One Humanity, 99.9% Same, 100% Divided Over AI-Made Art

At the end of February, almost a week ago, the internet went nuclear over some AI generated images. Google had just entered a nightmare PR crisis. 

Here is Ars Technica headline on FEB the 22: Google’s hidden AI diversity prompts lead to outcry over historically inaccurate images.

Of course, this being 2024, the whole thing became another outrage enticing content thing floating the social media timelines and news networks. 

I understood part of the outrage. Yes, it’s important to represent historical facts in a truthful and objective way, but why not? Why not the fantasy of living in a world where Greek gods are depicted by North American natives? And non aryan nazis exist. 

Gemini’s hallucination is actually extremely poetic. Even inspiring. Again, why not mess with the collective Imaginarium and open our minds into seeing the world with different lenses or angles? 

One planet my friends. All humans. All genetically similar, 99.9% similar.

my own little metablock

One of the things I cherished about the early web was the concept of owning a little corner of the online world, a launching pad to the vast expanse of the WWW. Social media platforms democratized online expression, but at the cost of our own data becoming the product.

I believe we’ll see a shift back towards this personal web, reminiscent of Geocities. Beyond that, I envision a future where communities coalesce around shared values and beliefs, forming unique “parcels” within the broader human landscape.

But why yearn for such individualized spaces? This question echoes the one posed about art’s purpose. I admit, I struggle with the idea of ego in art. Is self-expression inherently narcissistic?

Perhaps embracing this motivation, instead of suppressing it, holds the key to unlocking my own creative potential. Maybe my artistic self is stifled by this very fear of egotism.

Re-invention — part 2

AI generated image of a person being an algorithm

In the first part of this post I spoke about witnessing transformations. About having been part of the commercial Internet.

Continuing on in this vein, I’d like to now speak about transformation from a more personal perspective. I’ve always been part of teams, even if those teams have been ad hoc, and part of larger organizations. I’ve seen people leave, people join and people change their roles. I’ve also seen organizations themselves change their mission, vision, values and indeed their name.

Exciting stuff.

Then. I went from being a builder to become a “thinker”. I started to work in the advertising business. I always had a desire to work within that field. Somehow I believed that being part of that industry would require lots of building. I was wrong. I just realize that advertising agency are not really meant to build stuff. That role belongs to production companies.

Anyway, I am rambling now.

Back to transformation. And, specially to what it means to be 2 years away from hitting 60. Getting a job within tech — that was the objective, was getting there but then the great freeze happened. Then Twitter. Then the rest.

Here is where we bring ActivityPub back to the story. It feels like the whole thing (the Internet) is going back to basics.

Art. Media. Design. Creativity. Digital bohemia. And SERVERS. Is all one needs right? So, I guess my focus right now is not to spend too much time looking for a new gig (I’m kind of bored working at the place I am at), I will, instead focus my energy toward going back to that basic state of DYI media.

I feel that we are in the early days ofActivityPub. Just like in the early days of the Internet or of the web or of social media. But I feel that something huge could break off this and become the Internet I am currently imagining: Personal algorithms as a basic human right.

Re-invention — part 1

A Da Vinci sketch of an information machine network

It was a good Thanksgiving break. A week ago I had a cold. I thought it was COVID. It was not. Yeah! 😊

It was just a cold with a great mix of burnout. But, it gave me time to just lay there. And laying around just thinking can be fun.

I thought about how the tech industry is having a readjustment. I thought about how I have been lucky to have been witness to the Internet’s many transformations.

I thought about how in each one of these periods of big change there was always a big winner based on use case was dominating that industry at the moment. AOL, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. And now, the Fediverse? Will ActivityPub be the next key to re-invent the industry? Only time will tell.

In each of these moments, the one that re-invented the industry defined the new normal. They were the new leaders. They were the trendsetters. And the old guard was disrupted.

The question is, can the Fediverse do the same? Can it re-invent the industry? And if so, how?

Here are some thoughts:

Standards and open build on Internet protocols have been key to the evolution of the web.

Users are becoming more sophisticated about living / sharing part of their lives in digital spaces.

The business model of the Internet is evolving.

The platforms that have been built on the backs of user data are being called into question. And, the data that is being collected is becoming a liability.

The pandemic, the creator economy, digital communities, even crypto are making users aware of their digital value.

The Fediverse could be a viable alternative to the current platform model. It could provide a way for users to finally own their digital data. Take part in the business of their personal data.

ActivityPub could provide a way for users to connect with each other in a more sustainable way. Where the platform is not the only one benefiting from the user’s engagement.

Here we go again.

It’s been a while,

Have not been around here in a while. September 16.

Lots has happened since. One of them is me being swallowed by a tsunami of advertising work. It got tense, taking lots of energy. But, we are on the other side of the mound of things that needed to be done. More advertising has been produced.

October 3rd 2022.

On one of my visits to Instagram, flipping through Stories, I came across this eye opening post by @markpollard!

Revelation baby. It felt good to read this. Made me happy, less scared, open, risky even daring. It was a cool feeling, I felt validated, I felt free.

As as when the web was the web.

A jungle of URLs. A place where you could claim a space, build your thing, create your social mask and interact with people in a way we had never interacted before.

Then Musk buys Twitter. Facebook purges 11,000 people from its payroll.

We were now witnessing, at least with Twitter, the crumbling of one of the social media giants of the past 15 years. Wild!

Maybe it’s my romantic optimism but, I can smell the winds of change.

I think that this Mastodon user describes my feeling well by saying that he/she is (re)discovering the indie web.

This post took a couple days to write. ADD would moved my focus somewhere else during the week.

At the time of this writing FTX has crumbled. It seems that not only social media is going through a shift. The whole Web3 money concept just was hit by a reset button.

Fun times ahead.

More like the radio, less than channel tv surfing

I am part of the TikTok universe that gets on the platform in order to be entertained.

To this activity felt always similar to the endless hours I could spend channel surfing in front a television screen.

I was today reading the always awesome Garbage Day newsletter, and read this description of what TikTok is but, in this description the author, compares it to the radio and the act of having to drive from place to the next.

I really liked it. Here it is.

In the 90s, when young people could afford to drive cars and everyone still worked in offices, it was not uncommon to listen to the radio while commuting in the morning or the evening. And when you would turn on the radio you would hear a few different kinds of programming — DJs talking about the big news stories of the day, typically a mix of brand new songs and old favorites, interviews with celebrities, and call-in shows, where random people from the community would spout off crazy nonsense, compete for prizes, ask for advice, or just get in a fight with the DJ. This content arrived linearly, punctuated by ads, but for the most part, it aired in arbitrary blocks. You’d turn on the radio and never really knew what you might hear, but chances are it was fine, but not great, though occasionally good enough to keep you sitting in your car after you parked. Well, that’s basically the role TikTok is currently filling.

So, go pay Ryan Broderick a visit and read this week’s publication.