AI & Our Coming ‘Mindfulness’ Overlords

by Shelt Garner

I’ve given it some thought and, really, there is only one thing that humans can do that AI can’t do — use judgement. In fact, given how from a capitalists point of view, it is the very brutal nature of AI and chatbots that make them so attractive so it is inevitable that as the revolution progresses that we’re all going to realize that judgement is valuable.

I could see it happening this way — soon enough, because humans are lazy, we defer 99% of our decisions, economy, culture and politics to AI. But the one thing that we couldn’t defer to an AI would be good judgement. In short, “mindfulness” might suddenly become a very lucrative profession.

I don’t know exactly how this would all play out, but if there comes a point when almost all human activity is done through a blackbox AI, then the time of someone with good judgement to help manage and guide that AI would be very valuable.

Here’s where we come to something really intriguing — is it possible that if we create the “Other” via AI, that some attempt to unite Humanity might arise in an effort to unify our response to AI. At the moment, it’s difficult for the US to do anything about AI because if we do, then some other country, maybe Estonia, will swoop in and do all the kinky AI stuff we blanch at doing and we’ll fall behind.

But if there was some sort of global response to AI, then we would all be on the same page as to who would be the people we used to use AI in a “mindful” manner.

A.I. Killed The Hollywood Star?

by Shelt Garner

I had a really interesting Space conversation on Twitter with a guy who proposed the following provocative concept: the rise of AI generated technology will mark the end of Hollywood as we know it.

He posits that the entire celebrity parasocial edifice will come crashing down as everyone can tailor their entertainment to be very personal and without any “real” actors. Everything will be generative, no IRL humans involved.

This is a really interesting idea. And I like it because it forces me to challenge some basic assumptions and to come up with and answer to this guy’s very valid observations.

The more I think about it, the more I think Hollywood celebrities have nothing to worry about, for no other reason than they still have time to warp the advance of technology such that they thrive. For instance, just because you may be able to create a completely generative movie or TV show in the near future, doesn’t mean you will want to, especially if there’s a huge marketing campaign to make you feel that your generative actor isn’t as “special” or entertaining as a scan of a real person.

In fact, there is a novel by David Brin that deals with something like this. It’s called Kiln People and it has some really thought provoking ideas about the nature of celebrity. Anyway, I think in the near future when we Petite Singularity is in full force that instead of Hollywood being burned to the ground that the basic elements of Hollywood celebrity culture will simply exist in a different form.

So, when you sit down to watch a TV show or movie, yes, you will create something generative…but you will also probably be willing to pay a premium for a scan of, say, Harrison Ford (and other actors) to plop into your generative, personalized content. In fact, one could even go so far as to say that in the future you will be paying a flat monthly fee not for Netflix, but for access to the scans of a multitude of actors you might use for your movies and TV shows that you generate via a prompt

And, what’s more, once AI technology reaches something akin to that seen in the movie “Her,” you might simply tell your personal assistant to create the content for you using voice commands and you can be even more lazy.

I still think that instead of going to Hollywood in the near future that young starlets will head to New York City to see if they can make a name for themselves on Broadway then get scanned into the Big Hollywood Database and then live off the passive income of their body scan. I don’t feel enough people are listening to me about this possibility.

Anyway. It definitely seems as though the future of entertainment is going to have a lot of twists and turns.

Eat The Rich: Income Inequality Is Destroying American Democracy

by Shelt Garner

I’m listening to The Week In Startup and I’m flabbergasted in the mentality of Jason Calacanis and Molly Wood. I think some of my shock comes from something we don’t talk about a lot in America — class. They’re both really, really rich and so of course they would rather think up ways to screw over workers rather than pay people more.

A lot of America’s problems come from income inequality. If we would just tax billionaires out of existence and pay the average person a living wage then I think a lot of our problems would be dramatically mitigated.

But that’s just not what’s going to happened.

We’re going to use, on a macro basis, automation and AI to destroy a wide range of jobs that we assume will always be there. Off the top of my head, I find myself worried about the 3 million high paying transportation jobs that will vanish whenever Elon Musk hooks AGI to an EV semi.

One thing that was touched upon during This Week In Startups is that as long as what AI does is “just good enough” then it will be used. If you hook up AI to androids then virtually overnight the need for a Universal Basic Income is going to become clear.

A UBI solves a lot of problems and yet it would also cause a lot of problems. Most people are lazy and they just won’t do shit if they get a UBI. What’s worse, there are also people who are extremely ambitious and they would demand the right to have SOME job, just to be able to have somewhere to go during the day and have some sense of self-fulfillment. So, it seems as though some sort of “value added” stipend would be included in which if you can do some sort of job that AGI can’t do very well then you will extra momney.

