Life imitating AI imitating Art

A few weeks ago we watched the Black Mirror episode, “Be Right Back“, in which a widow has an AI chatbot of her deceased husband. Yesterday I heard that performance artist Laurie Anderson actually has one of these. I guess he wasn’t kidding when he wrote “I’ll Be Your Mirror.”

The idea of characters react to propaganda was a bit of an afterthought last week, but it seems to have worked out well. Some people are using it to find connections, which can be useful as we start to come up with longer narratives and group projects.

We had some nice propaganda too. I especially liked this poster, for several reasons. The letterpress character of the typeface gives it an antique, handmade feel which contrasts to the circuitry in the image. The subtle texturing also gives it an aged feel. But the empty spot inside the image is my favorite part, as it suggests something about the soullessness of the corporate world, or the emptiness of AI. And it plays off of ideas from another post by borrowing one of Dr. Oblivion’s quotes. Of this one, it was said, “This creepy poster will haunt my nightmares forever now,” which may be the nicest comment I’ve seen.

One thing that surprises me is that no one has brought up the environmental costs associated with AI. It seems like a natural for propaganda, and it connects to the broader climate movement. But if that’s not where people want to go, so be it.


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