October 09, 2022 BY Jacey Edwards in Newsletter
Elon Musk tried to steal a Chick-fil-A: NL #117
The popular technology company OpenAI has opened access to its text-to-image system DALL-E 2. What in the Star Wars am I talking about? I’ll explain.
Back in January of 2021, OpenAI unveiled the original DALL-E, a tool with the ability to turn any text description into a unique image. Essentially, it’s a robot that makes illustrations for you. Pretty cool stuff. Fast forward and the AI art scene has since exploded. A number of other companies have created similar tools, with the most prominent platforms, aside from Dall-E, being Midjourney and Stable Diffusion. For a while, the tool was limited by waitlists and paywalls. But now, the AI art generator is available to anyone.
While the AI art buzz is certainly exciting for tech enthusiasts, it has raised a number of important questions concerning ethics, copyright issues and the nature of art itself. Of course, for the sake of convenience, the tool is ideal. It’s timely, costs next to nothing, and doesn’t ask anything of an actual person. But that’s also a huge part of the problem. AI takes the artist out of the artwork. And if true art comes from human expression, then… what the heck is AI art?
One of our designers, who is way better than a robot, has a smart hot take on the subject. Here’s what Julianne says:
“AI generated art is fun, and all of the memes people can make have given me a lot of laughs, but it is worrying for the industry as a whole. Without getting permission, these programs scoop up artist’s work to create illustrations that then make the original artists’ jobs obsolete. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out as the technology improves and becomes more accessible.”
She’s right. Some of the memes generated by the AI art buzz are spot on. And like other industries, the role of AI in the art world threatens to replace real people. Which is a real problem. However, it also holds the potential to act as a rather nifty tool, even for artists themselves. Jason Scott, an archivist at the Internet Archive, and a “prolific explorer of AI art programs,” seems almost flippant about the new technology. He offers a unique perspective in his conversation with The Atlantic, positioning the art tools more as “toys” or “parlor games” rather than dependable, full-time resources. Scott goes as far to say that he’s no more worried about AI art generators than he is the fill tool- you know the one. That handy bucket that fills up the background.
I am curious to see at what lengths these generators become the “norm” for various agency uses. I took a stab at the tool last week, and found it equally impressive and demystifying. The first prompt I requested was “Ben Affleck riding a unicorn into the sunset” (obviously). Much to my delight, the finished products were fairly spot on. But to be honest, there was nothing that special about them. They were accurate and followed a generally appealing aesthetic, but they didn’t have the detail and personality you would get from an actual artist. Am I just biased because we have two of the world’s best at Tegan? Possibly.
Fun fact. After my Ben Affleck trial, we used Dall-E’s image generator for most of the images in this newsletter. The unicorn shots didn’t make the cut, but trust me. They were epic.
Elon Musk says “psych.” He might buy Twitter again.
Elon Musk is adding Twitter back to his cart. After months of trying to back out on the deal, he’s once again proposed to buy the platform at $54.20 per share. The buyout comes to about $44 billion. That’s a lot of tweets.
Musk’s on-again, off-again attitude has most likely taken a turn due to the events of his lawsuit with Twitter. The platform sued Musk when he backed out of the original deal, attempting to force him to go through with the purchase. The two sides were scheduled to go to trial in Delaware Chancery Court on October 17. But after a summer long battle of he said vs. she said, Musk caved.
Why? There’s a lot of speculation. The surfacing of texts between Musk, Jack Dorsey, Joe Rogan and others gives interesting insight into how the deal imploded. Most critics agree that Musk most likely didn’t want to go to trial. He faced a potentially messy deposition, that would most likely expose the billionaire’s inconsistencies. I mean, imagine having to explain your higshcool tweets to a jury? Except in this case, you’re an adult. Who is a billionaire. With 107 million Twitter followers.
College football fans forced to watch baseball. The horror.
If you were watching college football last weekend, chances are you were also watching Aaron Judge at bat. And not by choice.
The Yankees baseball star was chasing 61 home runs, seeking to break the Yankee’s and the American League’s record of 61 homers in a season. It was a big deal in the baseball world for a few weeks, and ESPN wanted everyone to care. Desperately. On Saturday, the network interrupted college football games to broadcast Judge’s at-bats. During the action of both the ABC and ESPN games, fans were forced to watch a double box of the football and baseball games. Specifically, ESPN cut into the action of No. 5 Clemson at No. 21 Wake Forest and Missouri at Auburn.
Right on cue, college football fans went nuts on social media. In summary, most everyone thought it was a terrible idea. If they wanted to watch baseball, they would change the channel. Even ESPN’s own Sean McDonough seemed perturbed by the interruptions. Me? I don’t care for the split screens, unless the Rangers ever actually win a game again. If that miracle comes true, you can split all my screens. In fact, go ahead and cut them into thirds.
Best of the Week
The latest episode from Duct Tape Marketing hits close to home, Why Virtual Offices are The Future Of Remote Working. I’m not ready to cut the office cold turkey, but the discussion is interesting.
What to Watch
The Offer is based on famed producer Albert Ruddy’s never-before-seen experience of making The Godfather. The show is outstanding, but honestly, you’ll enjoy it for the Easter eggs alone.
Trick or Treat
Looking to win this year’s costume contest? Some good ideas from Pinterest’s roundup of the top Halloween costumes. But when in doubt, throw a sheet over your head and go as a ghost. Classic.
Ed Sheeran partnered with Pokemon for his latest single, Celestial. Apparently, Ed is a big Pokemon nerd. And even if you can’t tell the difference between a Pikachu and a parrot, it’s a good tune.
More News From The Week
- And now we know why Laura’s been so happy lately. McDonald’s will have adult Happy Meals this October.
- One of the greatest chess players in the world has been exposed as a cheater. His means of cheating were … really odd.
- In other cheating news, these guys stole hundreds of thousands in winnings from fishing competitions by filling their fish with lead balls. I can’t decide if I’d rather face jail, or this crowd.
- Bruce Willis sold the rights to an AI version of himself. And to think, if this technology had come 24 years earlier, he would’ve survived that asteroid.
- For the third year in a row, Chik-fil-A wins as the fastest drive-thru. And I’ll bet you four chicken minis it’s their pleasure.