Week Seven: “Ask not what AI can do for you…”

scene from the movie They Live highlighting subliminal messages

Propaganda. N. From the Latin propagare, meaning “to go viral.” A communication intended to influence or persuade, to further an agenda, usually through an emotional appeal rather than a rational one.

Propaganda style image of JFK with the quote "Ask not what AI can do for us,ask what we can do with AI."What is your character’s position on AI? Aggressive Technologies? How does it impact them and the people and things they care about? Would they promote or protest?

There are many aspects we could think about. Consider employment, environment, advancement, economy, ethics, surveillance, personal data, personal image rights, voice rights, control and ownership of data and information, copyright, how to protect people from abuses, how to respect people’s freedoms and intellectual curiosity and creativity, consolidation of power … what else could you add? We’ve looked at movies and manifestos that touch on some of these ideas. Now is the time to take a stand.

We will use this week to create propaganda. The term is generally used in a negative sense, but emotional or persuasive communications for positive ends can also be considered propaganda. This means, as usual, that you have a lot of leeway in what you create. It could be propaganda that your character supports and shares, or it could be propaganda that your character encounters in their daily life. It should relate either to artificial intelligence or Aggressive Technologies.

  1. Design some propaganda. This could be a poster, postcard, bumper sticker, web meme, or something else. Be sure to use design elements like  imagery, type, color, shape, etc. to convey an emotional appeal

Keep Calm and Carry On image

Examples: Keep Calm and Carry On

Examples: Rosie the Riveter

Do not feel limited by these examples. They’re just the first two things I grabbed from Wikipedia. Put your design in a blog post with the usual write-up, but also tell the story of how it connects with your character. Tag the post propagandadesign.

  1. Create a Public Service Announcement: This could be audio or video, but either way should both voice and background sounds. The announcement should spread a message about AI or Aggressive Technologies, or both.


Again, do not feel limited by these examples. They’re just the first things I found in the Internet Archive.

Good ways to find background music that you can use without running into copyright issues are to use CC Search or to google open source music.  Embed your PSA in a blog post with the usual write-up, but also tell the story of how it connects with your character. Tag the post PSA.

Maybe they express what your character feels. Maybe they show what your character encounters

  1. Complete 3 Daily Creates: You must complete at least three daily creates this week. Make sure you also blog your TDCs.
  2. Commenting: In addition to the usual commenting, do a blog post about how your character would react to a few of the designs and PSAs that the rest of the class produces. Make sure your post links to the source posts so people get pingbacks. Tag this post reaction.
  3. Weekly Summary: You all know what this is.
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