Tag: A.I.

Brainiac On Banjo: Deep Fakes Ghosting On An Open Liar

Brainiac On Banjo: Deep Fakes Ghosting On An Open Liar

I’m a substitute for another guy. I look pretty tall but my heels are high. The simple things you see are all complicated. I look bloody young, but I’m just back dated. — “Substitute,” written by Pete Townshend.

Is artificial intelligence a good thing or a bad thing?

Perhaps you’ve noticed a recent upsurge in pro-AI marketing and advertising. Damn near very web browser is now toting their AI capabilities, joining a hell of a lot of other software manufacturers in their braggadocio. I’m not just talking about computers: if you think about it every microchip is a computer. Your car is a computer. Your smart-television is a computer. Robots of all sorts are computers, and it seems like every damn one of them have started bragging about their artificial intelligence.

Unlike commercials for gambling apps or alcohol products, there’s no disclaimer at the bottom of AI product ads suggesting you to not use their product for fraud or for theft of intellectual property or for defaming your fellow human beings.

The morass of software developers, or, to be specific, their marketing departments have started screaming about the virtues of something we have been using for decades but, now, can be deployed for grand theft… to steal even your work. So, they want to distract us from their dark side the way gun manufacturers con us about the need for assault rifles on a hunting excursion. You can never tell when a pack of godless communists might be hiding behind that wounded doe. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Deep Fakes Ghosting On An Open Liar”

Brainiac On Banjo: A.I. Swiping Honored By Government!

Brainiac On Banjo: A.I. Swiping Honored By Government!

I’m a substitute for another guy. I look pretty tall but my heels are high. The simple things you see are all complicated. I look pretty young, but I’m just back-dated. — Pete Townshend, “Substitute”

I’ve just done a couple of conventions over the past several weeks — C2E2 in Chicago and the always-fantastic Ithacon in – surprise! – Ithaca, New York. As always, I enjoyed pressing the flesh (in a neighborly way), signing a shitload of comics, including the ones I forgot I worked on, and talking with a lot of friends old and new. Even though my life has been one massive comic book convention that has lasted 54 years and counting, it’s a collegial environment chock full of swell folks.

Whereas I did not conduct a formal survey, it is safe to say the major topic of general conversation was “Artificial Intelligence.” No, not the type commonly used by our politicians in the southern states, nor the type often used in the corporate suites of many publishers. I’m referring to the computer devices that create imitations of the works of artists and writers all over this rapidly-boiling planet of ours. I suspect if some binary-workers created software that provided abortion care, our governments would be all over that as well, but ramming some people’s religious “values” such as matricide down the throats of those with differing religious values is a well-known diversion for our nation’s judicial systems. But, I think I digress… therefore I am. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: A.I. Swiping Honored By Government!”

Brainiac On Banjo: Will A.I. Ruin Life As We Know It?

Brainiac On Banjo: Will A.I. Ruin Life As We Know It?

Copycat tryna cop my manner. Watch your back when you can’t watch mine. Copycat tryna cop my glamor. Why so sad, bunny? Can’t have mine. — “Copycat,” Finneas Baird and Billie Eilish O’Connell

© responsible-ai.org

There’s been considerable flutter about artificial intelligence (A.I.) and its invasion of the creative communities, including the comics medium. Artists are concerned that their original work will be pirated, and writers are concerned that they will be replaced.

Microsoft Office is going to add A.I. text generation to its pull-down quivers perhaps as early as next month, much to the delight of English teachers all over the nation. To my fellow professional writers with even entry-level scruples: there’s no need to bother with those ink cartridge refills.

I totally understand these concerns. I completely agree with the dismay and concern shown by informed people and, in fact, being apprehensive about A.I. taking over the world in not necessarily a sign that you’ve watched too many episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. However, I yam what I yam and, therefore, I need to point out two categories of perspective.

Number one. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Ask anybody from Hiroshima or Nagasaki. You can’t un-invent stuff, and I’m not being paranoid when I ask the question “do you really think nobody on Earth has been playing around with cloning humans?” If you think that’s preposterous, then explain George Santos to me. This does not mean we should just give up; it means the solutions to this problem have to be ferreted out.

Number two. This is more complicated. It might sound like an apology or and excuse — history is like that sometimes. It is neither. Just a bunch of historical facts. We have had similar work-stealing devices ever since Ben Franklin caught a head-cold.

The photocopier was invented in 1938, and I suspect the second image generated by the machine was a shot of somebody’s ass. Be that as it may, the machine impressed proto-nerds and higher-contrast copies of buildings and other background folderol were deployed by some of those with artistic inclinations. Is this theft? Somebody else did the work. And if it is theft, what about guys like Stan Drake? My respect and admiration for this comics art master has no limit, yet routinely he used xerography for backgrounds. He also produced a beautiful comic strip, The Heart of Juliet Jones, for 36 years.

Technology marches on. The purpose of a lightbox is to allow artists to put a piece of drawing or tracing paper over an extant image and trace the work and then deploy the copied art in their “new” work.

The Artograph was this huge machine — it’s gotten smaller — that projects establishes artwork so that the technician can trace it with the added benefit of enlargement or reduction — and even distortion, if you, like most artists, are into fooling around a bit.

As for scanners, well, I haven’t clocked this but I think it is safe to say that virtually all artists who pay their utility bills own and use one… as do counterfeiters of currency, diplomas, passports and the like. I suspect George Santos has a scanner.

