i’ll be the first to admit…

I’m not a big proponent of the advancement of AI. I know that it will happen because the financial incentives are there, and as of such, the people with the knowledge and motivation to advance it. But one thing about new technology is that regulation is excrutiatingly slow to catch up. And with just how fast things are going, I’m not convinced legislation will catch up in time to stop the damage that is coming. In this post, I’m not going to talk about the implication on artists, as that is very much a big concern, but not where my worries lie with OpenAI’s sora.

Before I get into the thick of it,

I, not being a woman, cannot comment exactly on the experiences nor the feelings of women just generally throughout their lives, I simply have no experience. What I can comment on is what I know of talking to women about their own lived experiences, and horror stories I’ve heard passed through people. All stories I’ve mentioned I have explicit permission to include in this post from those I heard it from.

The impact of the future of AI on your average 9th grade girl.

One friend I have (who we’ll call penelope) told me a story about how in the 9th grade, a boy (who will be named michael) in one of their classes decided to photoshop penelope’s onto the body of a pornstar, and then share it around with his friends. Of course- as these things go, this photo was shared from those friends to other friends, and other friends past that. Eventually, this made it back to penelope, who understandably felt overwhelmingly violated. She was berated with the image by boys constantly around school, even her friends who they thought had her back were suddenly cold to them. To this day, she is still in therapy over issues stemming from this event, and it was a crude photoshop by a kid with a little too much access to utorrent.

Now imagine the experience for a similar girl, a few years later, with the advent of deepfakes and image-generating AI. rather than a crude less-than-believable photoshop, a quasi-photorealistic image created of this girl. Of course, the circumstances of the image dont change the violation itself, but it does change what it does to her. Imagine seeing your face on a body that is the average of all attractive women to a 9th grade boy. What that would do to the self-esteem of this girl, the lengths she may go to to change herself to fit that standard no longer just seen in other women, but now applied to your own face, and your own features. That could destroy someone maybe for life.

Let’s now talk about in 6 months, when Sora-like technology becomes open source, and anyone can train it on anything. Imagine this same 9th grade girl, now not with just an image, but a fully rendered pornographic video of themselves, generated by some other boy in their class for free. I nor you could begin to imagine what that might do to this girl. All because some boy was a little too horny and way too little empathetic. It’s genuinely terrifying.

The obvious impact

I mean, OpenAI can keep their technology closed source, but they still publish their research papers, which gives people the framework to build it themselves. And inevitably, this will be used for political gain. I could name a trillion different ways that this technology could be used in such a way, but I’m sure so could you.

Sucking the humanity out of media

One of my favourite things about the internet (especially when throwing a before:2010 in my searches) is that despite all the goods and bads, it’s categorically human. Everything is built by humans, every post created by humans, every image or video or whatever other media generated by humans. It’s the largest amalgamation of everything that makes us, us. The problem with AI is that it’s categorically inhuman. At its core, AI is a complex statistical model. It takes noise and/or text, and creates the “most likely” outcome to its input. It is taking the average of everything it’s given, and creating nothing. This part of AI almost disgusts me. It’s taking my favourite part of the internet away from the internet as a whole, and as selfish as it is, I hate it for that reason as much as any other.

One silver lining

Maybe, the one good thing that will come out of the advancement of AI is that people will learn to stop trusting the internet, full stop. So like, that’s good, I guess.

The title mentioned AGI. When the fuck are you gonna talk about AGI?

My point in the title was to say that skeptics on AI keep on reeling in their predictions. The technology we have today was not supposed to exist for another 15 years, just 5 years ago. AGI at one point was supposed to be 100 years away. I am no skeptic, I just try my best to be a realist. AGI will happen, we can’t know when, we can only know that it will, and to be ready for those implications when it does.

Thanks for reading :) please stay safe