Or something.

The point is — I’m really worried about America’s instability going forward because of income inequality. There seems as though there might be a real risk of the “Petite Singularity” causing a huge pushback involving the rise of neo-Luddites.

These neo-Luddites will demand huge carve outs whereby only humans can do some jobs. Only time will tell.

Tik-Tok Can Be A Real Sewer Of Disinformation

by Shelt Garner

I don’t know about you, but as an Old, I get pushed a lot of Tik-Toks that are a lot more serious than the usual hot chicks bounce around, dancing. Some of the Tik-Toks I get are just various forms of blatent disinformation.

It’s all very grating for various reasons because a lot of (younger) people don’t realize what they’re seeing is, essentially, a lie. And, wait, it gets worse — the Chinese government is deeply mixed up in Tik-Tok so they have a vested interest in pushing as much disinformation as possible to unsuspecting young Americans.

So, in a sense, I hope Tik-Tok does get banned. I’m really growing quite annoyed at how much conspicuous disinformation the service pushes me on a regular basis. What’s worse, I still struggle to understand the “spookier” elements of the service’s ability to push me things that definitely seem like it can read my mind — but it can’t read my mind, right, right? RIGHT?

Anyway. Whatever. No one ever listens to me. Maybe one day, but not at the moment and not for the foreseeable future.

Hollywood’s Post Human Future

by Shelt Garner

It definitely seems as though Hollywood is about to enter an era of transition not seen since that from silent movies to talkies in the mid-20s. As we careen towards a Petite Singularity based on the Chatbot Revolution it definitely seems the conditions are there for Hollywood as we know it to cease to exist within a few years.

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, “The Town” and the idea of that Hollywood tech could reach the point where there is no “uncanny valley” when it comes to resurrecting dead celebrities was broached. The person interviewed gave a very open ended, evasive answer, but the sentiment was clear — this revolution is well on its way.

As such, this raises a lot of very intriguing — and potentially alarming — consequences for not just Hollywood, but society as a whole. In fact, one could make the case that this revolution of Hollywood would be the point of the spear for an actual hard Singularity at some point in the near future.

What other indication that technology is officially going to fast for human culture to catch up than the idea that Hollywood will no longer really need humans at all. This could lead to the rather nightmarish scenario where entertainment is kind of forever fixed at some indeterminate “now” in which no new actors ever work their way through the ranks because every actor since the dawn of Hollywood can be conjured up at will.

Another, less depressing scenario is all of this leads to the theatre industry suddenly seeing a incredible resurgence. It could be that Broadway will be seen as the premiere “artisanal” creative outlet for actual human actors and instead of a starlet taking a bus to LA to start her career, she goes to Broadway. She builds enough buzz as a live actor that she catches the eye of those few Hollywood director still making movies the old fashion way.

The goal of her career would then be to make a big enough name for herself that she could get scanned for Hollywood and have her image plopped into all the movies being made with dead actors.

Anyway, the point is — the conditions are there, at least, for a huge disruption in showbiz in ways we can only begin to imagine.

Of AI & Spotify

by Shelt Garner

I had a conversation with a relative that left me feeling like an idiot. What I was TRYING to say is there was an unexploited space for Spotify to use AI. In the scenario I had in my mind, you would type in a concept or keyword into a playlist and AI would generate a list a longs from that.

I was a bit inarticulate about the concept I was proposing and I came across sounding like an idiot. While I may be an idiot, I continue to think about how I could have put a bit finer point on what I was trying to say.

I don’t think that all of Spotify’s playlists are done manually, I do think that there is a place for harder AI to be used for streaming services. Spotify knows me really well and if you hooked that knowledge up to a harder form of AI I think some pretty interesting things could come about not just with keywords but with discovery.

Anyway. I’m a nobody. Ignore me.

If An Equitable Answer From A Chatbot Is ‘Woke’ We’re All In A Lot Of Trouble

by Shelt Garner

One of the more recent pings from a very dark future is how the intellectual framework for a massive battle over the supposed “wokeness” of chatbots like ChatGPT is now being built out on Twitter in real time.

It definitely seems as though the battle over “woke chatbots” could be the “critical race theory” of 2023 – 2024. The reason why I say this is from just my own personal use of ChatGPT, the answers aren’t really “woke” at all so much as rather equitable.