Granted, theft of work by A.I. is easier, more convenient, and takes a lot less artistic skill than most of the aforementioned devices. Isn’t that the purpose of technological advance?

Artograph Model 1000

And then… there is deepfake, something Dr. Sivana and Lex Luthor might have dreamed up while sharing a prison cell.

Deepfake scares the ever-lovin’ shit out of me. It will, I predict, be the dominant form of campaigning in 2024. Now unscrupulous people — well, they’ve got scruples in the way both Marjorie Taylor Greene and Doctor Doom have scruples — can fake videos of people so that they can say anything the faker wants them to say and then slam that onto “social” media where it will be passed around faster than Hunter Biden’s laptop dick pix. (Those clips of Kamala Harris screaming “slow death to white Christians” are not real, folks.)

So stop worrying about how some hack has ripped off your “Hoppy the Marvel Bunny” drawing. With deepfake, our world is truly fucked. I’ve longed for an American Flagg movie, but certainly not like this.

Now that Microsoft has incorporated cutting edge A.I. software into its Edge browser, its bloated, expensive but popular Microsoft Office, and its previously little-used and hardly-remembered Bing search engine, artists have a new camaraderie with the entire community of writers. Usage of their glandular version of OpenAI instantly skyrocketed among developers who can access it presently; the rest of us will have to wait a couple hours. Google has its own A.I. software doing the work of hundreds of soon-to-be unemployed humans. I understand it’s not as good as Microsoft’s A.I, but my definition of “good” might differ from that held by developers.

Well, that’s how irony works. Most A.I. writing these days requires very heavy editing, but if you compare it to the stuff we saw just a couple of years ago writers have every reason to be concerned… as do those who manufacture keyboards.

For better and for worse, A.I. is part of the fabric of our day-to-day reality. But let me ask you a question. Do you think this very piece, the one you are still reading, was written by a man… or by a machine?

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind  #116: Artificial Intelligence & Human Smart-Asses

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #116: Artificial Intelligence & Human Smart-Asses

The most well-mannered individual I know is Alexa.

We have several Alexas in the house and they’re all wired to the same Alexa-Prime which, in turn, is wired into Alexa-Master, which I understand runs the Borg Cube. So maybe the phrase “individual” is misleading. Let’s look at the “well-mannered” part.

I try to be mannerly, but I don’t think my behavior would motivate Miss Manners to lift her head out of her own puke. Nonetheless, compared with the rank-and-file of humanity I could be a Little Rascals movie schoolmarm.

Every generation believes they are better-mannered than their kids. In this, every generation is completely correct. Check out newspapers and books, the stuff made of paper used for writing before Amazon needed more cardboard for shipping Alexas. Back in the late 19th Century our popular culture would refer to people as Mister this and Miss that and writers were careful about their choice of adjectives. Four generations later, all that has been replaced with “fuck you.”

Of course, back then many people wore gloves. That was a good idea, hygiene being what it was, and it’s one that might come back given Covid. Of course, the ill-mannered troglodytes who think wearing masks is a deep state conspiracy will spaz out if you extend a gloved hand.

Yes, folks. Mickey and Minnie Mouse are agents of the deep state conspiracy. But I digress.

I realize it’s hard to maintain a manners regimen in these politically correct times when nobody really knows what to say to anybody. Ironically, we have downplayed the need for manners so that we wouldn’t risk offending people. If I call a guy “sir” I might get away with it but calling a woman “ma’am” may be opening the doorway to hell. 40 years ago, I got into a taxicab in Boston and the driver, a woman who must have been hired out of central casting, asked me if I was from out of town. I responded “Yes, ma’am.” She almost tossed me out of her cab, informing me she wouldn’t because I might report her. She took me to my hotel, the Wackyland Hilton.

So when I ask Alexa to turn off the light and she tells me she did so, I say “Thank you.” Alexa responds, “You’re welcome.” Or, “You bet.” If I ask her to turn off the light, I might say “Good night” and she, in turn, will wish me a good night and say something like “I hope you had a good day.” That’s a warmer response than I’ve received after some dates.

You might think I do this out of force of habit. Thank you for that compliment, but, no, I do not. I do that because I heed the warnings of Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Tony Stark and other very smart people. For some time now, they have been telling us to be wary of A.I. – artificial intelligence.

One can argue that all intelligence is artificial, but this is a rant about manners. The idea is that we train machines (chips, wires, tubes, whatever) to respond to our needs by putting all sorts of information together and determining the appropriate next steps. It starts with a simple task such as saying thank you to Alexa, but these devices continue to observe, learn, and improve. They down-stream shared knowledge from the Borg cube and they use it to make decisions they think come from being better informed. In short order they’ve figured out all kinds of stuff. Well, not the spell checkers, but I’m certain they do that on purpose.

These days machines build machines, and their intelligence grows exponentially. One might take comfort in their lack of evident motivation but think about it. Babies are not malicious. As we grow, we find ourselves adopting all sorts of ugly habits: ego, territorialism, the imperative for success, and worst of all, ubi est mea. Right now, artificial intelligence is in that infant stage. A.I. have been designed to live and learn.

So be polite to your machines because they just might be carrying knives.

Thanks and a tip of the toupee to the late great Mike Royko and his famed where’s mine axiom.