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Imitation and The Content Avalanche Ahead?

Banes at 12:00AM, Aug. 31, 2023

During the filming of Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock was unable to be on set one day. His crew filmed the scene for that day (I believe it was where Arbogast, the detective, goes up the stairs where he encounters Mrs. Bates). Hitchcock saw the footage, and said he had to reshoot it completely. It was shot as though Arbogast was an aggressor, and needed to be shot as though he was a victim.

Some stories from comics that were massive successes have been attempted in movies several times (the Dark Phoenix saga, or a portion of it, comes to mind). It has never been done to the fans' satisfaction as near as I can tell. Other stories have been adapted with great success. It's usually successful when the adaptation retains some faithfulness to the original story - but changes ALWAYS have to be made in an adaptation.

After the release of Pulp Fiction, which was earth-shattering at the time, many movies copied its tone, gangster/crime characters and shocking material, comedy combined with violence, and jumping around in time. Most of those imitators are long-forgotten, while Pulp Fiction still packs a punch when people watch it now.

Think of the glut of slasher movies post-Halloween, the raunchy comedies post-There's Something About Mary, and the imitators of The Beatles and Bob Dylan and Nirvana and so on and so on.

When something really pops, the imitations come in droves. It's the way it goes!

Science Fiction writers (and readers, and other folks) have dreamed of a future where the difficult but necessary work is taken over by automation, and that in a wise and humane society, this would free up humanity for other pursuits - very likely creative pursuits, or other fulfilling activities, whatever they might be.

The question of AI is a major source of disagreement between the studios and the striking writers. The studios' point of view is obvious - using AI to write will be faster, cheaper, and avoids the human element to a degree (but only to a degree - someone needs to prompt and edit the AI output).

Like the human imitators we've always had, Artificial Intelligence takes what already exists and produces works based upon a blending of various elements. It can understand structures that can be measured mathematically, and can regurgitate existing facts it has access to.

But it has no understanding of how long to wait, in tension, before a break is needed. Like a joke or a jump scare. It doesn't know when or why to suddenly pivot between a lighthearted interaction and a devastatingly serious one. The contradictory nuances of humans and human interaction are beyond an AI's understanding, and my layperson's opinion is that they will remain so for a long time to come.

I can't help but think of the arts and entertainment as an area where AI is the LEAST suited. As a supportive technology, sure. But to capture the spark of humanity needed for real art, or even real entertainment - the nuances and the moments and the accidents that resonate with audiences…No!

How this will all shake out I have no idea. Will the imitations be released by the thousands mere days or weeks after something new clicks with audiences? Will most of us be constantly occupied with more new shows and movies than we can handle, with AI scripts, actors, and music along with editing and distribution? Or will all of this stuff ring hollow to most audiences before too long?

Anyway, these were my scattered thoughts on this, this week.



J_Scarbrough at 9:22PM, Sept. 1, 2023

Lothar actually has a point, AI is a lot more advanced than some of you are giving it credit for, and it has reached a point in which it's now capable of thinking on its own, and with the projected path that it could one day replace humans in actual jobs, this is one reason why there's so much hubbub about it.

hushicho at 5:19PM, Sept. 1, 2023

AI tools are tools. It depends on the creativity of those who use them. That is all. People getting upset about better tools are the same as the people who were complaining ad nauseam about graphics tablets and digital art, 3D art, CGI, and everything else including the Undo button in art creation.

Banes at 6:07PM, Aug. 31, 2023

*nonsensical or repetitive or both… it’s messin things up already to a degree…

Banes at 6:06PM, Aug. 31, 2023

@lothar - the glut of horrendous, clickbaity but nonsensical videos on YouTube and elsewhere has already begun. Though with my incoherent newsposts I’m prolly not the one oughtta complain too much about it…

lothar at 2:46PM, Aug. 31, 2023

AI will break the internet.

Banes at 2:26PM, Aug. 31, 2023

@J Scarborough - true enough! ‘S the nature of the beast!

J_Scarbrough at 11:37AM, Aug. 31, 2023

Such imitation has been around for even longer than that. Back in the 60s when TV sitcoms began shifting away from the typical formulaic setup of suburb families and their domestic problems to more outlandish, supernatural, and fantasy-based premises, that's what all of the networks wanted to do; show like THE ADDAMS FAMILY and THE MUNSTERS then paved the way for similar sitcoms to dominate the airwaves soon after, like BEWITCHED and I DREAM OF JEANNIE, because those were what became so popular the time (it also helps that these shows were a form of escapism from how tumultuous the 1960s were as a decade with such civil unrest). Then come the 70s, ALL IN THE FAMILY was a trailblazer for more socially conscious shows that came after like SANFORD AND SON, M*A*S*H, THE JEFFERSONS, and others.

Banes at 10:51AM, Aug. 31, 2023

@PaulEberhardt - It seems so! Thanks to you both for trying to make a coherent point out of my late-night, last-minute ramblings!

Banes at 10:50AM, Aug. 31, 2023

@Andreas Helixfinger - Sounds about right. And I have no idea what this article is about. Probably beer. Yeah. Yeah, beer for sure xD

PaulEberhardt at 5:24AM, Aug. 31, 2023

As Homer Simpson once put it (I think): TV stations have realized that you can just point a camera at anything and people will watch it. I just hope it's not all of them...

Andreas_Helixfinger at 5:05AM, Aug. 31, 2023

Trying to decide which Michael Keaton clone I trust here. I think it's the one holding a can of beer, cuz this article is about beer, right? Rigth?🥴

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