It’s just that we live in such an era of hyperpolarization that any answer on the part of a chatbot that isn’t hate filled like MAGA itself is considered “woke.” So, in the end, I think one of the aims of the next Republican Administration is going to be to regulate chatbots so they don’t “indoctrinate” people.

I find it darkly amusing that MAGA people go apeshit about how they want free speech, but the moment someone wants to espouse their own free speech that doesn’t fit MAGA doctrine, then, THEN it’s “indoctrination.” MAGA can be so wrapped up in its own bullshit that they don’t even realize what fucking hypocrites they are.

Anyway. Lulz. We’re doomed. Buckle up.

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

by Shelt Garner

The chatbot revolution is upon us and the Far Right is already staking out its talking points for the coming battle royale over the idea of chatbot “bias.” As chatbots grow more and more the center of human existence — because we’re all very lazy — the more people like malignant Canadian and faux-intellect Jordan Peterson will whine and complain about their “woke cancel culture mob” biases.

America’s era of hyper-partisanship has reached the point where even the very idea of equitable — if not objective — truth is considered an attack on one side or the other. To use the pet grievance of the fucking MAGA Nazi cocksuckers, if a chatbot doesn’t spit out a very narrow answer to “What is a woman?” then they scream bloody murder that they’re being “oppressed.”

All of this raises an interesting issue — it seems as though we’re in a sprint to see if we live in a Tech Bro dystopia or a government-mandated MAGA Nazi one. I totally validate the notion that members of the “woke cancel culture mob” don’t exactly help the cause of liberal democracy by having a very strict orthodoxy, but I’m of the general opinion that such abuses are the result of a very broken political system.

If we had the politics of a functioning liberal democracy the question of “what is a woman?” would be figured out pretty quick through consensus and we could go back to more important things like addressing income inequality.

But, no. It serves the overall aims of the MAGA Nazis for American politics to be completely broken and, as such, we’re fucked. Totally, completely fucked. We’re careening towards a very dark future where very soon “chatbot bias” will join “critical race theory” as something that is used as a political football whenever the MAGA Nazis need to juice the base before an election. The intellectual framework for this to happen is already all over Twitter. MAGA Nazis are coming for chatbots and their “bias” and it’s going to be a very nasty situation in the context of a potential “Petite Singularity” during the 2023 recession.

Anyway. I don’t write for Slate or VOX. I don’t know anything and don’t have a received English vocal fry in my videos.

Chatbot Regulation Is Looming

by Shelt Garner

I spoke to my Traditionalist relative today who is by nature 100% against any form of regulation and was taken aback by how open he was to regulating chatbots. Now, the subtext of this is not so much saving jobs as it is, of course “bais.”

I’m sure in his MAGA podcast echochamber they’re all aghast that ChatGPT is too “woke” simply because it doesn’t validate their MAGA agenda about such hot button topics as “What is a woman?” So, the whole issue of how chatbots could radically transform our economy in a very short amount of time is a lulz, but a chatbot not validating the policy goals of MAGA is a bridge too far.

It will probably start with hearings in 2023 by the Republican House looking into how powerful ChatGPT is in education overnight. And, along the way, it will become a MAGA Nazi talking point as chatbots grow more culturally potent that they need to be regulated to stop the “woke indoctrination” of America’s youth because it won’t let little kids learn jokes about women.

It all goes back to something I think about all the time — MAGA Nazis love to conflate the soft power of smug Twitter liberals with the hard power of the government that they want to control so badly. MAGA Nazis have gone from 2016’s “Fuck your feelings” to 2023’s “ChatGPT is hurting my feelings by not agreeing with me so it has to be regulated to do so.”

And all of this is going to happen really, really fast. It might even feel like it just snapped into place overnight. ChatGPT is definitely a ping from the a possible Singularity. None of us are prepared for how radically our economy may be changed

How Do You Fix This Chatbot ‘Bias’ Problem?

by Shelt Garner

I saw someone angry at this output from OpenAI Chatbot and the fact that it made him angry enraged me.

It makes me angry because this is why we can’t have nice things. Members of the “men’s movement” want the right to force a chatbot to say hateful, misogynistic things about women — starting with “jokes” and getting ever worse from there.

I think given how society tends to shit on women in general that the last thing we need is a fucking chatbot adding to the pile on. And, yet, here we are, in 2022, almost 2023 with diptshits getting angry that they can’t hate on women. But I think, gaming out this particular situation in the future that we’re in for a very, very dark situation where a war or wars could be fought over who gets to program the “bias” into our new chatbot overlords.

It’s going to suck.