Jul 24, 2023
We're chatting about the current state of AI, it's use, abuse, and the moronic way it's typically being utalised by mid-level businesses to screw over creative people and save money in the short term.
Topics and Show Notes
“AI” is the current big thing on the market, specifically “generative” AI that's been illegally trained on copyrighted datasets like chat GTP, Mid-Journey, Stable-Diffusion and more. This sort of AI could be extremely useful IF used in the correct ways: things like sifting through masses of data to filter results in crucial and important ways, instead it's being criminally abused by completely untalented, uncreative, pathetic, greedy losers with nothing more than a business degree, to steal work from their creative superiors and produce mindless pablum in the form of copy-editing, scripts, illustrations and more. And that's just scratching the surface.
The biggest problem with the technology is that it can't actually create and it can't understand what it produces. It simply gives you a remix of existing data as an image, script, sound-file, or video. A moron might tell you that people do this as well, but they'd be completely wrong. The way humans create is far more complex and is never simply based on things that match a theme like it is with AI, but on things we actively WANT to represent. We have layers of intention, reasons, justifications, and even things like cultural background having a strong influence behind the sources we draw on. AI is the direct opposite of this as much as it's possible to be, there IS zero intent behind any of it, it's totally and absolutely mindless. The closest it gets is the human “prompter”, and their contribution is utterly laughable because the “prompts” are so limited, basic and stylised compared to the vastness of actual creative influence and skill.
What this means is that the “creative” possibility of AI is extremely limited since it HAS to draw on real creative work in order to fake its own. If it comes to dominate the market it will kill off genuine human creatives and then it won't have any new sources to steal from, which will be its downfall because it will be forced to draw from the crap it produces itself and we will get degenerated copies of copies of copies.
We're already seeing all sorts of interesting a terrible abuses. Production companies want to be able to digitise actors images and voices in order to keep them working forever but not have to pay them. They're doing the same with scripts from certain authors. This will kill off creative jobs, but it will also harm ALL of us as viewers. The harm this cheap, commerce driven garbage can do to culture is immeasurable and could be generational. There really need to be laws in place to govern the abuses of “generative” AI.
An idiot might say “the cat's out of the bag now, we can't go back”, but they'd be wrong and stupid: society always has the ability to correct for abuses. This is why we haven't had the use of a nuclear weapon in anger since 1945, people can't just use full auto machine guns willy-nilly whenever they feel like it, people aren't walking around nude in the cities and having sex where they feel like it, and you can't just steal what you want. When the internet became popular in the later half of the 90s, illegal downloading of music, movies and software was universal and endemic, but now none of that is a big issue anymore. The “cat” is never irreversibly “out of the bag”.
You can tell what side I'm on :)
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme inspired by Domestic HellLand - Full of optimism and hope! Great things are jusssst around the corner. Life is amazing and wonderful things are about to happen. This is a very positive sounding piece, it’s all synth, piano and electric guitar. It’s full of happiness and light.
Topics and shownotes
Future cast: TRON and TRON 2
Eco Crew - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/jul/18/featured-comic-eco-crew/
Domestic HellLand - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Domestic_HellLand/ - by SheepSheket, rated M.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
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Aug 29, 2022
What makes a character two dimensional? What makes them three dimensional? Does it matter that they only have two dimensions to them? This was an idea that GeekyGami posed and so we thought we'd explore it in the cast. My own theory is that a character that is purely archetypal, tropeish, or cliche, with everything about them flowing from that archetype, and they never go beyond their archetypal traits- that makes them 2D.
Nov 8, 2021
The other day Tantz Aerine wrote a newspost about an article critical of Squid Game. The crux of things was that the Squid Game creator had said their message was anti-capitalist, while this critic was saying that the author's message with the Squid Game was an anti communist critique and not a very good one at that. The issue here is that isn't how you do criticism. At all. You can give an interesting reading of something and tell us why YOU think it's anti-Communist, or tell us how it looks through the lens of post-colonialism or new wave feminism etc, but you can't say that is what the author is saying or what the work means, especially if the author explicitly says WHAT they are saying. This may seem like a small distinction but it's actually very, very important. Bad criticism often tells us what the creator is saying. Don't do that. Don't be that person.
Oct 19, 2020
We are the Pretty Things That Live in the House! We all dressed up for a Halloween themed cast today! You can see our weird looks in our Patreon video ($5 and up subscribers). Pitface was a yellowfaced corn vampire with amazing teeth (very midwest), Banes was an old, oooooold terrifying baldy vampire, Tantz was a beautiful, big eyed doctor vampire, and I was an 18th century Vamp (Lestat/Varny), with a face messy with the blood of my victims! And I had in rubber fangs held in by chewing gum, just like a REAL vampire, because the denture glue didn't hold in my good fangs… it just filled my mouth with disgusting glue that stuck all over my teeth XD
Mar 11, 2019
What is Social Marketing? Basically its word-of-mouth and viral marketing smashed together and weaponised: Marketing companies hijack hot-button social issues and hitch their client's brand to them in clever campaigns (“We can be better”, etc). The purpose isn't really to make a brand seem progressive, modern or new, rather it's another way of getting it trending on social media that's guaranteed to work, unlike the legion of hit or miss but mostly failed “Viral” campaigns. Whether people say negative or positive things about this issue is irrelevant to the marketer, as long as people are talking about the brand is all that matters. Free advertising is the goal, but it has a social cost.
Jan 20, 2019
Coming up with character names can be a real challenge because once you settle on one they can define the character just as much as their personality and looks! Names also affect how you name other characters: are they too similar, like Betty and Barney? Will it be an unintentionally meaningful combo like George and Washington? There are so many things to consider, it can be daunting. In this Quackcast we talk about some of the methods that duckers have used to come up with character names. It's pretty novel and interesting, anything from using friend's names, names that have special meaning to them, names that have inerrant meaning, names that deliberately have NO meaning, place-holder names, names from the phonebook and more. Your options, methods, and reasons are endless! Tell us what's behind YOUR character names!
Jan 14, 2019
The topic we discussed in this Quackcast was looking for symbolism, meaning and intention in comics: The English literature approach! Deeper meanings and all that. It's fun to do actually and sometimes you really can hit upon the intentions of the creator, uncover NEW meanings, or just do it to entertain yourself. We used our own comics for an example and talked about things beyond the superficial for a change. For example: Banes' comic Typical Strange is a sitcom set in a video rental store, staffed by a group of characters that make up the cast. Why is it set in a place that is clearly decades out of date and relevance? A video rental place is an anachronism in this time. Is it saying that the characters themselves are stuck in time? It's a sitcom comic so situations often reset or rewind back to the status Quo, so that interpretation would seem to fit… Of course that wasn't Banes' deliberate intention but it's fun to think about that way.
Nov 25, 2018
We're all back together this week and we're chatting about audience expectations for characters versus the intentions of the creator. Which is more important? Well it's a bit of a balancing act… You don't want to pander to your audience because that's not fun and they won't enjoy it anyway, but by the same token you shouldn't just do whatever you feel like regardless. As a creator you build up a contract between yourself and the audience; if you betray that by subverting their expectations with characters in ways that are very “OUT of character” just because you feel like it then you can start to lose their respect and attention. Killing off characters all of a sudden can be a big responsibility too, try not to take that lightly.