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AI-generated art illustrates another problem with technology.John Norton

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MeIt all started with a headline in Charlie Worzel’s Galaxy Brain Newsletter. Atlantic Ocean: “Where does Alex Jones go from here?” This is an interesting question because Jones is an extreme internet troll who makes Donald Trump look like Spinoza. For years, he has turned his radio talk show and website into a comfortable multi-million dollar business selling nonsense, conspiracy theories, falsehoods, and bizarre commodities to huge tribes of followers. I was. and until August 4th he was spared it. But that day, he lost an epic defamation lawsuit filed by the parents of the children who died in his 2012 Sandy His Hook Massacre. A jury in Texas decided that nearly $50 million in damages should be paid for exposing this sadistic nonsense.

Warzel’s newsletter was interesting because it consisted of interviews with people who worked for the Jones media empire in its heyday. But what really caught my eye was the striking illustration at the head of the piece. It showed a cartoon-like image.

Oh! Midjourney is a lab and also the name of a program that creates images from text descriptions using a machine learning system similar to OpenAI’s Dall-E someone Atlantic Ocean Just type “Alex Jones, in the American office under fluorescent lights” into the text box and bingo! – The illustration that caught my attention was his one of the images it generated.

It turned out that Atlantic Ocean It is not the only established publication that features Midjourney tool artifacts.Usual stay economistFor example, I recently rolled out to create the June 11th cover. This is important because it shows how digital technology can move rapidly from cutting edge to commercialization. In doing so, new fears and hopes quickly emerge.

Dall-E (whose name is a playful combination of the Pixar characters Wall-E and Salvador Dalí) is derived from OpenAI’s pioneering GPT language model and can generate vaguely plausible English text. Dall-E basically swapped pixels for text and was trained on his 400 million pairs of images with his captions “scraped” from the internet. (The carbon footprint of the calculations involved in this process is incredible, but that’s for another time.)

When GPT-3 came out, it sparked a new wave of “augmentation versus replacement” debates. Was this technology just the tiniest edge of a sinister wedge? GPT-3 can be used to ‘write’ boring but useful text, such as stock market reports, but it’s also used to moderate social media platforms. It can also generate harmful and seemingly credible disinformation that slips through your can be used for enhancement the capacity of a busy and overworked journalist, or omit them completely. and so on.

At the event, however, some steam got out of the GPT-3 controversy (but not out of the question of the environmental costs of such luxury computing). No matter how many skeptics and critics ridicule human hacking, the crooked lumber of humanity will continue to outsmart mere machines for the foreseeable future. Journalism school is relaxing.

However, Dall-E can be a less straightforward case. Like the GPT-3, its appearance has generated a great deal of interest. Perhaps because most people can write text, but many cannot draw to save their lives. Therefore, any tool that can overcome this obstacle would be of great help. For example, you can ask for a portrait of Shrek in the style of the Mona Lisa or Jane Austen as an astronaut, and again try your best.

But there is also the issue of “replacement”.Turned out to be Worzel himself Instead of getting the illustration from a copyrighted image bank or asking an artist to create the image, I used a Midjourney bot to create the illustration. Find out and shock national magazines such as Twitter. Atlantic Ocean Instead of paying artists to explain the story, they used a computer program to explain the story, which gave rise to the idea of ​​doing the same for other publications. Before saying “AI,” Warzel went viral when he tweeted that he’s playing the villain in his Storm. It was painful for him, but it was also a useful warning that publishers who supply their work to machines rather than creative artists deserve everything they get.

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