Episode 619 - Artificial culture

Jan 23, 2023

Talking about AI again but this time our subject is different: Does it have a negative influence on culture? AI creative tools in the hands of an actual skilled creator opens up amazing possibilities. Real creative people will be able to use them as the tools they are, to mix and match with their own knowledge, talents and many different creative sources to produce novel and interesting things!

Topics and Show Notes

Culture is invigorated by people making novel things, but the way these creative AIs are designed they produce essentially only derivative content. This can be tempered by the human factor of the person using it, especially if they come to it with a lot of background skill and if they don't intend to simply “stop” with the AI produced art but rather intend to use it as part of a larger process. However, because this technology mostly attracts non-creative people most AI produced creative work is not creative (be it writing, video, music, games, or visual art). The commercial pressure to produce the cheapest and quickest products will mean that creative people are largely pushed out of creative jobs and replaced with non-skilled, non-creative people using AI tools, which will have a degrading effect on culture produced in the commercial industry.

That can have a negative impact on culture as a whole, especially as younger people grow up with it as the norm, not knowing anything else.


This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Meatware - Grinding, red, churning, twisting, growling, processing, heavy, liquid, viscous, thick, fibrous, chunky, fatty, sinewy… a heavy electronic sound that gets you deep in your bones.

Topics and shownotes


Tantz's AI newspost on culture - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/jan/20/the-ai-problem/

Adventure thread - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/179254/

Featured comic:
American Pantheon - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/jan/16/featured-comic-american-pantheon/

Featured music:
Meatware - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Meatware/ - by TheJagged, rated M.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/

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Episode 611 - Doppelgängers

Nov 28, 2022

3 likes, 0 comments

Doppelgängers was the subject of our Quackcast today. What are they? Generally they're evil duplicates of people. Originally if you saw one it was supposed to be a portent of impending doom, but they've since evolved through pop-culture to be mirror people who envy the originals and want to kill them and replace them. There are MANY other kinds of Doppelgängers too now: Future versions of people, clones, robots, virtual copies, alternate universe versions, spirits, demons, helpful lookalikes, and more.

Episode 605 - Myth of Freedom

Oct 17, 2022

5 likes, 1 comment

“Freedom” is the catch cry in so much historical fiction but it's usually an anachronistic piece of nationalist fantasy. You fought for your lord, for pay, your honour, your small region, etc, not for “Scotland” (i.e. Bravehert). Even today it's generally propaganda: e.g. The Invasion of Iraq being called “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and Russia's invasion of Ukraine being all about “freeing” the Russian speaking areas from “oppression”. We alter historical stories to fit with contemporary ideas about ourselves and to give us some form of foundation for our prejudices, motivations and identity. Good examples are the Arthurian legends, Gladiator, Braveheart, The Patriot, Robin Hood, The stories about Christopher Columbus, The 300, and The Woman King.

Episode 604 - Stylised reality

Oct 10, 2022

4 likes, 3 comments

When creating fiction we always have to stylise experience in many and various ways in order to communicate with the viewer in a way that's meaningful to them because it's usually impossible to simply show them the exact reality of something and expect that same meaning to carry through.

Episode 595 - Oversold to the Moon!

Aug 8, 2022

4 likes, 2 comments

How do you describe your work to sell it to people? Writing blurbs is a real skill! You generally have to avoid doing these four things: Underselling, Overselling, Selling the wrong story, or Revealing too much. It's quite a tricky balance to master. I've been writing feature blurbs for comics here on DD for many years now (about 16), so I've developed a technique but even I haven't mastered it!

Episode 593 - Risky Business

Jul 25, 2022

5 likes, 1 comment

The risks of online creative success We live in a wonderful time where you're able to turn your creative passion into a job that can support you just by using freely available online services like YouTube, Spotify, Instagram, Patreon, Ebay, Paypal, Etsy, Webtoons etc. You can start with nothing more than your computer or phone and end up with a thriving business based on your passion project. It's not easy, achieving enough success where you can quit your day job still tends to take a lot of work, but once you get there it can be amazing. However, that's not the end of the story unfortunately.

Episode 590 - Fave Superhero Movies?

Jul 4, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

I wanted to do an easy and fun one this week and just chat about our fave superhero movies, starting with our firsts! For me and Banes it was Superman with Christopher Reeve. It's a real classic, full of positivity, hope, and optimism, all with bright colours and classic iconic imagery… In that way it's a bit like many of the Marvel films and the more popular DC offerings like Aquaman and WonderWoman, but without the overbuilt and over-defined muscles!

Episode 588 - Revisiting Old Ideas

Jun 20, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

Sometimes it's worth revisiting old ideas because you can do them better or explore them deeper. This could be in the form of a full reboot, or it could be as simple as reusing a pose in a panel or using the same theme again like Pixar does with 90% of their output i.e. “coming of age”. Like them you don't need to feel obligated to always do something totally original, revisiting old ideas is a great way to refine them, create better work, or explore different aspects of them you hadn't considered before and put new and interesting spins on things. Consider that Pixar's Turning Red, Encanto, Moana, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, and Luca all share the same “coming of age/childhood independence” theme and yet all do it in unique and original ways, exploring different aspects of the idea from all sorts of angles.


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