing, if nothing else.

It’s too bad that that it’s now impossible for any real innovation in the social media space that doesn’t involve AI. Unless Space Karen unexpectedly pulls the plug on X, we’re stuck with Twitter as a very shitty global town square.

Could Elon Musk Pull ‘X’ Off?

by Shelt Garner

Now that Elon Musk has changed Twitter’s name, I can begin to imagine a scenario whereby he might manage to turn “X” into the “everything app.” He has vision, if nothing else.

But there is a huge obstacle to this particular situation — AI.

All this talk of turning X into the “everything app” seems very 2012, very passe. The AI era is careening towards us at an alarming rate and I would suggest that by late 2024 the effects of AI will start to be seen in the economy. All this talk of social media will be rather moot.

There was a moment in time when if Musk was doing what he’s doing now with Twitter / X that it really could put a “dent in the universe” but, lulz, I have my doubts now. In fact, if Musk really wants to do something interesting with X, I would propose he made an AI prompt native to the service. Now THAT would be a way to propel X to next-level status.

It definitely will be interesting to see how things play out. It’s at least possible that there really is a -very narrow – window of opportunity for Musk to transform Twitter / X into an “everything app.”

I still have my doubts, however.

2024: A Perfect Storm

by Shelt Garner

It definitely seems like everything is going to come to a head in 2024. Developments in AI will combine with the put up or shut up political moment of late 2024 – early 2025 and the fate of the entire world — of all of humanity — could be decided starting in 2024.

I say this because if the US collapses — or even simply peacefully transitions into an America First autocracy — everything is going to be upended. Talk about a New World Order! If the US leaves NATO and aligns itself with other autocratic states like Russia, Hungary and Turkey, then, that, unto itself could prompt WW3 to happen — killing about 1 billion people one way or another.

If America collapses into the chaos of civil war (Reds) or revolution (Blues) the same thing will happen — a billion people will die (at least.) If all of this happens, then the issue of AI will be punted down the road until America figures out of it’s going to become Trumplandia or if we’re going to establish the Third American Republic.

At the moment, it really could go either way. It really the fuck could. No fate but what we make and all that.

But if a Third American Republic is established, THEN the issues of global climate change and AI could be addressed collectively by humans as a species. That, at least, would be the idea endgame.

And, yet, humans are dumb and it could be that not even a New World Order after WW3 could get us to get our act together enough to address, collectively some Big Issues that face Humans.

But, I guess, we’ll see, huh?

Of AI….& Tik-Tok Reading Our Fucking Minds?

by Shelt Garner

It hasn’t happened that much recently, but Tik-Tok continues to seem to have a very…eerie…ability to pin down exact elements of my internal monologue. It’s all very curious. I’ve kind of learned to shut up about it, though, because mentioning my fears on this subject causes people to look at me funny.

But Tik-Tok continues to figure me out on such a specific manner — seemingly in real time — that there are two solutions to the issue. One, Tik-Tok has really good AI to the point that it can figure what’s going on in my mind simply from analyzing my usage…or it can fucking read not just my mind, but everyone’s mind!

I don’t think Tik-Tok is reading my mind, but I do think that however it’s figuring out what’s going on in my mind should be regulated — hopefully out of existence. What is the spookiest about what Tik-Tok does is the near-real time nature of it.

If what was going on was a general figuring out of me as a person, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. What is alarming is I think about something really hard and….then with 24 hours I get pushed some obscure thing on Tik-Tok that makes very clear reference to what I was thinking about.

Very strange. Very odd.

But absolutely no one listens to me. And if they did listen to me, they would think I had lost my mind. So, no. Like I said, I don’t think Tik-Tok can read my mind….but something…..strange…is going on.

What, though?