Recently, my DH showed me a web site that offers ‘generative media’, otherwise known as AI invented human faces that “can be used for any purpose without worrying about copyrights, distribution rights, infringement claims, or royalties.” The web site owners claim they are “democratizing creative photography and video.” Uh huh, sure. Here are some examples of their product.
None of the people in the photo above are real; an algorithm designed those faces. The implications are enormous and deeply disturbing. Sure, such things will mostly be used for tricking us into buying merchandise we don’t want. It’s the “any purpose” use that bothers me. Fake news abounds already; we don’t need ways to make it easier to create. Not so long ago we could believe “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away” (P.K. Dick). Not anymore.
The world is getting way too strange for me and I long to run away to some safe haven of sanity. Alas, I live in the crazy state of New York, where clearly we’re headed for “the biggest interdimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909!”* I just have to accept that and deal with it. I stay home a lot and try to laugh. Over Christmas, we enjoyed much merriment. Despite the dearth of picture taking, I did get one photo of the best socks ever. Meet the Birkenstock sock or “Birkensocks” that I gave to my middle son (the pajama pants, a gift from his intended, are pretty great, too).
The socks even have real-looking soles! In a world where AI can generate fake humans, we have to expect socks that mimic sandals, right? Zut alors, but what next?
We’re supposed to get an ice storm this weekend and our Minister is already talking about canceling church. Whatever happens, I plan to stay home and enjoy my own little corner of normality, whether or not it’s an illusion!