It isn’t clear if the success of the show is due to the VR component or just the chance to see originals. We can only experience the 360 video which has limited interactivity. That said, I don’t find the video of the VR experience convincing. It is a creative documentary and it is hard to see how being immersed would make much of a difference. Was it just a gimmick to get more people to come to the show?
Cycloramas are the virtual reality of the 19th century. Long paintings, sometimes with props, were mounted in the round in special buildings that allowed people to feel immersed in a painted space. These remind us of the variety of types of media that have surpassed – the forgotten types of media.
With the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT the other big AI companies are teasing us with their AIs. For example, Verge tells us that Google’s new AI turns text into music. Alas Google doesn’t seem to want to let us play with the AI, just admire the results.
It seems to me that this is related to the various activities that were staged in Second Life and other environments. It also has connections to the Machinima phenomenon where people use 3D environments like games to stage acts that are filmed.
Of course the problem with Fallout 76 is the performers can get attacked during a performance.
It is worth identifying some of the potential issues:
These art generating AIs may have violated copyright in scraping millions of images. Could artists whose work has been exploited sue for compensation?
The AIs are black boxes that are hard to query. You can’t tell if copyrighted images were used.
These AIs could change the economics of illustration. People who used to commission and pay for custom art for things like magazines, book covers, and posters, could start just using these AIs to save money. Just as Flickr changed the economics of photography, MidJourney could put commercial illustrators out of work.
We could see a lot more “original” art in situations where before people could not afford it. Perhaps poster stores could offer to generate a custom image for you and print it. Get your portrait done as a cyberpunk astronaut.
The AIs could reinforce visual bias in our visual literacy. Systems that always see Philosophers as old white guys with beards could limit our imagination of what could be.
These could be used to create pornographic deepfakes with people’s faces on them or other toxic imagery.
AI: I am an AI created by OpenAI. How can I help you today?Human: What do you think about the use of the Chinese room argument to defend the claim that a chatbot can never really understand what it is saying?AI: The Chinese room argument is a thought experiment that was first proposed by John Searle.
I can’t help imagining how this could be used by a smart student to write a paper dialogically. One could ask questions, edit the responses, concatenate them, and write some bridging text to get a decent paper. Of course, it might be less work to just write the paper yourself.
Ask Delphi is an intriguing AI that you can use to ponder ethical questions. You type in a situation and it will tell you if it is morally acceptable or not. It is apparently built not on Reddit data, but on crowdsourced data, so it shouldn’t be as easy to provoke into giving toxic answers.
In their paper, Delphi: Towards Machine Ethics and Norms they say that they have created a Commonsense Norm Bank, “a collection of 1.7M ethical judgments on diverse real-life situations.” This contributes to Delphi’s sound pronouncements, but it doesn’t seem available for others yet.