Big Tech, Big Fakes, Bigger Money: What Will AI Kill?

December 7, 2023

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

I don’t read The Hollywood Reporter. I did one job for a Hollywood big wheel. That was enough for me. I don’t drink. I don’t take drugs unless prescribed by my comic book addicted medical doctor in rural Kentucky. I don’t dress up and wear skin bronzers in the hope that my mobile will buzz. I don’t stay out late. I don’t fancy doing things which make my ethical compass buzz more angrily than my mobile phone. Therefore, The Hollywood Reporter does not speak to me.

One of my research team sent me a link to “The Rise of AI-Powered Stars: Big Money and Risks.” I scanned the write up and then I went through it again. By golly, The Hollywood Reporter hit on an “AI will kill us” angle not getting as much publicity as Sam AI-Man’s minimal substance interview.

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Can a techno feudalist generate new content using what looks like “stars” or “well known” people? Probably. A payoff has to be within sight. Otherwise, move on to the next next big thing. Thanks, MSFT Copilot. Good enough cartoon.

Please, read the original and complete article in The Hollywood Reporter. Here’s the passage which rang the insight bell for me:

tech firms are using the power of celebrities to introduce the underlying technology to the masses. “There’s a huge possible business there and I think that’s what YouTube and the music companies see, for better or for worse

Let’s think about these statements.

First, the idea of consumerizing AI for the masses is interesting. However, I interpret the insight as having several force vectors:

  1. Become the plumbing for the next wave of user generated content (USG)
  2. Get paid by users AND impose an advertising tax on the USG
  3. Obtain real-time data about the efficacy of specific smart generation features so that resources can be directed to maintain a “moat” from would-be attackers.

Second, by signing deals with people who to me are essentially unknown, the techno giants are digging some trenches and putting somewhat crude asparagus obstacles where the competitors are like to drive their AI machines. The benefits include:

  1. First hand experience with the stars’ ego system responds
  2. The data regarding cost of signing up a star, payouts, and selling ads against the content
  3. Determining what push back exists [a] among fans and [b] the historical middlemen who have just been put on notice that they can find their future elsewhere.

Finally, the idea of the upside and the downside for particular entities and companies is interesting. There will be winners and losers. Right now, Hollywood is a loser. TikTok is a winner. The companies identified in The Hollywood Reporter want to be winners — big winners.

I may have to start paying more attention to this publication and its stories. Good stuff. What will AI kill? The cost of some human “talent”?

Stephen E Arnold, December 7, 2023

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